Shared February 8, 2016
UPDATE: Download the sheet music and orchestral track here
If enough people want sheet music, I might be compelled to make them. Anyway for my next Undertale track, I chose to arrange one of the more emotional pieces in the game. Even though I am a pianist, I am very cautious about using the piano in orchestrations because it can sound very cliche. The majority of piano arrangements I hear are simply the right hand playing the melody and the left hand doing either chords or arpeggios of the chords. Satisfying enough for the layman, but drives me crazy listening to them, and I'm guilty of doing that too. It takes a lot of work to make an arrangement that's dynamic and fun to play.
The original track consists of a piano playing solo, and then joined by instrumentals for the second half. The latter half is extremely repetitive: I counted a total of eight repititions of the same phrase. To make it more interesting, I decided to go with three playthroughs of the melody, with the orchestral portion considerably shortened.
First playthrough - I kept the solo piano part mostly unchained note-wise. In my performance, I added lots more dynamics and sustains to really bring out the soul of the melody. The orchestra part is also pretty straightforward.
Second playthrough - Here's where I really dissect the piece to better understand how the music fits in the game. The chords and harmonies used in the solo portion closely resembles impressionism era music from composers like Debussy. The way the melody seems to drift away and change its mind helps to enforce the idea of the protagonist's loneliness. Makes sense as this is the same melody used in the beginning of the game. The melody in the orchestral portion is more conventional, and the way it just comes in suddenly (just like in the original track) is a great way to stir the emotions of the listener. The encouragement from all the side characters is punctuated by the warm strings playing in harmony.
Third playthrough - I originally planned for an even longer and crazier solo piano cadenza, but it was sounding a bit too much of a departure from the original track. The way I have the piano get more fast and intense, is like how the protagonist responds to her prior defeat to flowey and subsequent encouragement from everyone else. Because she was a pacifist in her journey, she can rest assured her ultimate battle will not be fought alone. All these articulations I used are heavily derived from stuff by Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff.
MP3 and FLAC available for Patrons. ► https://www.patreon.com/thesecondnarr...
Original Song composed by toby fox
Arrangement and fan art by Jeremiah Sun
Undertale is available on Steam
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