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SwordBreaker

Leitmotif game music soundtracks

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sorry to be the asshole, but i'd be VERY surprised if anyone found a true leitmotif within a piece of music as simple as a song from a game. say what you want, but for goodness sake, we're talking one or two motivic ideas that are the most important from a 5-hour long opera, not just a standard motif as we know it. it's a 'lead' motif - the most important and relevant motifs over the course of a massive piece of music. there's like seven in the entire ring cycle, and that's 12 hours of opera, for goodness sake.

that wiki article definition is wrong - it's the definition for motif, not leitmotif.

you should probably fix your work from leitmotif to just motif, there's a HUGE difference.

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Yeah, FF7 would be the most prominent example of anything close to Leitmotif in games that I can think of. Everyone in there had their own theme, and they were used in various and sundry ways all through the soundtrack.

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sorry to be the asshole, but i'd be VERY surprised if anyone found a true leitmotif within a piece of music as simple as a song from a game. say what you want, but for goodness sake, we're talking one or two motivic ideas that are the most important from a 5-hour long opera, not just a standard motif as we know it. it's a 'lead' motif - the most important and relevant motifs over the course of a massive piece of music. there's like seven in the entire ring cycle, and that's 12 hours of opera, for goodness sake.

that wiki article definition is wrong - it's the definition for motif, not leitmotif.

you should probably fix your work from leitmotif to just motif, there's a HUGE difference.

You're right in that much of what is being mentioned here are rearrangements of melodies and not leitmotifs, but I think the original intention of the thread was to identify those soundtracks where the composer ingeniously incorporated the themes in more ways than just one. So yeah, these aren't leitmotifs at all because they're too long and too melodic.

If you need a good example of a leitmotif, Star Wars has a few. In Star Wars the Imperial March is not a leitmotif in itself no matter how it is rearranged, but the motivic cell G Eb Bb G is also used at the tail end of Anakin's theme in The Phantom Menace, and thus represents the idea of foreshadowing thereby making that sequence of notes a leitmotif. So if you can imagine taking a theme and breaking it up into smaller sequences of notes and reusing one of those sequences to connect another theme to the same idea (or character) that would be a leitmotif.

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The 'evil' and 'good' musics for the eight main townes in Ultima: Ascension employed six themes (truth, love, courage, and their opposites) in different combinations representing the interrelations between the three principles and the eight virtues the townes are associated with. Nothing mind-shattering, but there were some nice variations to fit the atmosphere of each towne. Incidentally, the soundtrack was actually recorded by a fifty-piece orchestra (not unheard of for games but still not yet common either), and it has a really nice sound. (If only the plot and the dialogue had measured up.)

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There's a difference between a leitmotif and using different arrangements of the same tune. I think Super Mario World, for instance, is on the side of the latter. Sonic 3D Blast is a good example of the former; that was my first thought.

Radiant Silvergun uses a couple of motives repeatedly and with a lot of focus on them in most of the pieces (from Sil's mention of FF Tactics, maybe it's a Hitoshi Sakimoto favorite). Ace Combat 4 reuses a single motive a few times, too. I think it's a relatively common practice in game music.

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You're right in that much of what is being mentioned here are rearrangements of melodies and not leitmotifs, but I think the original intention of the thread was to identify those soundtracks where the composer ingeniously incorporated the themes in more ways than just one. So yeah, these aren't leitmotifs at all because they're too long and too melodic.

If you need a good example of a leitmotif, Star Wars has a few. In Star Wars the Imperial March is not a leitmotif in itself no matter how it is rearranged, but the motivic cell G Eb Bb G is also used at the tail end of Anakin's theme in The Phantom Menace, and thus represents the idea of foreshadowing thereby making that sequence of notes a leitmotif. So if you can imagine taking a theme and breaking it up into smaller sequences of notes and reusing one of those sequences to connect another theme to the same idea (or character) that would be a leitmotif.

This is a better explanation than I was going to give. Good thing I read the thread first.

Anyway, they're not leitmotifs the way Wagner would define them, but Mother 3 had a bunch of iterations of melodic motifs in a bunch of tracks. It's really the closest thing I can think of.

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Considering that Final Fantasy VI is very opera-like, it isn't surprising that the character credits part of the ending is very much a theme comprised almost entirely of leitmotifs. "The Decisive Battle" is also an example of a piece of music that uses a leitmotif since it contains a small section of the Terra theme in it. As well as does "Dancing Mad," though, this piece is probably closer to a motif than a leitmotif.

However, if you consider the staff credits music as a more credible piece of music for the subject of leitmotifs, then the Final Fantasy Prelude could also be considered a leitmotif, though it's not specific to VI alone, obviously.

Surprisingly, the Silent Hill Homecoming soundtrack includes a few leitmotifs in the sample tracks released, particularly in the track "Cold Blood."

Lastly, the Silent Hill theme appears in several vocal songs in later soundtracks as a motif via solo and/or interpretation. These tracks are: "You're Not Here," "Hometown," "Waiting for You," "Cradle of Forest," and "One More Soul to the Call." "Theme of Laura" appears as a motif in the following songs: "I Want Love (Studio Mix)" and "Your Rain."

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