• Jonathan Shaw

New Transcription: "Gusty Garden Galaxy" from Super Mario Galaxy (2007)

A new full sheet music transcription of Gusty Garden Galaxy from "Super Mario Galaxy", complete with sheet music and instrumental part scores.

If you're after the sheet music, score, XML or MIDI for Gusty Garden Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy, you can find links here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • 2 Flutes

  • 2 Oboes

  • 2 Clarinets in Bb

  • 2 Bassoons

  • 4 Horns in F

  • 3 Trumpets in Bb

  • 2 Trombones

  • Bass Trombone

  • Tuba

  • Timpani

  • Snare Drum

  • Harp

  • Acoustic Guitar

  • 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:

"Often considered more iconic than the main theme, Gusty Garden Galaxy opens with a massive major 7th fanfare in octave unison and full tutti (A-C#-E-G#; 0:02), moving from A to B to C# - it's tonal center. This could likewise have been spelled in Db - the enharmonic of C# - but there were far more double flats than there were double sharps, thus C# was easier to read overall (though still a challenge!)

At 0:06, we get a very common harmonic progression for the Mario series: C# - D - E - D (spelled harmonically as I - bii - iii - bii). This progression has familiarities with ethnic music, notably the "Kurd" tetrachord from Arabic Maqam, and also Spanish flamenco. And here, it is now familiar to video game music as well (more often for villainous dungeons or fights).

Rhythmically, we have the common subdivision of 3-3-2 (here often missing out the emphasis on the final 2). This is occasionally substituted for a 3-2-3 subdivision (e.g. 0:17 & 0:23).

By 0:12, the main Gusty theme appears, doubled in violins and an oboe. This melody is wonderfully lyrical with its added-note travelling to major 9ths (e.g. D# at 0:12, G# at 0:15, E# at 0:19, etc.). Harmonically, we travel from I (C#-E#-G#) to IV (F#-A#-C#), dropping down to the relative, D# minor (D#-F#-A#) and follow a circle of 5ths to G# (G#-B#-D#) and back to our tonic (C#) via a perfect cadence, with a playful 6-5 suspension trilling away in the melody (A#-G#).

For the next phrase (0:24), the bass moves down to the dominant chord in 1st inversion (G#-B#-D# over B#) as we move down chromatically to G# minor (G#-B-D#) with a gradually descending sequence in the melody with some excellent extended chords such as augmented 5ths (0:26; A#-C##-F# / Bb-D-F#) and diminished major 7ths (0:30; F#-A-C-E#) to close off the phrase with excitement.

This material is repeated partially at 0:37, now with more instruments. The harmonic difference here is we now have a tonic pedal on C#, lying under a I - II - ii - I harmony. Further, this phrase concludes with some vast rhythmic syncopation (0:57).

We progress into our 2nd section with a solo trumpet (or trombone) with some string and harp accompaniment. The harmony has shifted downward to a rather distant B minor (B-D-F#), alternating with C# for a good 8 measures. At 1:15, we have a tertiary shift down to A major from C#, now with a counter-melody in an oboe as the harmony slowly shifts downward in preparation for the climax.

By 1:22, more instruments are beginning to join, and we reach a remarkable major 7th at 1:25 with a very weak tonic, creating this uncommon yet crushingly effective dissonance as we slip down to G# minor for a partial perfect cadence into the climax with some more rhythmic syncopation.

The strings soar into the climax with a motif from the Super Mario Galaxy main theme alongside a seemingly ad lib. horn counter-melody. Similar to the opening, this motif is based on major 9ths (C#-E#-G#-D#), but here also major 7ths (1:32; F#-A#-C#-E#).

This motif is repeated in a tutti fanfare at 1:41, now with a different harmony which involves the surprising minor 9th chord (1:48; A#-C##-E#-B / Bb-D-F-Cb), as we finally rest in the tonic (1:54; C#) and return to the opening progression of C# - D - E - D as we loop.

For some trivia (which might ruin the track forever, be warned!), there is a mistake on the official recording, heard here at 1:00:


In the bass descent, either the bassoons or cellos don't move to B-natural, causing a semitonal clash of B+C.

(I also transcribed the string bowings from this official performance, so they're pretty accurate)"

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