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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

Feeling Lucky | Golden Sun | Orchestral Cover

Time to sit back, relax, and roll some dice with this jazz arrangement of the Lucky Dice / Lucky Medal mini-game music, also doubling as the lobby music for the battle mode.

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

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 go-to jazz track in Golden Sun, this accompanies the various mini-games throughout the game, such as Lucky Dice / Lucky Medal Fountains as well as the background music for the link battle lobby. So what does Sakuraba use to create a jazzy atmosphere?

Instrumentation-wise, the original gives us a drum kit & walking bass maintaining the rhythmic and harmonic anchors respectively. A brassy stab punctuates the chord in a syncopated (off-beat) way on occasion. And all are underpinning an improvisatory soloist on top (panpipes).

As such, when orchestrating I decided to use a small jazz ensemble to complement this: a saxophone soloist (replacing the panpipes for more accessibility), a muted brass group, drums and other small percussion, a new piano soloist, and an upright bass (replacing the bass guitar for a more club-like feel). This new instrumentation therefore shifts closer to classic jazz orchestration as if you were having drinks at a bar with a live band on stage.

Harmonically, we remain very simple: oscillating between E major and D major. This allows for the soloist to easily improvise their own material by following these familiar chords. To decorate this, Sakuraba uses added-note chords (chords with notes that go beyond the triad), such as 9ths (D-F♯-A-E; found in the panpipes/saxophone at 0:17) and 6ths (E-G♯-B-C♯; found also in the panpipes/saxophone at 0:06). These added-note chords are particularly characteristic of jazz through the blurring of the tonality.

Further evidence of jazz can be found directly with the cymbals of the drum kit, which are playing the familiar jazz swing rhythm / ride cymbal pattern (dotted: DUN, dun-dun DUN, dun-dun DUN) which is predominant in jazz repertoire, as (of course) are all of the solos: saxophone at 0:04 - 0:28, trumpet at 0:28 - 0:41, and piano at 0:41 - 0:53.

My main addition to this track is the piano, which adds a quasi-improvised accompaniment throughout in addition to its own solo at 0:41, and also a little ending to conclude the track properly (1:43), where I also construct various added-note chords and some false relations (playing the same note with 2 or more accidentals at the same time; here, C and C♯) before concluding on a massive E9 add6 chord (E-G♯-B-C♯-F♯).

(P.S. I don't wanna transcribe jazz solos anymore lmao)


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