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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

Doom Dragon | Golden Sun | Orchestral Cover

Doom Dragon uses Cruel Ruin!

Here we go: the most complex of all Golden Sun's boss themes, Doom Dragon, now fully orchestrated with sheet music.

Feel free to check out the landing page with links to the recording, sheet music and more!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • Piccolo

  • 2 Flutes

  • 2 Oboes

  • 2 Clarinets in Bb

  • 2 Bassoons

  • 4 Horns in F

  • 3 Trumpets in Bb

  • 2 Trombones

  • Bass Trombone

  • Tuba

  • Timpani

  • Drum Kit

  • Bass Drum

  • Snare Drum

  • Tom-toms

  • Suspended Cymbal

  • Crash Cymbals

  • Tam-tam

  • Guiro

  • Xylophone

  • Piano

  • Harp

  • SATB Choir

  • Violin I

  • Violin II

  • Viola

  • Violoncello

  • Contrabass

If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML and SIB files I created for this arrangement now available to download from Patreon!


Arranger's Note:

The most eccentric of Sakuraba's battle themes from Golden Sun, what does he employ to achieve this?

Like all of his battle themes, we are instantly thrust into the action with a massive unresolved suspended 4th chord (D-G-A), with the 5th (A) moving chromatically upward (A-B♭-B-C) alongside the tonic (D-E♭-E-E♭). This creates fierce instability in the harmony, and leads to several semitonal clashes (D vs. E♭ and A vs. B♭)

Metrically, we are in an uncommon 5/8 time signature, displacing the familiar "4 beats in a bar" structure with an additional beat, further contributing to the chaotic drive of the opening.

When the first section begins (0:07), we step up a tone into E. The precise tonality of this E is debatable, but the oboe & violin melody would suggest a rather extreme E locrian modality (E-F-G-A-B♭-C-D-E). The "locrian" mode is the most unstable of all Western modes due to it's diminished 5th interval (E-B♭; the tritone, or "devil in music" as it was once aptly named). A very appropriate use!

From here, the meter changes nearly every bar: 3/4 to 7/16 to 5/8 - it is impossible to follow the beat without repeated listening, creating an immense chaotic structure that jumps from one idea to the next in an instant. Other time signatures used include 12/16, 3/8 and (gasp!) the rare 4/4.

Harmonically, we also receive numerous diminished 7th chords throughout (e.g. 0:09). These chords have a similar instability as the locrian mode due to their diminished 5th interval - here, stacked twice (F & B, and G♯ & D) - conveying continuous harmonic unrest.

At 0:10, we get a brief respite of stability into F Lydian mode (F-G-A-B-C-D-E), which stays with us for 4 bars. The meter of 5/8 has returned to remind us of our hostile scene, whilst we swirl in various arpeggios from the strings and winds. A brief interlude of 3/8 (0:14) leads us to another diminished 7th chord (0:16), climaxing with an immense upward motion before we repeat the opening material once more (0:18).

For this repeat, I developed the material so that it is not an exact repetition, including additional wind runs, juggling the material in different instruments for a new colour, and additional countermelodies in the brass.

At the end (0:29), we rest in 4/4 for a moment with a stable "Esus4" chord (E-A-B to E-G♯-B) before progressing into F♯ minor via an interrupted cadence (chord V to VI; E to F♯m; 0:31). This next section is rather stable in 5/8, with some descending chromatic harmonies before an abrupt shift into 12/16 with more diminished 7th chords (0:38).

This leads us to 0:41 - now in 3/4 with a sustained period of safety - in A minor (A-C-E). Here, there is a glimpse of the Dorian mode (A-B-C-D-E-F♯-G) through the progression of A minor (A-C-E) into D major (D-F♯-A).

But then we remember this is a boss theme, and quickly revert to our immense dissonance and 5/8 meter (0:52). In this passage, all hell breaks loose and every instrument seemingly wanders on its own with little cohesion (which is wonderfully appropriate here). The only anchor is that there is some sort of tonal centre on E - perhaps E locrian, our devilishly delightful mode from earlier.

A brief unison interlude in 12/16 (1:00), followed by consecutive tritones (1:04), leads us to our final sections (1:05) in F♯ Dorian (F♯-G♯-A-B-C♯-D♯-E) due to the basses descent to D♯. Here, the time signature remains its most stable - remaining in 5/8 for over 20s - before we repeat.


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