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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Transcription: "Face Shrine" from Zelda: Link's Awakening HD (2019)

One of my favourite Zelda dungeon themes from the recent "Link's Awakening HD", heard after you begin to learn of the true nature of Koholint Island, now fully transcribed with sheet music and instrumental parts!

If you're after the sheet music for the "Level 6 - Face Shrine" dungeon theme for the 2019 remake of "Link's Awakening", you can find it here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Synthesizer

  • 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 transcription now available to download from your Patreon Google Drive folder!


Arranger's Note:

"A remarkably tragic dungeon theme that reflects how we begin to understand what will happen to Koholint island once we are successful.

The original 1993 version consisted solely of a synthesizer oscillating through various harmonies on a single, monophonic melodic line. From this, Nagamatsu transformed the material into a massive 10-part string orchestra that is gushing with emotion.

The harmony of the 1993 original is kept intact, and so the track begins in C minor (0:03) and quickly travels to the submediant key (6th degree; 0:06) of Ab major, followed quickly but subtly to the subdominant key (4th degree; 0:11) of F minor, and then back to C minor over a pedal of G (0:15), allowing for a final cadence of G major to C minor.

However, this cadence shifts surprisingly to an interrupted cadence, going from G major to Ab major 7th (Ab-C-Eb-G; 0:19), where we would otherwise have expected it to return to the tonic of C minor.

To further decorate these opening 4 bars, the harmony is enhanced with various yearning dissonances such as the augmented 4th (the "D" in the violas of b.2; 0:06) and major 7ths (the "G" in the 2nd violins of b.2; 0:06). These types of harrowing added-note dissonances persist throughout the entire track.

By 0:28, Nagamatsu introduces some faster string material in the 1st violins, now modulating to the relative major of Eb major by 0:32. Although briefly in a major key, the emotion is not that of happiness, but still tragedy, as Nagamatsu maintains various added-note dissonances such as the major 9th (the "F" in the violas of b.8; 0:32).

Towards the end of this phrase, we rest in the key of Ab major which acts harmonically as a Neapolitan 6th chord in the key of G minor (the flattened 2nd degree of G minor; Ab major) which pivots systematically to the dominant key of D major (0:41). At this time, we are also given a seamless clash of false relation tones; an F# against an F-natural (in the low strings and violin I respectively). This is another example of a brutally crushing dissonance that further enhances the tragic-ness of this theme.

At the end of the phrase (b.12; 0:49), we get yet another devastating dissonance of a minor 9th (G vs Ab; in the low strings and violin I respectively), further decorated by the violin Ib's piercing descent downwards as we return to the tonic of C minor (b.13; 0:54).

Now, the opening 12 bars of material repeats (0:54), now with the addition of the full synthesizer material heard in the 1993 original - a perfect celebration of original and remake - which blends beautifully with Nagamatsu's new material."


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