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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Shaw

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

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

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

This includes individual part scores for:

  • Full Score

  • Percussion I

  • Percussion II

  • Drum Set

  • Harp

  • Piano

  • Reversed Piano

  • Synth Bass

  • Synth Pad

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:

"The vast Valak Mountain, located on the Bionis' right arm, is one of the largest, most spacious areas of Xenoblade Chronicles. A cold, snowy tundra littered with thin, icy ridges and scattered hot springs - what music should accompany this?

Here, the track begins in solitude: a chilly solo piano - at least for a few moments - before a drum kit cymbals emerges out of the blizzard with a stable, quasi-improvised rhythm, as if imitating small steamy hisses from the hot springs and geysers. These two instruments complement each other - alone, for quite some time.

Harmonically, the track has an ambiguous opening (0:03) - a sort of G minor / Eb major spelled out by the piano's G-Eb-D-Bb melodies - but by 0:19, we get a more familiar chordal progression: Ab - Fm - Cm. Now the tonal center is clear - C minor (C-Eb-G; 0:28).

At 0:35, distant percussion is added, echoing in the extremes of the right and left audio channels and providing rhythmically syncopated dissonance against the hitherto static cymbal 16th-note material. Is there a meaning behind such a sudden dissonance? Only epic tales will tell! But personally, I imagine these new percussion instruments as if clumps of snow were falling afresh from overhanging cliffs surrounding the party.

By 0:52, we progress to the main section of the track with new instruments, although still remarkably sparse. The introduction that came prior (0:03 - 0:51) is never heard again. This new section is most characterized by its chords: Cm - D diminished - G minor 7th - F minor 7th (0:52 - 1:00). This progression is yearning deeply for something, and perhaps it receives it at 1:09 with a plagal cadence into the distant key of Bb minor (Bb-Db-F), acting as a plagal pivot to the subdominant - F minor (F-Ab-C; 1:13).

Here (1:13), we get another addition - a reversed piano, almost as if the music is reflecting off of the rocky cliffs and echoing back a response. By 1:16, some extreme progressions occur: we get an abrupt tertiary shift from Eb into Gb (Gb-Bb-Db; 1:21) - arguably the most distant chord from our tonic of C minor (a tritone away). In so short a space of time, we have traveled incredibly far, harmonically, which could be representative of the map's vast expanse and ability to swiftly traverse via icy slides.

After 4 measures (1:09 - 1:25), we expect a repeat of the material - which we get nearly half of (Bb minor to F minor; 1:25). But then we disrupt this regular phrasing with a cadence in Eb major (1:33) - the relative of C minor. But we don't stay for long, as we travel once more to Gb major via a distant tertiary shift (1:38), then back to Eb (1:42) and again up to Gb (1:46).

From here (1:50), we step chromatically upwards into G minor (G-Bb-D) - a progression that works seamlessly due to the shared note, Bb. Following this is an alternation of G minor and Ab major 9th (Ab-C-Eb-G-Bb) with a new addition of a twinkling triangle.

But at 2:06, a huge shift occurs; for the first time, the drum cymbals cease, and the piano is left nearly in isolation, saved only by bare 5ths in a harp. We have returned to our tonic, but quickly fall into a surprising A-diminished 7th (A-C-Eb-F#; 2:19) with an additional beat, slipping downward via good voice leading into Ab.

Here (2:24), we get a reference to the introduction's Ab - Fm - Cm progression, now extended as the piano suddenly finds itself alone (2:32). And as we reach the end, the piano starts to drift out of sync with the drum cymbals (2:48) as if losing its way, before referencing more introduction material (2:53) to prepare for the repeat.

Throughout ACE+ have successfully managed to capture the vastness of the Valak Mountains and what it is like to traverse them.

Trivia: This track has an identical tempo marking to "Satorl Marsh (Night)" (*Cue conspiracies*)"


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