Featuring Zelda 3 - A Link to the Past, Jazz/Funk and Baroque.
Greetings fellow game music lovers,
before my vacation and to end summer for good, I decided to have a look at one of the more famous tunes from Nintendo's library: Zelda's Lullaby from the 1991 game "Zelda 3 - A Link to the Past" which brought Zelda back to it's top-down view format after its short fling with a sidescrolling gameplay in Zelda 2 - The Adventure of Link:
For better comparison of the samples, I will try to transcribe the song via counting. For me it sounds like:
"One-two-three a-hand One-two-three One-two-three-four-five-six-and-seven"
A popular opinion that made its way around the web in past years was that the song was influenced by Mort Garson from his 1976 "Mother Earth's Plantasia" album - "Concerto For Philodendron & Pothos":
As far as I can tell, the song follows Zeldas lullaby for the section "One-two-three a-hand one-two" then goes into a different direction. But can we do better? I'd like to have a look at two genres which, if we consider Kondos other work, had great influence on his music: Funk and Baroque.
It is common knowledge in the Mario community that Koji Kondo has a knack for jazz / funk related genres as most evident in the World 1-2 music of the original Super Mario Bros. and the Super Mario Bros. main theme. So let's see if we can dig up anything there.
A structure comparable to the "One-two-three a-hand one-two-three" appears in multiple funk songs. Some examples:
Rick James - Slow And Easy Interlude (1986):
Another one, this time by a japanese artist:
Hiroshi Kubota - "True Love" (1988):
As a bonus, a maybe more complete sample by a japanese jazz artist:
Yasuaki Shimizu - "Summer Time" (1979):
My favored theory at the moment is that the progression goes back to a certain sequence of notes that goes back to at least the Baroque era. Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
First we have a tune by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who is technically from the classic era but whose early works were still influenced a lot by baroque:
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Sonata KV7 - Allegro molto, Adagio, Minuetto I e II :
Also in KV7.
Antonio Vivaldi - "Concerto for Oboe and Violin in B-flat major", RV 548:
George Friedrich Händel: "Water Music Suite No. 3 in G major," HWV 350:
There are also comparable progressions in works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Arcangelo Corelli.
For the next two weeks I'm on vacation and this time I really have to take a little bit off. See you in two weeks for the next Final Fantasy series!