• Jonathan Shaw

New Transcription: "Gaur Plains" from Xenoblade Chronicles (2010)

A new full sheet music transcription of the iconic and grand Gaur Plain (or Gaur Plains) from "Xenoblade Chronicles", complete with sheet music and instrumental part scores.

If you're after the sheet music or score for the "Gaur Plain" or "Gaur Plains" from Xenoblade Chronicles, you can find it here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • 2 Flutes

  • Oboe

  • Drum Set

  • Suspended Cymbal

  • Tambourine

  • Finger Snapping or Clapping

  • SFX 01

  • SFX 02

  • Piano or Synth

  • Harp

  • Acoustic Guitar I

  • Acoustic Guitar II

  • Bass Guitar

  • 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:

"One of the earliest environment tracks in Xenoblade, Gaur Plain opens with a massive G minor passage offset by some exciting rhythmic syncopation in the drums and acoustic guitar. This immediately invokes a sense of grandeur and scale suitable for the most expansive environment yet.

To create further excitement, several tertiary modulations are used (a common progression found often in heroic film scores, e.g. the "Fellowship Theme" from Lord of the Rings), such as Gm to Bb (G-Bb-D to Bb-D-F) in the first two measures. By the 3rd measure, we slip seamlessly through a Dorian progression into C major (0:07; C-E-G) as we jump to another tertiary progression (C-E-G to Eb-G-Bb), and fall down to the dominant chord (in its minor variation) to complete the phrase with a partial perfect cadence (0:10; Dm to Gm).

This small use of modality (the Dorian mode; a human creation) reminds us that we are still in the land of the Bionis - the home of the "Homs" (or "Humans").

After a repeat of the opening phrase, we progress via an interrupted cadence (chord V to VI; Dm to Eb) into the subdominant key (chord IV; Eb) of the relative major (Bb; 0:19). Here, the first main melodic material appears in the flutes and violins outlining an Eb Lydian modality (Eb-F-G-A-Bb-C-D-Eb) - again, more modal usage - as we fall via a plagal cadence into the relative major - Bb (Bb-D-F; 0:24). Note some little "call and response" exchanges between the violins and harp (0:24).

This progression repeats but with the plagal cadence replaced by an upward tertiary shift into the relative minor (the opening Gm tonality; G-Bb-D; 0:32). Afterwards, the initial plagal progression is repeated, but at 0:45 we take a detour through E diminished 7th (E-G-Bb-C#) in order to reach the dominant chord (chord V; D) of the initial key (Gm).

To mark this abrupt shift back to the relative minor, the 4-bar regular phrasing is reduced to 3 bars (m.21-23) and we get the iconic booming drums of 0:49.

Now, we are back into G minor (0:51). Here, we follow an interesting progression from Gm to Ab to D. This Ab could function as a partial Neapolitan 6th progression (I - bii - V : Gm - Ab - D) - a very traditional Baroque progression. Otherwise, the phrase is quite typical and is repeated again at 1:08.

More tertiary progressions occur at 1:25 and 1:34, also with an interesting major-minor clash (with an F in the harp but an F# in the strings at 1:33) - yet it works seamlessly! When we reach 1:42, the opening section (0:21 - 1:25) repeats nearly in full, with the melodic line now in 3rds and some slight changes to other material.

At 2:47, a new, darker section emerges with some twisted tertiary shifts into the submediant (chord VI; Eb; Eb-G-Bb) in its minor version (Eb-Gb-Bb) and by 3:20, we briefly relax in the relative major (Bb). But not for long, as once again the regular 4-bar phrasing is interrupted with an additional 2 measures (3:46) as we outline a massive major 9th chord (Eb-G-Bb-D-F) and progress into F major (3:50) with reference to the opening string material (3:58), readying for the loop point.

Trivia: A lot of these features return in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for its sister track - "Gormott" - also written by ACE+."

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© 2020 Jonathan Shaw