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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

The Final Beacon | Golden Sun | Orchestral Cover

The Doom Dragon is defeated; the final lighthouse lit, and our journey is finally at its end. Come hear an orchestral arrangement of one of the final themes from Golden Sun: The Lost Age, "The Final Beacon", originally composed by Motoi Sakuraba.

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

  • Panpipes

  • Piccolo

  • Flute I. II.

  • Alto Flute

  • Oboe I. II.

  • Clarinet in Bb I. II.

  • Bassoon I. II.

  • Horn in F I. II.

  • Trumpet in Bb I. II.

  • Trombone I. II.

  • Bass Trombone

  • Tuba

  • Timpani

  • Bass Drum

  • Suspended Cymbal

  • Glockenspiel

  • Marimba

  • Piano

  • Celesta

  • Harp

  • 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:

We did it - the last beacon has been ignited. So what would be a fitting theme to use to musically mark this occasion?

Sakuraba aptly chooses to score a variation of the Golden Sun Main Theme ("Prologue (Book One)") for this, albeit a more doleful variation rather than the upbeat, march-like original. Why make this change? Well, narratively, we've just defeated the Doom Dragon (which turned out to be our parents - long-thought dead, now quite probably dead), and the last lighthouse has been lit (which we had originally set out to prevent happening). It's a rather unexpected turn of events resulting in a remarkably solemn moment.

Whereas the main theme is in A major, here we commence in A minor (A-C-E), with a slow statement of the theme played by Sakuraba's favourite panpipes. Accompanying this is the (Golden Sun trademarked) echoing arpeggios in various mallet percussion.

Harmonically, we are descending (as if deflated by the situation), progressing chromatically downwards until we hit the dominant (the fifth; here E). But Sakuraba does not stop there; he steps further down to D♯ - a Tritone interval ("Devil in Music", e.g. A to D♯) - spelling out an unstable diminished 7th chord (D♯-F♯-A-C). Additional chords include an Augmented 6th chord (G♯-C-E; 0:06) and Major 7ths (F-A-C-E; 0:23). This use of chords creates a crushingly sombre aesthetic. To complement this, I introduced string harmonies that gradually emerge (0:17).

As the section repeats (0:29), I developed the orchestration; shifting the melody to flutes & oboes, adding a countermelody in the clarinet, all of which encircled by devastating string harmonies.

The "B" section commences at 0:54 as we modulate into the sub-mediant (chord VI; here F major) via a Diminished 7th. Here, the latter part of the main theme appears (still in its grave state) in the strings, flutes & horns, all in octaves. This is accompanied by soft brass and string chords; a warmer timbre. I made the decision to remove the arpeggiating percussion from this section so that it had more impact when it returns in the following section.

As this section closes (1:09), we get a big dominant chord (chord V; here E), expecting a dramatic return to the tonic of A minor via a perfect cadence. Instead, we get a glorious interrupted cadence (chord V to VI; here E to F) which diverts this expectation and brings us a repeat of the "B" section.

Here, I treated this as the emotional climax of the track and orchestrated accordingly: the melody is doubled in a further octave by piccolo, additional wind countermelodies are added, a choir emerges, all topped off with development of the opening arpeggiating percussion material, now twinkling high above.

This drops down at 1:22 as we prepare for the repeat back to the beginning (where the orchestration is notably smaller), reintroducing the panpipes to smoothen this transition as well as adding a fermata (a brief pause) at the end of the track (1:31) to further mark this loop point.


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