Attack of the Killer Queen | Deltarune Orchestral Cover | Sheet Music, MIDI, XML & more!
Took me a bit longer than a week, but here is an orchestral arrangement, orchestral cover and orchestral remix for the final boss of Deltarune Chapter 2, Attack of the Killer Queen, originally composed by Toby Fox (developer of Undertale), Lena Raine and Marcy Nabors, as well as a short musical analysis below.
If you're after the sheet music, score, XML or MIDI for Attack of the Killer Queen from Deltarune, you can find links here!
The sheet music includes individual part scores for:
2 Clarinets in Bb
2 Clarinets in A
2 Horns in F
2 Trumpets in Bb
Clash Cymbals / Piatti
If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML, SIB files, I created for this now available to download from your Patreon Google Drive folders!
"The first point of interest lies with the tonality; the track is originally scored in A(half)♯ minor, or B(three-quarters)♭ minor (that is, it lies half way between A minor and B♭ minor; about 50 cents detuned). Therefore, arrangers are faced with a choice concerning which key to score this - A minor or B♭ minor? The most practical solution would be to use A minor, owing to its benefit of being more legible (e.g. fewer accidentals) and easier for most instruments to play (apologies, trumpets and clarinets - but I also wrote a version in A for you!)
And for ease of analysis, I will treat the entire track as if it were scored in A minor.
We open (of course) in A minor, with a lead instrument (here, the solo violin) emphasizing our A minor triad (A-C-E). By the 2nd measure (0:04), this quickly jumps up to the relative major (C major; C-E-G), functioning as the dominant for a perfect cadence into F major (F-A-C; 0:06), which can safely drop down a semitone to E - the dominant of our original A minor - bringing us back to the tonic (Am).
So far, so good. We are in familiar territory.
While the introduction so far has largely been ascending, the 2nd half of this introduction (0:09 - 0:16) is essentially inverted - it DEscends. Tonally, we fall down to the subdominant (chord iv; here, D minor; D-F-A), which can step up to the dominant (chord V; E-G♯-B) to return us to the tonic (chord i; A-C-E).
Once the energy is set in motion (0:16), unusual yet exciting elements start to emerge. Foremost, the harmony pivots from A minor (A-C-E) to A diminished (A-B-D♯). This chromatic slip creates our devilish interval of the "tritone" (the augmented 4th; A-D♯ - the most unstable of all musical intervals).
The appearance of this (already dissonant) interval is coupled with another dissonance; false relations, similar in concept to major-minor chords. While the harmony slips into its diminished triad (A-B-D♯), the melody remains in A minor, creating a harsh (but exciting!) semitonal clash of D♯ vs E & D. These semitonal clashes appear in abundance throughout this track (e.g. the major-minor chord of 0:33 with both D and D♯), generating the majority of its playful uneasiness.
The next section commences at 0:42, modulating briefly into the subdominant (D minor; D-F-A), before pivoting via a secondary dominant (chord II; B major; B-D♯-F♯; 0:46) into the dominant and back to the tonic via a perfect cadence (V-i; E major to A minor).
Here, we also get our fan-favourite Fox polyrhythms - a metric dissonance where multiple different rhythms are played against one another (note the offbeat piano against the steadiness of the drum kit; this is a polyrhythm, or rhythmic "syncopation").
The next point of interest occurs at 1:06, with a chromatic descent from B to B♭ to A. Whereas previously we had our secondary dominant progression (B to E to A; 0:46), here the dominant is substituted for a loose German augmented 6th chord (B♭-D-F-G♯ progressing to A-C-E).
This new chromatic descent forms the crux of our next section (1:09 - 1:22), where we return to our opening soloist (now doubled by trombone) as they descend from G to F♯ to F to E. This is accompanied by a harpsichord - a regal instrument now often reserved as a signifier for royalty - fitting, for a Queen."