Music of Final Fantasy IX

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The music of the video game Final Fantasy IX was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. It was his last exclusive Final Fantasy score. The Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was originally released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in 2000, and was re-released by Square Enix in 2004. A Best Of and arranged soundtrack album of musical tracks from the game entitled Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection was released in 2000 by Tokyopop Soundtrax. Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack PLUS, an album of music from the game's full motion videos and extra tracks, was released by DigiCube in 2000 and re-released in 2004, and a collection of piano arrangements of pieces from the original soundtrack arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi and performed by Louis Leerink was released as Piano Collections Final Fantasy IX in 2001.

<i>Final Fantasy IX</i> 2000 video game

Final Fantasy IX is a 2000 role-playing video game developed and published by Squaresoft for the PlayStation video game console. It is the ninth game in the main Final Fantasy series and the last to debut on the original PlayStation. The plot centers on the consequences of a war between nations in a medieval fantasy world called Gaia. Players follow bandit Zidane Tribal, who kidnaps Alexandrian princess Garnet Til Alexandros XVII as part of a gambit by the neighboring nation of Lindblum. He joins Garnet and a growing cast of characters on a quest to take down her mother, Queen Brahne of Alexandria, who started the war. The plot shifts when the player learns that Brahne is a pawn of a more menacing threat, Kuja, who shares a mysterious history with Zidane spanning two worlds.

Nobuo Uematsu Japanese video game composer

Nobuo Uematsu is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring most of the titles in the Final Fantasy series by Square Enix. He is considered to be one of the most well known composers in the video game industry. Sometimes referred to as the "Beethoven of video games music", he has appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame.

DigiCube Co., Ltd. was a Japanese company established as a subsidiary of software developer Square on February 6, 1996 and headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The primary purpose of DigiCube was to market and distribute Square products, most notably video games and related merchandise, including toys, books, and music soundtracks. DigiCube served as a wholesaler to distributors, and was noteworthy for pioneering the sale of video games in Japanese convenience stores and vending machine kiosks.

Contents

The game's soundtrack is best known for "Melodies of Life," the theme song of the game, performed by Emiko Shiratori in Japanese and English. The song was released as a single by King Records in 2000. The soundtrack was based around a theme of medieval music, and was heavily inspired by previous Final Fantasy games, incorporating themes and motifs from earlier soundtracks. The music was overall well received; reviewers found the soundtrack to be both well done and enjoyable, though opinions were mixed as to the reliance on music of previous games. Several tracks, especially "Melodies of Life" and "Vamo' Alla Flamenco", remain popular today, and have been performed numerous times in orchestral concert series, as well as been published in arranged and compilation albums by Square as well as outside groups.

Emiko Shiratori is a Japanese singer and songwriter.

Single (music) Type of music release usually containing one or two tracks

In the music industry, a single is a type of release, typically a song recording of fewer tracks than an LP record or an album. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, a single is a song that is released separately from an album, although it usually also appears on an album. Typically, these are the songs from albums that are released separately for promotional uses such as digital download or commercial radio airplay and are expected to be the most popular. In other cases a recording released as a single may not appear on an album.

King Records (Japan) Japanese record label; imprint of King Record Co., Ltd

King Record Co., Ltd. is a Japanese record company founded in 1931 as a division of the Japanese publisher Kodansha. It initially began operating as an independent entity in the 1950s. It later became part of the Otowa Group. Today, King Records is one of Japan's largest record companies which is owned by a multinational entity. The headquarters for this record label are in Tokyo.

Creation and influence

In discussions with director Hiroyuki Ito, Uematsu was told "It'd be fine if you compose tracks for the eight characters, an exciting battle track, a gloomy, danger-evoking piece, and around ten tracks or so." However, Uematsu spent an estimated year composing and producing "around 160" pieces for Final Fantasy IX, with 140 appearing in the game. [1] [2]

Hiroyuki Ito, is a Japanese game producer, director and designer who works for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000) and Final Fantasy XII (2006) and as the creator of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system in the Final Fantasy series.

Uematsu composed with a piano, and used two contrasting methods: "I create music that fits the events in the game, but sometimes, the event designer will adjust a game event to fit the music I've already written." Uematsu felt previous games Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII had a mood of realism, but that Final Fantasy IX was more of a fantasy, so "a serious piece as well as silly, fun pieces could fit in." He felt the theme was medieval music, and was given a two-week break to travel in Europe for inspiration - "looking at old castles in Germany and so on." [1] [2] However, the music was not entirely composed in the medieval mode, as Uematsu claims that "it would be unbalanced" and "a little boring". He aimed for a "simple, warm" style and included uncommon instruments such as a kazoo and dulcimer. Uematsu also included motifs from older Final Fantasy games "because Final Fantasy IX was returning to the roots, so to speak" and incorporated ideas such as "the old intro for battle music" and arranged the Volcano theme from Final Fantasy and the Pandemonium theme from Final Fantasy II , as well as others from the series. [1] [2] Uematsu has claimed several times that Final Fantasy IX is his favorite work, as well as the one he is most proud of. [3] [4] He also stated in the liner notes for the Final Fantasy IX: Original Soundtrack album that he was "glad that [he] was able to join this project." [5]

<i>Final Fantasy VII</i> 1997 video game

Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

<i>Final Fantasy VIII</i> 1999 role-playing video game

Final Fantasy VIII is a role-playing video game developed and published by Square for the PlayStation console. Released in 1999, it is the eighth main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Set on an unnamed fantasy world with science fiction elements, the game follows a group of young mercenaries, led by Squall Leonhart, as they are drawn into a conflict sparked by Ultimecia, a sorceress from the future who wishes to compress time. During the quest to defeat Ultimecia, Squall struggles with his role as leader and develops a romance with one of his comrades, Rinoa Heartilly.

Kazoo American musical instrument

The kazoo is a musical instrument that adds a "buzzing" timbral quality to a player's voice when the player vocalizes into it. It is a type of mirliton, which is a membranophone, one of a class of instruments which modifies its player's voice by way of a vibrating membrane of goldbeater's skin or material with similar characteristics.

Albums

"FINAL FANTASY IX" Original Soundtrack

"FINAL FANTASY IX" Original Soundtrack
Ffixostfrontcover.jpg
Soundtrack album to Final Fantasy IX by
ReleasedAugust 30, 2000
May 10, 2004 (re-release)
RecordedSound City, Tokyo
Genre
LengthDisc 1: 72:18
Disc 2: 71:18
Disc 3: 71:40
Disc 4: 72:05
Label DigiCube
Square Enix (re-release)
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album containing musical tracks from the game, composed, arranged and produced by Nobuo Uematsu. It spans four discs and 110 tracks, covering a duration of 4:46:31. It was first released on 30 August 2000 by DigiCube, and subsequently re-released on 10 May 2004 by Square Enix. The lyrics for the theme song to the game, "Melodies of Life", were written by Hiroyuki Ito for the Japanese version and Alexander O. Smith for the English version. The song was performed in both languages by Emiko Shiratori. [6]

Square Enix Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company

Square Enix Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distribution company known for its Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts role-playing video game franchises, among numerous others. Several of them have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, with the Final Fantasy franchise alone selling over 115 million. The Square Enix headquarters are in the Shinjuku Eastside Square Building in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The company employs over 4300 employees worldwide.

Alexander O. Smith is a professional English–Japanese translator and author. While his output covers many areas such as adaptation of Japanese novels, manga, song lyrics, anime scripts, and various academic works, he is best known for his software localizations of Japanese video games including Vagrant Story, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and Final Fantasy XII. He currently resides in Kamakura, Japan, where he operates his own contract localization business, Kajiya Productions, and is co-founder of a translation and publishing company, Bento Books.

The album reached #4 on the Japan Oricon charts, and sold 101,000 copies as of January 2010. [7] [8] The album was well received; many reviewers found that it was a "good" soundtrack, though not without faults. Josh Bizeau and Roko Zaper of Soundtrack Central especially liked it, finding it to be "a blessing for Final Fantasy music", [9] and both Patrick Gann of RPGFan and Isaac Engelhorn of Soundtrack Central felt it was Uematsu's second-best work to date, behind only the soundtrack of Final Fantasy VI. [6] [9] Ben Schweitzer of RPGFan, however, found that the heavy reliance of the soundtrack on music and themes from previous Final Fantasy soundtracks resulted in a sense of "stretched creativity" and "a bit of blandness", though he still felt it was not "a bad soundtrack... [but] not really a great soundtrack." [6] Other reviewers, however, such as Engelhorn and Tyler Schulley of Final Fantasy Symphony, enjoyed the fact that it pulled from previous soundtracks, feeling that it gave the album "the classic feel of the older Final Fantasies" while still being "original and beautiful". [9] [10]

Oricon Inc., established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as Original Confidence Inc., which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc. was originally set up as a subsidiary of Original Confidence and took over the latter’s Oricon record charts in April 2002.

Track listing [11]

Literal translation of the original titles appear in (brackets) if different

Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection

Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection
Soundtrack album to Final Fantasy IX by
ReleasedAugust 21, 2000
Genre Video game music, classical
Length74:16
Label Tokyopop Soundtrax
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection is a soundtrack album composed of popular musical tracks from the Final Fantasy IX: Original Soundtrack album. It was arranged by Nobuo Uematsu, Shirō Hamaguchi, Kunihiko Kurosawa, and Haruo Kondo. Vocals were again performed by Emiko Shiratori for "Melodies of Life". It spans 33 tracks and covers a duration of 74:16. The first 32 tracks correspond to tracks on the Final Fantasy IX: Original Soundtrack album, while the last track, an arranged version of "A Place to Call Home", can only be found on this album. It was first released on August 21, 2000 worldwide by Tokyopop Soundtrax, with English track names. The release bears the catalog number TPCD 0201-2. [12]

Reviewers were much less pleased with Final Fantasy IX: Uematsu's Best Selection than with the original soundtrack, finding it to have a "great track listing" but that it felt as if "[they] tried to get as many tracks on the disc as they could", with the result that many tracks were cut too short. [12]

"FINAL FANTASY IX" Original Soundtrack PLUS

"FINAL FANTASY IX" Original Soundtrack PLUS
Soundtrack album to Final Fantasy IX by
ReleasedDecember 6, 2000
October 20, 2004 (re-release)
Genre Video game music, classical
Length66:29
Label DigiCube
Square Enix (re-release)
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack PLUS is a soundtrack album consisting of pieces that did not appear on the original soundtrack. The album was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and orchestrated by Shirō Hamaguchi. Emiko Shiratori supplied the vocals for "The Song of Zidane and Dagger" and "Melodies of Life (Silent Mix)". The album contains music from the majority of the game's full motion videos and several extra tracks that did not appear in the game, which appear as tracks 34 through 41 on the album. It also contains a bonus track, an English version of "Melodies of Life" entitled "Melodies of Life (Silent Mix)", found at the last track on the album. The album spans 42 tracks and covers a duration of 72:05. It was first published by DigiCube on December 6, 2000, and subsequently re-published by Square Enix on October 20, 2004. The original release bears the catalog number SSCX-10047 and the reprint SQEX-10035. [14]

Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack PLUS sold over 4,100 copies. [15] It was very well received, with reviewers finding the tunes to have "great dynamics" and "incredibly well made", and that the "orchestrations work wonders with Uematsu's incidental music." [6] [14] [16] It reached #58 on the Oricon charts. [17]

Piano Collections: FINAL FANTASY IX

Piano Collections: FINAL FANTASY IX
Soundtrack album to Final Fantasy IX by
ReleasedJanuary 24, 2001
July 22, 2004 (re-release)
RecordedSound City, Tokyo
Genre Video game music, classical
Length53:44
Label DigiCube
Square Enix (re-release)
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Piano Collections: Final Fantasy IX is a collection of Final Fantasy IX music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged for the piano by Shirō Hamaguchi, and performed by Louis Leerink. It spans 14 tracks and covers a duration of 53:44. It was first released on January 24, 2001, in Japan by DigiCube, and subsequently re-released on July 22, 2004, by Square Enix. The original release bears the catalog number SSCX-10048 and the re-release bears the catalog number SQEX-10027. [19] The album well received, with reviewers finding the album "enjoyable" and "a pleasant surprise", although they did find some of the arrangements to be "a bit on the simple side". [19] [20]

Melodies of Life

"Melodies of Life" is the theme song of Final Fantasy IX , and consists primarily of two themes that were frequently used in the game itself, the Overworld theme (Crossing Those Hills), and a lullaby that is sung by Dagger. [22] It was performed by Emiko Shiratori in both the Japanese and English versions, arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi, and composed, like the rest of the game, by Nobuo Uematsu. [22] The lyrics were written by game director Hiroyuki Ito (credited as Shiomi) in the Japanese version and Alexander O. Smith in the English version. The song was released as a single by King Records on August 2, 2000, and contains both the English and Japanese versions, an instrumental version, and a bonus track named "Galway Sky". The single covers a duration of 23:17 and has a catalog number of KICS-811. [23] Melodies of Life reached #10 on the Oricon charts, and sold 100,000 copies. [15] [24]

Legacy

The Black Mages have arranged four pieces from Final Fantasy IX. These are "Hunter's Chance" and "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" from the album The Skies Above , published in 2004, [25] and "Assault of the Silver Dragons" and "Grand Cross" from the album Darkness and Starlight , published in 2008. [26] Additionally, Uematsu continues to perform certain pieces in his Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert series. [27] The music of Final Fantasy IX has also appeared in various official concerts and live albums, such as 20020220 music from FINAL FANTASY , a live recording of an orchestra performing music from the series including "Vamo' Alla Flamenco". [28] Additionally, "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" was performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra for the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy concert tour, [29] while "Not Alone" was performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy concert series. [30] "Melodies of Life" was performed at the Press Start -Symphony of Games- 2008 concerts in Tokyo and Shanghai. [31] "Vamo' Alla Flamenco" was played at the Fantasy Comes Alive concert in Singapore on April 30, 2010. [32] Independent but officially licensed releases of Final Fantasy IX music have been composed by such groups as Project Majestic Mix, which focuses on arranging video game music. [33] Selections also appear on Japanese remix albums, called dojin music , and on English remixing websites. [34]

Related Research Articles

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The music of the video game Final Fantasy XII was composed primarily by Hitoshi Sakimoto. Additional music was provided by Masaharu Iwata and Hayato Matsuo, who also orchestrated the opening and ending themes. Former regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu's only work for this game was "Kiss Me Good-Bye", the theme song sung by Angela Aki. The Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack was released on four Compact Discs in 2006 by Aniplex. A sampling of tracks from the soundtrack was released as an album entitled Selections from Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack, and was released in 2006 by Tofu Records. Additionally, a promotional digital album titled The Best of Final Fantasy XII was released on the Japanese localization of iTunes for download only in 2006. "Kiss Me Good-Bye" was released by Epic Records as a single in 2006, and Symphonic Poem "Hope", the complete music from the game's end credits, was released by Hats Unlimited in 2006. An abridged version of the latter piece, which originally accompanied a promotional video for the game, was included in the official soundtrack album. An album of piano arrangements, titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy XII, was released by Square Enix in 2012.

The music of the video game Final Fantasy V was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy V Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing after the game was brought to North America as part of the Final Fantasy Anthology. An arranged album entitled Final Fantasy V Dear Friends, containing a selection of musical tracks from the game arranged in multiple styles, including live and vocal versions, was released by Square/NTT Publishing and later re-released by NTT Publishing. Additionally, a collection of piano arrangements composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged by Shirou Satou and played by Toshiyuki Mori titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy V was released by Square/NTT Publishing, and re-released by NTT Publishing.

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The music of the video game Final Fantasy VIII was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack, a compilation of all music in the game, was released on four Compact Discs by DigiCube in Japan, and by Square EA in North America. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game—arranged by Shirō Hamaguchi—was released under the title Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec Final Fantasy VIII, and a collection of piano arrangements—performed by Shinko Ogata—was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VIII.

The music of the video game Final Fantasy IV was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy IV Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing. It was released in North America by Tokyopop as Final Fantasy IV Official Soundtrack: Music from Final Fantasy Chronicles, with one additional track. It has since been re-released multiple times with slight changes as part of the Final Fantasy Finest Box and as Final Fantasy IV DS OST. An arranged album entitled Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon, containing a selection of musical tracks from the game performed in the style of Celtic music by Máire Breatnach, was released by Square and later re-released by NTT Publishing. Additionally, a collection of piano arrangements composed by Nobuo Uematsu and played by Toshiyuki Mori titled Piano Collections Final Fantasy IV was released by NTT Publishing.

The music of the video game Final Fantasy III was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. Final Fantasy III Original Sound Version, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing in 1991, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing in 1994 and 2004. The soundtrack to the remake of Final Fantasy III for the Nintendo DS, Final Fantasy III Original Soundtrack was released by NTT Publishing in 2006, with revamped versions of the tracks and additional tracks. A vocal arrangement album entitled Final Fantasy III Yūkyū no Kaze Densetsu, or literally Final Fantasy III Legend of the Eternal Wind, contained a selection of musical tracks from the game. The tracks were performed by Nobuo Uematsu and Dido, a duo composed of Michiaki Kato and Shizuru Ohtaka. The album was released by Data M in 1990 and by Polystar in 1994.

The music of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI was composed by Naoshi Mizuta along with regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu and Kumi Tanioka. The Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by DigiCube in 2002, and subsequently re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack was released by DigiCube in 2003 after the release of the Rise of the Zilart expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack was produced by Square Enix in 2004 after the release of the Chains of Promathia expansion, and in 2005 Square Enix published Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel, a collection of arranged tracks from the game performed by The Star Onions, a group composed of Square Enix composers including Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka and Hidenori Iwasaki. Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack was released by Square Enix in 2006 for the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion.

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Final Fantasy is a media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi and owned by Square Enix that includes video games, motion pictures, and other merchandise. The original Final Fantasy video game, published in 1987, is a role-playing video game developed by Square, spawning a video game series that became the central focus of the franchise. The primary composer of music for the main series was Nobuo Uematsu, who single-handedly composed the soundtracks for the first nine games, as well as directing the production of many of the soundtrack albums. Music for the spin-off series and main series games beginning with Final Fantasy X was created by a variety of composers including Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Hitoshi Sakimoto, and Kumi Tanioka, as well as many others.

The music of the video game Final Fantasy XIII was composed by Masashi Hamauzu. Former regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu did not contribute any pieces to the soundtrack. Music from the game has been released in several albums. The main soundtrack album, Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack, was released on four Compact Discs in 2010 by Square Enix, the developers and producers of the game. Selections from the soundtrack have been released on two gramophone record albums, W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII and W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII Gentle Reveries, both in 2010 by Square Enix. An album of arranged pieces from the soundtrack, Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack -PLUS-, was also released by Square Enix in 2010, as was an album of piano arrangements, Piano Collection Final Fantasy XIII. The theme song for the Japanese version of the game, "Kimi ga Iru Kara", was released as a single by For Life Music in 2009.

The music for the MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, a regular contributor to the music of the Final Fantasy series. Several other composers including Masayoshi Soken and Naoshi Mizuta contributed music for updates to the game. The music for the game's reboot, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, was primarily composed by Soken, who was the sound director for both releases of the game. Music from both releases of the game has been released in several albums, though no album contains music from both XIV and A Realm Reborn. A pair of mini-albums containing a handful of selected tracks from XIV, Final Fantasy XIV: Battle Tracks and Final Fantasy XIV: Field Tracks, were released by Square Enix in 2010 when XIV first launched. A soundtrack album titled Final Fantasy XIV - Eorzean Frontiers, containing most of the music that had been released by that point for XIV, was digitally released in 2012. A final soundtrack album for the original release of the game, Before Meteor: Final Fantasy XIV Original Soundtrack, was released in 2013 just before the launch of A Realm Reborn, and contains all of the music that was composed for XIV throughout its lifetime. The latest soundtrack album, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Original Soundtrack, was released in 2014, and contains all of the music for A Realm Reborn released up to that point.

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