Instruments of the LOTR Soundtrack



The log drums, marimbas and other percussion instruments can be heard especially in the earliest Fangorn scenes. When Merry and Pippin discuss the possibility, with Treebeard, that they are little Orcs. "Sounds like Orc mischief to me", he says and threatens to take them to the White Wizard. Also, when the Three Hunters enter Fangorn and then realize that they are not alone. Fearing Saruman, Aragorn warns them, "Do not let him speak."


Ent Theme

HS COMMENT (TTT Appendices)


Log Drums


Log Drums

Log drums (aka slit drums or tongue drums) are essentially hollow wood boxes which are struck with a soft mallet. The design of these varies but the ones used in the LOTR concerts (shown to the left, photo by Sabsi Fronek) seems unlike any others I can find on the web. In the AS-TTT, Doug Adams describes them as having a thin strip of wood that remains for the performer to strike. This may refer to the extra piece of wood seen lying on top of the box in the photo. If so, this feature is not found on most log drums. Usually, the 'tongue' that is struck is part of the original piece of wood that has been cut away on three sides.


1. Sample from CR-TTT, Disc 1, Track 10, Fangorn 4:19-4:39


The marimba has two parts: keys or bars (usually) made of wood which are struck by mallets and tubular, metal tubes which hang below and resonate when their corresponding key/bar is struck.

1. Sample from CR-TTT, Disc 1, Track 10, Fangorn 1:32-1:48