It was Maglor who started it, as you might expect. In his pack he had a shopping-list longer than his arm, but there was no way that could stop him from lingering near the fountain, admiring the sparkle and flash of the beams of Laurelin caught in the falling waters as they were swept to and fro in the gusting breeze—and no sooner had he become attuned to gush, trickle and splash than he began to sing—a simple familiar tune at first—a song about a little brook flowing down a hill—but already he was beginning to embroider it. And, well, not for nothing was he called the mightiest singer of the Noldor! He was, shall we say, audible.
Fingon, who was having a profound discussion of the mysteries of fletching at a bowyer's stall round a corner to the left, could not see Maglor, but he could most definitely hear him. He recognized his cousin's voice immediately and his attention faltered.
‘Yes...,’ he said vaguely and then smiled apologetically at the bowyer. ‘I'll be back’, he promised.
And soon he was standing beside the fountain, picking up that familiar little tune about the flowing brook and leaving Maglor free to improvise around the baseline.
Indis, who had been studying different-coloured swathes of watered silk, raised her head and laughed with delight.
‘I'll have to think a bit about these,’ she told the cloth merchant, with a broad smile, and, without further ado, went off toward the fountain, stepping lightly, weaving quickly through the crowd.
A duet between Indis and Maglor was always well worth hearing; Indis had a wonderful voice. She added a descant, soaring high seemingly effortlessly, without any thinness or sharpness at all. Then Maglor nodded to her and she took her turn leading while he followed. Fingon began to feel rather outclassed between the two, but he kept his own end up gamely—and then the others began to arrive.
‘My friend,’ said Finrod to the keeper of the musician's stall, ‘you're happy to lend me this harp for just a bit, aren't you?’—and smiled a golden smile that dazzled the stall keeper's eyes and melted his heart to such an extent that Finrod had walked off with his harp before he had recovered enough to answer.
Galadriel regarded him thoughtfully.
‘Were you going to offer me this one?’ she asked when she considered him capable of speech again.
They left the poor stall keeper clinging dizzily to the tent pole.
‘It's their Vanyarin blood,’ he muttered, trying to find an explanation for the effect these children of Finarfin had on him. He was forgetting that full-blooded Vanyar had never quite managed to reduce him to a comparable state.
By the fountain, the singers meanwhile had been joined by the two harp players, who settled themselves on the rim of the fountain, having managed to tune their harps in record time.
‘Let me congratulate you on the excellent crafting of this tambourine,’ Maedhros was saying at a stall elsewhere in the market square. 'You will allow me to purchase it, won't you?'
The stall keeper was still trying to calculate the change when he found his customer had disappeared with his newly-bought instrument in the direction of the fountain.
Celegorm and Aredhel ran up together and began to clap their hands, keeping perfect time with the harp strings and the tambourine, while around them the song lines interwove and shimmered in a veritable waterfall of sound.
Huan sat down on his haunches with a sigh. He raised his snout but caught Celegorm's stern eye and thought better of howling.
Ecthelion, his basket piled high with root vegetables, hovered a bit uncertainly on the fringes among the gathering audience, drawn irresistibly by the sudden outburst of music, but doubtful of the propriety of joining in an all-royal concert.
Fingon turned his head towards his friend, but Finrod beat him to it: ‘Come on! You've got your flute with you, haven't you? I can see you do!’
'It's my family,' said Turgon to Elenwe.
He had just managed, with a great deal of cunning and strategy, to encounter her accidentally at the pastry stall.
‘Mostly,’ he added conscientiously, in view of Ecthelion—the sound of whose flute was now adding the perfect final touch to proceedings.
‘They sometimes do such things.’
Elenwe could see that he was both extremely embarrassed and extremely proud of all of them.
‘Shall we go and listen?’ she suggested gently and offered him her arm.
They arrived at the fountain just in time for the end—in a rousing chorus!