Friday, November 23, 2012

Playing Games: Final Fantasy VII, Comparing Themes

As I've been playing FF7, I've jotted myself several times that I'm interested to compare a musical theme from this game to one in another Final Fantasy.

First comparison: the airship theme from FF7, "The Highwind Takes to the Skies" vs. the "Big Whale" theme from FF4.

Both themes have a lot of cymbal clanging, building snare drum and timpani figures, and fast arpeggiation in the accompaniment.  The busy-ness in the accompaniment.  They sound heroic/ patriotic, they give the feeling that "the sky's the limit"-- no pun intended.

Here's another I jotted down:  Compare FF7's "Hurry Faster"  vs FF6 "The Unforgiven."

Both of these themes use lots of percussive sounds, rhythm, and energy to convey a sense of excitement and activity.  Both also use sections in irregular meters to give a less regular aural feel.  For some reason, hearing irregular meters makes me think of a famous Dali painting.  Of course, the FF7 track is much longer and has several more sections (this seems to be a trend with FF7 tracks versus earlier FF games-- probably because of the new possibilities the Playstation presented Uematsu), but especially the beginnings of these tracks for me share common ground.

What comparisons do you think of for the same composer but different games?