The Ainulindalë (Quenya, pronounced [ˌaɪnuˈlindale] eye-noo-lin-dahl-eh) is the title of the first part of The Silmarillion. It narrates the creation of the world which was to be the scene of all the following tales of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings
The tale begins with Ilúvatar's creation of spirits of lesser power than him, yet of independent nature, named the Ainur ("Holy Ones"). Ilúvatar teached them music, and when they sang before him, but each one alone. But once he showed them the most beautiful theme and asked them to sing together a Great Music in which their thought would be visible thanks to the Flame Imperishable. Thus began the Music of the Ainur, and no music like this was sung again by the Ainur, though it is said that they will sing a Second Music with the Children of Ilúvatar.
In the beginning of the Music, Ilúvatar sat and hearkened, but Melkor, one of the greatest of the Ainur, in his pride broke the harmony. Ilúvatar then arose and a new theme began against the disturbance, and which Manwë, Melkor's brother, sang the leading part. Yet again, the harmony was broken with Melkor's violent song.
Finally, Ilúvatar began a third theme which the Ainur could not comprehend. He then ceased the music and showed to the Ainur the essence of what their song symbolized, the history of a whole world. This is known as the "Vision of Ilúvatar". The Ainur became fascinated by it, and asked Ilúvatar to put it into being.
Ilúvatar spoke "Eä", that is, "Be!". This command created the universe, and therefore the universe became known as "Eä". Some of the Ainur who possessed the greatest power entered into Eä and they were called the Valar, the "Powers of the world", as they their mission was to form the world for the coming of the Children of Ilúvatar. Therefore they created a region which later was called Arda, the Earth, but Melkor attempted to take it for his own. However Manwë asked for the help of other Ainur, great or lesser. They descended to Arda and Melkor was forced to flee to other regions.
The Valar took the shapes of the Children of Ilúvatar, and their beauty and works increased Melkor's envy, so he also took visible form. The First War began in the world, in which Melkor tried to destroy all the works of the Valar, but at last the habitation of the Children of Ilúvatar was established.