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Phils Game Music Findings # 38 - The Young Esper And The Sea


Greetings fellow game music lovers,

as so often, we return to Nobuo Uematsu and his works. I was sad to here these days that he has more or less retired from composing game soundtracks entirely due to recurring health problems:


Which gives us all the more reason to revisit some of the great tunes he has composed for us over the years. Today's topic is a particularly famous one, the theme for the character "Terra" from Final Fantasy VI (1994), which also is the music on the main world map:

It has often been noted, that the first 5 notes of the tune have an uncanny resemblance to a similar sequence in Charles-Valentin Alkan's 'La chanson de la folle au bord de la mer' (1847):

This is not a problem per se. It is commonly accepted in the music scene that reusing motifs from other songs is honorable as long as you add something meaningful to it. Sometimes, the additions become even more famous than the original. Like, how many people remember versions of "All Along The Watchtower" before Jimi Hendrix added his psychedelic flair? Or the A1 version of Take On Me that sent the pitch of the refrain to unprecedent heights? You can definitively say, that Uematsu did a lot more with the basic riff than the previous song, which never really moves that far away from its original note combination.

Now why I'm writing this is that I found a sample in the song "Tired World - Chapter 6" from the Canadian progressive rock band "Saga" from 1978 that I feel is a tick closer to the FF6 version than the Alkan version from the overall flow:

 I need to move closer to the sea too or I will combust from heat.

Phil out of mind

Update 20/08/2020:

Interesting addition from Nico Dostals Operetta "Die Vielgeliebte" from 1934:

- https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PhilsPhindings/ https://www.reddit.com/user/PhilsPhindings

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About PhilsPhindingsone of us since 5:50 PM on 01.21.2019