The Music of the Ainur is the second chapter of The Book of Lost Tales Part One, the first volume of The History of Middle-earth. This chapter holds J.R.R. Tolkien's earliest version of the tale of the Ainulindalë: the creation of Arda by Eru Ilúvatar and his Ainur. This tale, bearing the same title, was written in 1919-1920 when Tolkien was 27-28. The final version would be published in 1977 as the opening part of The Silmarillion.

The chapter that follows is "The Coming of the Valar and the Building of Valinor".

Chapter synopsis

Before the Music of the Ainur is narrated by Rúmil to the mariner Eriol (who has recently taken residence at the Cottage of Lost Play), the chapter begins after Christopher Tolkien's introduction with what he names the "Link" between the prior tale and this one. Eriol speaks with Lindo at the Cottage, sleeps, and has a dream, and on the next day takes a long stroll outside listening to the birds, and comes across the sage Rúmil. Learning that Rúmil is very old and knowledgeable, Eriol eagerly questions him of many things concerning the history of Valinor and Arda. Christopher Tolkien makes a comment on the Link, and then Rúmil's story of the Music of the Ainur begins.

The narrated story holds few differences from the final Ainulindalë, such as the absence of Eru's proclamation of Eä! Let these things Be!, and of mentions to "the Secret Fire".

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