Listening Log

The Dragonborn Comes – Jeremy Soule

Today, I would like to talk about A very short piece of music. As a younger adult living with my parents back in the day, I would waste countless hours playing video games. I only appreciate now, as the video games have become such massive projects, how advanced some of the soundtracks can be.

Without knowing the piece someone could be forgiven for easily mistaking a video game soundtrack for a piece of film music with big bold brass or the delicate but effective timbre of strings only set an octave apart. This sort of scoring features quite heavily in the adventuring gamers world accompanied by vast virtual landscapes which can be, stunning!

However, this piece is only side tracked and it is not quite complex as a vastly scored main theme or the crashing of drums in a dangerous scene sequence or mission. However it has the medieval kind of sound that I really love and enjoy listening to.

The Dragonborn Comes, performed by malukah, Composed by Jeremy Soule

As I hear this piece I am drawn to it, my ear tells me it is in C# minor. It is quite easily sung by any character in the game which tells me maybe the range is accessible to both male and female voices. I prefer the timbre of a females voice when this piece is sung. THis makes me thing, Maybe it is in the range of an alto or contra alto? I certainly think a soprano may struggle with some of the notes.

The harmony sounds really quite simple, maybe only based on two chords? That makes me think it could be I and V so C# and G# However, it does not have the anchoring feeling of V and I it always seems to return home without wandering as far as G# this makes me think then that the second chord could be VII. THe melody rarely wanders to far astray and before it goes too far it goes down to the note before C# and the phrase is ended VII to I every time. I hear a change in the second verse of this song, it does go up to the V of G# I think that might just be adeded for interest in the song “For the darkness has passed and the legend yet grows.” An uplift from the VII and I to the V, for some uplifting lyrics perhaps?

Different characters in this game sing it differently so I can not anchor down it’s bar measures. I have a feeling it could be in 5/4 or 6/4 it depends on the length of the pauses between phrases. I prefer 5/4 however. This seems to contain more of a consistent flow perhaps that’s just a musical preference or an attention span problem? One beat, I feel is a good number, two beats rest at a slow tempo, in my opinion, interrupts the story. However in the included embedded video from Will of D I feel this is a 6/4 performance however in a quicker tempo than in game.

I have referenced this particular piece in my 4th assignment, I felt that I should maybe explain as to why it is that I chose this piece and how it influenced the work I did in assignment 4. This piece did have a direct impact on that assignment as It is in the Key I like, The phrasing flows nicely as it never flows too far astray from home. It only has one leap up to V for an uplifting part of the song, “for the darkness has passed and the legend yet grows” It is a line that is worthy of the lift. I think Jeremy Soule did a fantastic job on the whole soundtrack, however, this particular song really did stand out above the whole fantastic soundtrack. I think the reason for that is mostly personal preference, IT has that medieval feel and it is in C# minor, I like the lyrics to.

Reference

The Dragonborn comes – Jeremy Soul performed by Malukah.

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