Jump to content


Photo

Final Fantasy Music Theory


78 replies to this topic

#1 Spamtr0n

Spamtr0n

    Shizz Captain

  • lurk more.
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,030 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:34 PM

I made this thread because I've started to analyze the music of FF6 / FF7 and the other games. I am noticing some common musical "devices" that Nobuo uses. These include key changes where it goes from a minor key (like A minor for a few bars) up a minor third to a minor key on that note (like C minor).
He also does a lot of dramatic things with tritone/flat5 + minor 6 (like in Sephiroth's theme).

So, this is a music theory geek thread for discussing the style of composition used in Final Fantasy games. Commence nerdy discussion.

Please mention any common techniques he uses in terms of rhythm and harmony/melody etc.
  • 0

#2 kareshi

kareshi

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,351 posts

Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:41 PM

I'll start by saying the opening to the Wedding Waltz in FF6 has parallel octaves on the first two opening notes of the melody (against the bassline)

I should be full of FF6/7 theory given that I've played most of them on piano in some form, but I can't think too hard right now

I shall return to this thread
  • 0
Reading: "Don Quixote" by Cervantes

#3 IBBIAZ

IBBIAZ

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,107 posts
  • Location:Boston, MA

Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:47 PM

I don't know theory about any of his music, but I'm just posting to say that I fully support this thread so that I may steal cool ideas.
  • 0
Posted Image

#4 Guest_Wicked Foolishness_*

Guest_Wicked Foolishness_*
  • Guests

Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:55 PM

I, too, support this thread although I can't add much off the top of my head. I actually bought sheet music for the FF7 soundtrack (my overall favorite VG soundtrack) for this purpose, to learn from Nobuo moreso than learn to play all the songs, but I have yet to really dig into it hardcore. By all means, keep this thread alive.
  • 0

#5 Paragon

Paragon

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,313 posts
  • Location:The Catacombs of Dracula's Castle, NY

Posted 01 May 2007 - 08:59 PM

I remember reading something that said (for at least FF1) his goal was to write catchy, hummable melodies and then add classical-sounding accompaniment.
  • 0

#6 Arm Cannon

Arm Cannon

    Shizz Master Zero

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 6,736 posts
  • Location:Bonerland

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:00 PM

I made this thread because I've started to analyze the music of FF6 / FF7 and the other games. I am noticing some common musical "devices" that Nobuo uses. These include key changes where it goes from a minor key (like A minor for a few bars) up a minor third to a minor key on that note (like C minor).
He also does a lot of dramatic things with tritone/flat5 + minor 6 (like in Sephiroth's theme).

So, this is a music theory geek thread for discussing the style of composition used in Final Fantasy games. Commence nerdy discussion.

Please mention any common techniques he uses in terms of rhythm and harmony/melody etc.

That A minor to C minor thing is specifically used in Still More Fighting, and it works because it's diminished, and a diminished scale is repetitive like wholetone, so it doesn't really matter where your home is.

Chromatics in Sephiroth = evil, specifically flat 5.

I dunno I've only noticed some rhythmic similarities with his music.
  • 0

#7 XMark

XMark

    Sleeveless

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,199 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, BC

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:16 PM

I remember reading something that said (for at least FF1) his goal was to write catchy, hummable melodies and then add classical-sounding accompaniment.


I can definitely see all the way through his scores through the final fantasy games that he puts a lot of emphasis on simple but powerful melodies.
  • 0
The ARC Legacy demo is coming soon!
http://abstract-productions.net/

#8 Sam

Sam

    Sleeveless

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13,992 posts
  • Location:McHenry, IL

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:46 PM

I don't know theory about any of his music, but I'm just posting to say that I fully support this thread so that I may steal cool ideas.

Bifecta'd.

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight
  • 0

you will die of sodium poisoning before you ever take me with enough grains of salt.


Perhaps the same can be said of all birth control. But enough posting- have at you!


#9 pingosimon

pingosimon

    Shizz Overlord

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 16,417 posts
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:54 PM

Examples of changing keys a third away? I remember FF7 Still More fighting. Gau's Theme seems to start in E major, then shift to C# minor (ending with C# major from a picardy third), but I'd analyze the whole thing as being one very long chord progression in C#m.

I think it's amazing how in the ending of FF6 he combines Locke's Theme with Celes' Theme. It makes me wonder if he planned that, or figured it out later.

All theory aside (and/or included) the ending to FF6 is nothing short of a masterpiece.

Oh I just thought of another key change by 3rd: Zozo.

Someday I'd like to analzye the Serpent Trench song from FF6.

I think a lot of FF7's uniqueness is in the jazzy chords.
  • 0

#10 Din

Din

    Shizz Captain

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,012 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 02:27 AM

I've met Nobuo

True story
  • 0

#11 Spamtr0n

Spamtr0n

    Shizz Captain

  • lurk more.
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,030 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:11 AM

Yeah, I was actually thinking about those minor 3rd key changes in Still More Fighting and Zozo when I wrote that.

Can you guys think of some other different devices that he uses a lot?

Armcannon: yeah man, the flattened 5th is badass. I think he uses it in the Phantom Train music, too, am I right?

I still am in shock that Din met Huelsbeck and Nobuo... I guess great minds meet eachother IRL LOL!
  • 0

#12 Emptyeye

Emptyeye

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,976 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 04:30 AM

Maybe it's me, but I can't help but hear a lot of classic/progressive rock influence in some of his stuff. For instance, the boss battle theme in FFVII reminds me a bit of "Foreplay" by Boston, the battle theme in FFIX seems to want to segue into Rush's "Distant Early Warning" (After all those opening As in the lead, I naturally want to do "DAAAAAA, DA! DAAAAAAAA, DA! DA!" DEW style), while the same game's boss battle music has a Tom Sawyer vibe partway through it (This one's a bit harder to hear, being 4/4 all the way through versus the 7/8 in Tom Sawyer's solo).

Has anyone else heard stuff like this?
  • 0

#13 Kirby Pufocia

Kirby Pufocia

    Shizz JediMaster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,752 posts
  • Location:Harrisburg, PA

Posted 02 May 2007 - 05:11 AM

FFVII's battle theme (toward the bridge) reminds me of the Battle of Evermore (The Zep, if you're not hip enough to know).
  • 0

#14 buttsauce

buttsauce

    Pimpin

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 585 posts

Posted 02 May 2007 - 06:34 AM

any chance we can turn this thread around and make into a discussion of the music theory of Bayou Billy? k thanks guys.
  • 1
*formerly flashpan*

#15 XMark

XMark

    Sleeveless

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,199 posts
  • Location:Vancouver, BC

Posted 02 May 2007 - 08:56 AM

How 'bout a Bobby Prince music theory thread?
1) Rip off an existing metal song
2) Transpose it through the blues progression
3) Profit!!!
  • 0
The ARC Legacy demo is coming soon!
http://abstract-productions.net/



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users