So Hey

Hey guys, I’m not sure if any of those still lurking will know who I am. I know I’ve been MIA for quite a few years, decided to post something. I’ve reenrolled in school (for classical vocal performance) and am currently chasing 3 kids around so my time is very little. What’s not spent wrangling kids I spend analyzing music.

My last Music History class we were told to list who we felt were some of the most influential composers of this century. I went a bit outside the usual genres and listed Koji Kondo. We were asked to list a specific work and then note why we felt it was significant. I listed Ocarina of Time (of course, if you read any of my previous posts you know my love for this game). This is what I wrote . . . 
Koji Kondo is a Japanese composer employed by Nintendo best known for composing the soundtrack to games in The Legend of Zelda and Mario series. His music is recognizable to generations by simply a few notes being played. While the music isn’t as overwhelming while playing the games when it’s heard fully orchestrated it’s breathtaking

Ocarina of TIme contains such pieces as “Bolero of Fire”, “Zelda’s lullabye”, and “Epona’s Song”. There’s a wide variety of different sounds within the soundtrack. There is a vast different from the chanted Temple of Time theme and the quick paced, wind instrument centered Kokori Forest.

I believe Koji Kondo is significant because he has brought together generations with his music. There is a traveling concert called Video Games Live which has a full orchestra and vocalists that travel from city to city performing music from video games. I attended one in New Orleans two years ago and it was amazing the age ranges within the center. There was a rush of excitement and applause when the opening of Ocarina of Time began being played. This is an audience of ages ranging from seven to late forties. An entire generation of people who might never have listened to a live orchestra playing Bach will come to listen to Koji Kondo’s music. I feel like he has helped to expand classical music into audiences and venues that otherwise would not have been interested.

I can elaborate further on my personal views of Koji Kondo and video game music in general. The fact is very little credit is given to those that compose these sweeping pieces because they are applied to what is considered a childish pastime. You won’t see them getting the same recognition as the composers of Braveheart or Titanic even though Kondo was tasked with creating pieces that could be broken down into just a few notes that could be played on the arrow keypad. Notes so recognizable that the player knows instinctively when they’ve hit the wrong arrow on the D pad. To create a tune that people find themselves whistling off hand isn’t easy, you put yourself in the likes of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy or Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, quite a few others that if you were to hear them you’d immediately know who wrote them and where they are from. Granted, if you heard Bolero of Fire you wouldn’t think “Kondo!”, you’d think “Hey, Zelda! Nintendo!” which I think does Kondo a great disservice. I imagine it gives him great pleasure to know he’s reaching a much wider audience than most classical composers these days. He’s not restricted to concert halls or diva singing personalities, it’s just coming through on the TV.



  1. TheEndExplorer

    This is all very true. Composers in general don’t get as much credit as they should these days, but when your music is remembered not by your name, but by the movie/game your music was featured in, that’s just sad. 😛
    Hopefully Kondo will eventually get the respect he deserves.

    • FairlyObvious

      So true! I did find out something interesting recently, apparently there is a musicologist that is doing a study on video game music. I only know this because one of my professors at school is bringing him in to do a lecture. I’m psyched about it and I’m hoping that I can make it. I’d like to see what people that do this kind of thing for a living think of video game music. I’m hoping it starts getting a good bit of recognition in the classical genre.

  2. Mistercheef

    Wow, it’s been about 7 years since my last post.

    Not sure if you remember me Jenna, but I was one of the first users on the forums! For some reason the memory of this place popped into my head tonight so I decided to check it out. Looking back, I have to tell you thank you for putting up with my 13 year old self! It’s almost embarrassing to look back at the content I was submitting, but it’s mostly entertaining. This was the first online community I had been a part of, and you and Brad were very welcoming. Thanks again.

    Also, it’s crazy awesome you say you
    re studying classical voice, because I am actually about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance as well! Music has defined who I have become, so it is so cool to see that you are sharing the same passion! That paper seems very interesting. I do believe that video game composers are slowly coming into the spotlight!

    Anyways, it was a good bit of nostalgia coming back here. I am so glad that there is still content being posted, and that Brad is still hard at work animating. 🙂

  3. matheus0608

    Pq vcs ñ se esforçam para criar um mundo bem melhor de the fançy pants com mapas diferentes ou até mesmo um lugar para visitantes para que eles possam participar tambem, ter ideias, criar novas armas para the fançy pants e etc. Enfim, eu só acho que este jogo tem potencial para ser muito mais legal do que se possa imaginar.

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