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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

Ballad of the Goddess (Main Theme) | Zelda: Skyward Sword | Sheet Music, MIDI, XML & More!

Here is the main theme of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Ballad of the Goddess, complete with a full sheet music transcription and recreation to test its accuracy.

If you're after the sheet music, score, XML or MIDI for Ballad of the Goddess / Main Theme from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you can find links here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • Piccolo

  • 2 Flutes

  • Oboe

  • Clarinet in Bb

  • 2 Bassoons

  • 2 Horns in F

  • 2 Trumpets in Bb

  • 2 Trombones

  • Bass Trombone

  • Tuba

  • Timpani

  • Bass Drum

  • Snare Drum

  • Suspended Cymbal

  • Clash Cymbals

  • Shaker

  • Tambourine

  • Triangle

  • Tubular Bells

  • Baking Tray (optional)

  • Harp

  • Piano

  • Violin I

  • Violin II

  • Viola

  • Violoncello

  • Contrabass

If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML, SIB files, as well as stems and multitracks I created for this transcription now available to download from your Patreon Google Drive folders!


Arranger's Note / Analysis:

"Being the main theme of Skyward Sword, what Zelda motif could possibly be used here? Do we get the iconic adventurous motif? Maybe a tease of the Lost Woods? Or perhaps Zelda's Lullaby instead? We do, in some regard, receive the latter.

Our track opens with an 8-bar introduction in an ambiguous tonic of D. This tonic is ambiguous due to the lack of the 3rd (F♯ or F♮), which holds the role of determining whether the tonality is major or minor respectively. Instead, we have bare open 5ths chords (D-A), but constructed in an empowering and exciting shape. These 5ths, combined with the relatively swift tempo, convey a sense of grandeur that is rapidly approaching.

And at 0:14, we get that grandeur, as well as our 3rd (F♮; so D minor is our tonality). The melody, cleverly enough, is "Zelda's Lullaby" played backwards (what's known as melodic retrograde). With Skyward Sword chronologically being the earliest entry in the Zelda timeline, utilizing this theme no longer signifies a lullaby, but rather, an awakening. Whether that be an awakening of the Zelda franchise (being the first chronological entry), or an awakening of Zelda / the Goddess herself - we cannot say for certain.

To convey this grandeur, we harmonically step outwards in contrary motion (the bass moves from D down to C, while the melody moves from D up to E). This creates an inherent expansion to the sound, creating that grandeur, and we swiftly pivot into the relative major of D minor, F major (0:17), before moving surprisingly to E minor in 1st inversion (G-B-E). This is followed by a tritone jump up to B♭ major (0:19; B♭-D-F), which then alternates between C and B♭ to return us to our tonic of D.

In just 10s, we have travelled extremely far, harmonically at least: starting in D minor, to C major, to F major, to E minor, to B♭ major alternating with C major, back to D. This swift traversal complements the quick and agile nature of the Loftwings found in Skyward Sword.

By 0:25, we get a full repeat of the previous 8-bars, but with some instrumental and countermelodic expansion in the winds and brass.

At 0:36, we transition into the B section with a modulation into the relative major, F major. Here, the oboe brings us a gorgeous little phrase, doubled by the violins and complemented by strings, winds and a baking tray (probably not what the original composers used, but hey, it sounds about right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

By the end of this phrase (0:47), the melody is repeated, but in an entirely different harmonic context. Instead of F major, we have returned to our tonic of D minor (D-F-A).

As the B section concludes (1:00), we return to an A section with a repeat of the opening material, again, with more expansions and developments, including new flute countermelodies and thicker brass. And to finish us off (1:22), we get a concluding section reminiscent of the intro (0:03), utilizing bare 5ths chords (D-A).

Intriguingly, with this closing section, it now appears that the entire track could itself be played in retrograde (in reverse). Structurally, it is palindromic (Intro-A-A-B-B-A-A-Outro), and due to the heavy use of Zelda's Lullaby in reverse, I have a suspicion this palindromic structure was no accident. And in fact, if you were to download this track and play it in reverse, you'd find that it actually works remarkably well - scarily well, I should add - but that is nothing short of the genius I would expect from a Zelda soundtrack."


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