Sunday, September 25, 2011

Music from the fans

 Music is an important part of every person's life - we hear it, feel it, want it and need it. Music is a language that tells many stories; a language so beautiful that sometimes it can't be expressed in words. Final Fantasy games tell great stories and parts of those stories are written by the composer's music. Nobuo Uematsu is the musician behind most of the franchise's tracks and his work has become some of the most recognized in the world.

 This is my first post about the music of Final Fantasy and I'm glad to be bringing up this specific topic: piano covers. With access to Youtube, Final Fantasy fans all over the world can share their renditions of musical pieces and enjoy another's. I have listened to many renditions and today, I'm sharing what I think are some the best piano covers on Youtube.


 This is the Theme of Love from Final Fantasy IV. This is actually a cover of the Piano Collections, (more on that in a bit), and it's a peice that has made Uematsu pretty famous, since this particular song is taught to school children in Japan as part of their music curricula. The Theme of Love plays in IV during the scenes that involve Cecil and Rosa; lovers who are separated and reunited many times throughout the game. 

 This a good cover of "The Coin Song", although this piece is also known as Edgar's theme. Edgar, the twin brother of Sabin and prince of his own kingdom, is a man who places his fate on the toss of a coin. Edgar is also a character with a sad side, probably as a result to his recklessness of 'fate-tossing'. Maybe that's why it's usually called the coin song.
 Here's a piece that's a little more exciting. Like the previous tune, this one has two names. "Clash on the Bridge", (although I've also heard "Battle on the Big Bridge"), and Gilgamesh's Theme. To my knowledge, this song plays during the attack on a bridge that leads to Exdeath's castle in Final Fantasy V.

 For those of you who don't know, Gilgamesh is a recurring character throughout the Final Fantasy series. V is his first appearance, and he acted as Exdeath's 'righthand man' while defending the Big Bridge.

 Okay, admit it. This person is amazing when it comes to playing the piano. Wait, person? More like God! I don't think I've seen hands as fast as those! (That's what she said). Anyways, this is the battle theme from Final Fantasy VII and once again, it's from the piano collections. In my opinion, this is (still) one of the best battle themes in the series, and this pianist plays it marvelously. 

 Once again, another fine example of a great piano cover. This one is You're Not Alone from Final Fantasy IX. The ninth game is still one of the most underrated games in the series, and this piece strengthens what I'm saying. I can't exactly remember when this song played in the game but I'm sure it had something to do with Zidane... or maybe it was Amarant?

 I lazed on the next three songs, because they're all from Final Fantasy X! To Zanarkand is just one of best songs I've ever listened to. Seriously, listen to it. Bring a tissue with you too. For most people, this one hits where it hurts, (the tear ducts). The song is a story about a young man and woman; both learning the values of sacrifice through love and loss. So please, listen to this story...

 This is a great piece. Seriously Nobuo, what's your secret? How does the man do it?! Well, maybe if I keep sending him enough letters every week, he'll tell me once he's become annoyed. But for now, I'll just bask in his creation. This particular song plays when Yuna and the gang become trapped within the Via Purifico. Too bad you only hear it once in the game.

The final one I'm presenting is a personal favorite of mine: Besaid Island. This song plays when Tidus and Wakka are running around Besaid Island. I listen to this tune all the time. The young lady playing the piano also puts off a spectacular performance. Bravo! 

I forgot to mention, these last three pieces are from the piano collections as well. The piano collections are Final Fantasy tunes re-imagined for the piano; most have added parts to them and the songs themselves become longer and more complex to play. Nearly all of the collections were arranged by Uematsu himself, but I believe Masashi Hamauzu has also had a hand.

Well I'm glad you read today's entry, and I hope you enjoyed the music! Sayounara!

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