\'\'\'Author\'s Preface\'\'\' J.R.R. Tolkien’s conception of his world – Arda – underwent many changes throughout its long development from the first versions in 1920s right up to 1972 shortly before his death. With the passing of the years, the idea of music as a template for the whole fate and history of the world grew ever stronger in Tolkien’s vision. This transformational thought in which the Music of the Ainur served as the template upon which further events in the history of Arda are based pervades the whole design. This is however not entirely
new, and Michael explores the parallels between this transformational school of thought for Middle-earth (or Arda in general) and real life theories (e.g. classical antiquity) where music plays an integral part in the destiny and history of the world.