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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

New Transcription: "Valak Mountain" from Xenoblade Chronicles (2010)

A new full sheet music transcription of Valak Mountain from "Xenoblade Chronicles", complete with sheet music and instrumental part scores.

If you're after the sheet music or score for the Valak Mountain from Xenoblade Chronicles, you can find it here!

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • Flute

  • 2 Alto Flutes

  • Oboe

  • Acoustic Guitar I

  • Acoustic Guitar II

  • Acoustic Guitar III

  • Acoustic Guitar IV

  • Glockenspiel

  • Harp

  • Harpsichord

  • Celesta

  • Synthesizer

  • 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:

"Out of the entire Xenoblade OST, only a few of the environment tracks have vastly different day and night versions - "Valak Mountain" here is one of them, having very little in common with its "Night" version.

Here, the track opens with soft and somber guitars outlining D minor (D-F-A; 0:02), with a pleasing alternation with the submediant - Bb major (Bb-D-F; 0:05). This alternation occurs often throughout the track.

From this thin opening, the track slowly expands with more guitars, adding some soft semitonal dissonances and rhythmic syncopation for further interest (0:09), as well as alto flutes (could also be regular flutes) beginning their sparse ostinato (0:14). And then, a harp steps in to provide some bass resonance (0:19), also outlining semitonal dissonances with its E appearing underneath a Bb major chord (E against Bb-D-F = F to E semitonal dissonance).

By 0:26, our first melody appears in the oboe; a wonderfully simple phrase that yearns tragically as it outlines a D minor chord (D-F-E; 0:26) and an implied diminished 7th / major-minor 9th (A-C#-E-G-Bb; 0:31) before resolving to the tonic of D minor via a good old perfect cadence (0:34). This phrase repeats identically (0:37 - 0:49), with a slight overhang from the oboe.

The accompaniment instruments continue in soft isolation (0:49 - 1:01) playing the opening D minor / Bb major alternation. At 1:01, there is a mild disturbance to the meter with a short pause (or "fermata"). This is the only metric dissonance in the entire track and marks the entry of several new instruments.

At 1:02, the prior oboe phrase is repeated, now doubled on a harpsichord (a rather antique instrument, invoking an aesthetic of oldness and richness - like mountains). Additionally, we now have a dedicated bass part - a contrabass pizzicato.

After repeating the earlier oboe phrases, we get an expansion of the phrase at 1:25 with a progression into the subdominant chord, G minor (G-Bb-D) - the first appearance of what should be one of the most commonly used chords in Western harmony, appearing nearly 1.5 minutes in (a remarkably slow development paralleling the slow development of mountains).

Here, a soft string ensemble also enters, quietly providing a secure chordal backing to the harmony, which quickly resolves back to D minor via another perfect cadence (A to Dm; 1:28). Then after a fleeting passage through Bb - Gm - A/Dm - Dm, we rest the phrase on a short dominant pedal (A major; A-C#-E; 1:39), which aurally prepares us for a return to the tonic of D minor, as we have heard previously.


Instead, we get an extreme tritonal shift into Eb major (Eb-G-Bb; 1:47) from A major. This abrupt shift comes out of nowhere, and is one of the most unique characteristic of this track.

The melody is now doubled in not just the oboe and harpsichord, but also a soft flute, bright glockenspiel, and soaring violins. The alto flute ostinato shifts its rhythms, and an additional pizzicato is added.

Harmonically, we slip down from Eb to D (1:50), then acting as a perfect cadence into the subdominant - G minor (1:54). Following this is a surprising Dorian progression into C major (C-E-G; 1:56), quickly followed by a tertiary shift up to Eb major (2:00), falling again to D. Here, again the perfect cadence is subverted with a Gm 6th chord (G-Bb-D-E), signalling a repeat of the entire phrase (2:11 - 2:34).

The repeat is not exact, as the melody changes briefly (2:17), and we finally get our perfect cadence resolution to G minor (2:28).

Then, every instrument is silenced except for a lone celesta in D minor (2:34), somewhat resembling the bare harp 5th chords from the "Night" version. Then, the previous Eb phrases repeat with added string material (2:58).

Finally, the track concludes in G minor, and repeats with a gorgeous plagal cadence into D minor (3:44)."


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