Legolas on ethnomusicology and aesthetic meaning

“[Aragorn] began to chant softly softly in a slow tongue unknown to the Elf and Dwarf; yet they listened, for there was a strong music in it.

‘That, I guess, is the language of the Rohirrim,’ said Legolas; ‘for it is like to this land itself; rich and rolling in part, and else hard and stern as the mountains. But I cannot guess what it means, save that it is laden with the sadness of Mortal Men.'”

(Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Book Three, VI. The King of the Golden Hall)

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