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Old 02-07-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
Faramir Jones
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Palantir-Green "Behold your Music!", Kristine Larsen

Taking a lead from Bęthberry, I'm starting a thread on Kristine Larsen's '"Behold your Music!": The Theme of Ilúvatar, the Song of Aslan, and the Real Music of the Spheres'. It's the first paper of the book and one of my favourites; because I love C.S. Lewis's Song of Aslan creating Narnia in the The Chronicles of Narnia, and saw comparisons between it and the Music of the Ainur. Also, I was interested in the idea of both being the result of the influence of the ancient Greek philosophical idea of the 'music of the spheres'.

In this piece, Ms. Larsen, a physicist and astronomer, not only compares the two in the light of the 'music of the spheres', which she correctly points out is not the only example of the connection between the universe and music. (Before that, there were ancient creation myths where the earth or universe came into existence due to sacred words or songs of power.) She then looks at Tolkien's and Lewis's mythologies in the scientific context of the theories of how the Universe was created (including the Big Bang theory) and how it might end, and comes up with some very surprising conclusions.

She says that

In the cosmological worlds of Tolkien and Lewis we also see the twin threads of theology and science intertwined. (p. 24)

Like Aslan's Song and the Music of the Ainur,

our universe owes much of its early history to the force of acoustic waves, also containing three movements or themes. (Ibid.)

As Narnia and Middle-earth were

ultimately marred by the dark hand of evil, so too is the fate of our universe bound up in the unseen force of dark energy.(pp. 24-25)

How she gets to these conclusions I'll let present and future readers of Music in Middle-earth find out for themselves. But I can assure you all that it's well worth the effort!

Last edited by Faramir Jones; 02-07-2010 at 10:48 AM. Reason: A space left out
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