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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Transcription: "Title Theme" from Zelda: Link's Awakening HD (2019)

To transcribe some more of the recent "Link's Awakening HD", here is one of the first tracks you will ever here, setting the aesthetic of the game nicely with a "Title Theme".

If you're after the sheet music for the "Title Theme" for the 2019 remake of "Link's Awakening", you can find it here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Piccolo

  • Flute

  • Soprano Recorder

  • Oboe

  • Clarinet in Bb

  • Bass Clarinet in Bb

  • Bassoon

  • Sizzle Cymbal

  • Suspended Cymbal

  • Drum and Stick

  • Wind Chimes

  • Synthesizer Voice

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:

"With this being a "Zelda Title Theme", we expect a grand over-the-top orchestral explosion of adventurous sound, preparing us for the most incredible gaming experience yet made! ... Which makes the surprise all the more accentuated when we find this is not the case.

Following an overall aesthetic of "cutesy-ness", Nagamatsu has orchestrated the original track using predominantly a woodwind septet. Woodwind instruments are perhaps the most delicate of the orchestral instruments (outside of perhaps solo strings), and the additional use of a recorder on the main melody (0:23) complements the cute aesthetic due to the recorder instrument being one often taught to children at European schools.

The track begins with an introductory segment in F major, the dominant key of Bb major - the key in which the main "Zelda" theme first begins at 0:23. Thus, this introductory segment is one large dominant pedal preparing us audibly for a perfect cadence shift into B-flat major, which we eventually receive at 0:21.

This introductory segment also has some subtle allusions to the "Ballad of the Wind Fish" through the use of ascending parallel 4ths (Oboe at b.3-5; 0:07), which are similarly present in the "Ballad".Also some tips for orchestrators; at b.4 (0:09) you will notice the orchestral technique of "dove-tailing" in the clarinet and bassoon, whereby two instruments seamlessly transition between one another by ending their phrase with the beginning of another instrument's phrase (e.g. the clarinet concludes on an F, where the bassoon also starts on an F on the same beat).

By 0:23, the "Zelda" theme that we all know and love finally sounds, this time with an adorable melody on the recorder, alongside some almost comedic "um-pah" syncopated accompaniment from the clarinet and flute, further adding to the childish aesthetic. As if chasing one another, the oboe quickly echoes the opening melodic statement from the recorder (0:24).

There is not too much else to analyze after that; it remains quite faithful to the "Zelda" theme, until we get to 0:50. Here, we get a surprising tonal modulation into D major (or Ebb Major, but that would be trickier to read) - a tertiary modulation from Bb major. The conclusion must be drawing near!

Becoming grander, the clarinet makes a virtuosic 2-octave scale sweep, as the other instruments decorate the sharpened Phrygian-4th note (A# in the key of E Phrygian; E-F#-G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E), and we slowly climb from D major up to F# major - another exciting tertiary shift - with some final harmonic chromaticism into G major before resting on F# major - an incredible distance from our original tonic of Bb major!"


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