Friday, January 7, 2011

Super Mario Bros. 2 Analysis - Boss

Now do a Harmonic Analysis…


Not that simple, is it?  The biggest challenge is to figure out which note in the second voice is the chord tone, and which one is not.  Lets look at the possibilities for measures 1-2:

[Upper Note is Non-Chord Tone] We have F#, D and A.  A perfect D Major Triad.

[Lower Note is Non-Chord Tone] We have F#, Eb(D#), and A.  The spitting image of a D# diminished triad, or F# diminished seventh.

If you follow this logic out, you have these tow possibilities for the progression:

imageProgression one is an alternation of Major and diminished triads.  Progression two is the alternation of Fully-diminished and half-diminished triads.

The fact of the matter is that neither of these options is satisfying.  This object hinges on the dissonance created by the half-step when combining these two option.

No description really does these chords justice.  They are set classes (0147) and (0136) alternating.  One certainly has a more “Major” quality to it while the other is more diminished sounding, due to the quality of the intervals present.

Either way, great way to represent the conflict of a boss battle, buy having the most dissonant interval define the quality of the sound.

And for those fans of Video Game Music Remixes: