This week on Music Monday, we’ll be questing into Hyrule and discovering the Music of:
The Legend of Zelda
We’ll be looking at the Music that started it all: The Legend of Zelda Original Theme
As always, plug in your headphones(or speakers) and get ready to explore the vast world and history of this theme!
Of course, we can’t enter Hyrule empty handed. This time we’ll be selecting an instrument!
What Key is it in?
With all the practice we’ve received on identifying keys. let’s see if you can take this one!
a. A-flat Major
b. C Major
c. D minor
If your answer was A then you’re right on! Remeber you can identify what key was in by listening to the first chord or note. Once you find the note, play the major/minor chord to see if it sounds right if you were to play along with the song. Let’s take a closer look and see what the chords to this song are, shall we?
Now since we know the song is in A-Flat Major, we can identify what chords are major and minor. If you’re not sure what the key to identifying what chords are major and minor, check out this Music Monday where we explain how to:
The melodies chords are very repetitive along with its pattern. Consisting of a descending chord progression, the first chord is A-Flat Major ending with F Major. I’ll give you a head start so that should be able to help you with the rest of the chords:
ii I vii VI
You’re gonna wanna watch out for the “vii”, it’s gonna be flat instead of natural. This means it will be G-Flat Major instead of G Major.
Believe it or not, the chords are almost exactly the same as part 1 with a few small differences:
ii I vii IV
Instead of a “VI”, we have an “IV”. Now all we have left is a descending/ascending pattern:
ii-natural ii iii VI
The “ii” natural means that instead of B-flat Major, we’ll be playing a B Major. After the B-Major we play a C-Major and lastly F-Major.
0:50-1:22 ; 2:12-2:47
This section is the exact same as part 1, the only difference is at 0:58-1:11 with 2 chords back and forth:
Notice how it goes from G-Flat Major to F Major which is only a half step down.
At 1:11-1:22, it consists of the same pattern from 0:28-0:49
ii-natural ii iii VI
The reason as to why there are so many strange notes that aren’t in the key is to give it more taste. Now a simple melody consisting of just the notes in the key is completely fine, but there’s nothing wrong with adding some notes that stand out from the song. Placing notes in a specific part of a melody is important and should be placed there for a reason.
The Legend of Zelda Theme was created by Kōji Kondō. He is best known for several of his music compositions in various Nintendo Games such as Super Mario Bros, Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Sunshine, and much more! There have been several variations of this song due to its memorable sounding melody:
Notice how it contains all the same elements of the original theme with a few kicks to it. There’s also a huge symphony that takes place dedicated just to Zelda music. The use of remaking themes have been a common strategy in video game music history. Of course, it had to start from somewhere. Even if the symphony versions are meant to be better than the original, let’s not forget it’s original sounding jingle that started it in the first place.
It’s no doubt the Main Theme in the Zelda series is one of the most iconic melodies of all time. The story of how a simple 8-bit sounding theme converted to higher levels such as a symphony is truly remarkable. No matter how strange the theme sounds at first with the low-quality sound compared to today, the use of reimagining the melody is what makes themes stand out. After the release of this one theme, it’s several Zelda Titles including the most recent: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild.
Thanks for reading! Hope you found/learned a bit more about this iconic theme. Tune in next week to find out what world we dive into next on Music Monday! 😀