March 29, 2009
In my first Cruise Elroy post I argued that the real legacy of Super Smash Bros. Brawl is its curatorial treatment of Nintendo’s history. It’s high time we peeked inside that museum, and where better to start than with the music?
Here’s the beginning of the Ocarina of Time medley, arranged especially for Brawl:
The two main pieces excerpted here are, of course, “Zelda’s Lullaby” and “Song of Storms,” but right now I want to talk about this little transitory section:
There are actually references to three additional Ocarina songs embedded in this ten-second sample. Let’s dig them out.
First is the coda from “Minuet of Forest”:
Compare 0:08 in “Minuet” with the beginning of the transition section above; the melody from measures 5-6 is played twice. You may notice that the second instance is higher in pitch than the first; this is what music theorists call a sequence.
The second piece is “Bolero of Fire”:
Compare 0:05 in the transition above to the opening motive in “Bolero.” The context is different and the specific intervals have changed; however, the piece is still identifiable because it maintains the same melodic contour and is similarly sequential.
The third reference involves that quick piano snippet at 0:09 — t’s a passing allusion to the piano ostinato in the Ocarina boss battle theme:
The medley ups the tempo significantly, but the allusion is unmistakable — both feature the same chromatic descent, in the same range, on the same instrument.
More to come on Brawl music as I discover more of its nooks and crannies. (If you’d like to read more about Ocarina of Time music, head into the archives!)