The Valencian Philharmonic

T

he home of the ruthless clockwork empire and our own Diego the Duelmaster. Valencia was once a land of pristine culture and beauty until the clockworks came onto the scene.
 
This is best shown through the music of Valencia. Elegant classical instruments such as the piano and strings identify the culture. Played in a tense style, they represent the threat of The Armada to our pirate.

Tense Theme

You may receive this music scroll from fishing in the Amber Estate, the Fire House, the Polarian Shipwreck, or The Acropolis

The intrada is unique and notable for its thin texture. Only the piano and high strings begin before the lower instruments join in, creating rhythmic contrast. We are next greeted with an arpeggio that has the same melodic contour as Skull Island’s Main Theme at 0:07 seconds.
 
Changing instrumentation and mood, the music develops alongside the story. This maintains the spirit of adventure. The music leads us to the idea of the strings and piano repeating one another in a game-like fashion.
 
In the next section at 0:25 seconds the beat is emphasised with bass and snare, like a military march. This is intentional and reminds us of Valencia’s dominant military power.
 
The next section at 0:50 seconds brings us back to Skull Island. The music paints the adventure of being a pirate in the lion’s den, with a choir sustaining chords behind it. The brass joins in as the piano continues, a feature of Valencian music we will continue to see later. The brass that welcomed us bursts forth accents where the melody does not play. This counterpoint presents throughout the music in classical Valencian style.
 
Combining the previous ideas, the piano joins the percussion in emphasizing the beat. The contrasting ideas of the Armada and the cultured Valencians are now one and the same. Valencia has been conquered.

Espionage Theme

The strings slyly play their chord progression leading us to a melody in the piano we hear in other tracks. This leads us back to the strings, and they keep trading off in this manner. Every time the pattern occurs, there is a slight variation in what they play. This keeps the music interesting in its development.

At timestamp 0:40, the piano and strings finally come together in harmony. They start a new chord progression together, leading into a new section. In a mournful style, the piano plays a new solo line as the strings quietly sustain in the background.

The piano repeats this line in an ostinato. More texture is added by other instruments of the ensemble. The pizzicato strings, clarinets, and string bass are most prevalent in the texture. They either contrast or harmonize with the melodic line.
 
The brass and strings unify together at timestamp 1:06. Bold and bright, this section contrasts with the moody sections before, like a beacon of hope.
 
The section at timestamp 1:16 is the realization of devastation. The atonal piano line seems to stop time itself before the clarinets come in. The line these reeds play is a common “Easter Egg” in many video games and movies. It is a reference to the Dies Irae, the clarinets are warning about tragedy and horror.
 
The line ends on a major chord, bitter-sweet. The next section is a morbid and joyous waltz, before leading back to the beginning.
 
 

Skyway Theme

You may receive this music scrolls from fishing in the Botanical Gardens, Fire House, Life House, Serpentine Escape

Throughout this piece the orchestra is light and exposed, like a mournful ballad.
 
Like a cog at work, the piano begins by hammering away at its lower end. This trades off to the higher register of the piano with an added delay effect. The English horn enters next with a sixteenth note run, playing twice before resolving to the next section.
 
Now the piano with its delay effect, takes over the melody of the piece, louder than before. After this hallucination-like solo at timestamp 0:42, the bass of the piano pairs up with the contrabass. The cellos play arpeggios and violins sustain chords over this more driving section. The bassoon and metal strikes enter, resolving the tension. 
Contrasting with the previous vigorous section, this section brings a breath of relief. This piece emotes anxiety, yet we see a melancholy side. The swelling strings and quiet murmuring of the machine that backs up the clarinet solo posses a relaxing ambiance.
 
Almost playful, the bassoon at 1:40 plays the theme we heard from the previous track. The mood changes here to balance the sad and mournful with hope as the adventure progresses.
 

Danger Theme

Silent but driving, the strings begin with an underlying ostinato. The other orchestration is layered throughout the first 0:38 seconds of the piece. We see this texture from the previous piece, but orchestrated to fit a new mood. The theme plays through the ensemble beginning with the bassoon, and carries to the horns.
 
This leads to a climax in the music as the strings, horns, and piano join in homophony. Playing similar melodies that harmonize into one.
The next section at 0:53 seconds leads back to a driving ostinato with strings and percussion. The horns have the melody in a short-short-short-long pattern that develops by changing chords. At 1:10, there is a chromatic mediant, a change to the chord not within the key we are in.
 
Timestamp 1:18 brings us a piano solo, ending the horns’ melody on a short note. A new motif emerges of even shorter notes that get passed to-and-fro from the piano and oboe. As the piece gets more wild, the low bassoon carries the motif, keeping stability. We hear the theme from previous pieces hinted at, reminding us of our pirate’s heroic nature.

Thank you, Starlights, for venturing through the music of Valencia with me. Have a wonderful night.

Disclaimer

Please note: I transcribed the music from the original/classic mode music scrolls. Not all of my transcriptions are 100% accurate, but they are close and the rhythm is properly notated

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