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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Classic Showcase: Chopin Songs

Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin (pronounced ˈʃoʊpæn/' or sho-PAN) was a Polish pianist and composer born on 1st March 1810. His brilliant musical compositions on the piano made major innovations to the world of music, specializing in romantic music and expression of heartfelt emotions through melody. For a more complete biography on the musician, click here.

Three of his pieces have been put into Taiko no Tatsujin. This series exists not just because they were all composed by Chopin, but because they were all remixed and rocked up by the Taiko Team to create a song with higher tempo for more playability, as opposed to Chopin's usually slow, flowing pace of music. Chopin's songs are usually very difficult to clear.

Most of the remixes were done by Masubuchi Yuuji (増渕裕二).


-Chopin series-


 Fantasie Impromptu (幻想即興曲)
Taiko 11 to 14, Taiko DS 1, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 3x5 (128)x7 (195)x8 (360)x10 (558)
Taiko 0, Taiko Wii 5x5 (128)x7 (195)x8 (360)x9 (558) 
 Taiko 11 to 14, Taiko 0, Taiko DS 1, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 3, 5, Taiko PS Vita CD 2008

The original Fantaisie-Impromptu in C-sharp minor was composed in 1834, dedicated to Julian Fontana; it is one of Chopin's most well-known tunes. The piece was really composed impromptu, that is, made without any prior rehearsal. Chopin despised this piece, but it wasn't a sentiment shared by the rest of the world. After Chopin's death, Fontana published Fantasie Impromptu, even though Chopin was against it.

It was a piano melody, but it was changed in Taiko to classical rock with guitars and percussions for a satisfyingly hardcore song. The slow parts has confusing beat signatures, and the two climaxes of the song have greatly increased BPM.

The song was first introduced into the series on Taiko DS1, which had a great lack of difficult songs, and Fantasie Impromptu became the major selling point for Taiko fans seeking a challenge on their first touch-screen Taiko game. It is a 10* with lots of energy, lots of handswitch streams and an intense, satisfying note stream similar to Mekadesu's, but longer and faster. It remained at 10* for the longest time until the difficulty cut on Taiko 0.

 Nocturne Op. 9-2 (夜想曲 Op.9-2)
Allx4 (143)x6 (221)x7 (379)x8 (500)
 Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 2, CD Donderful

One of Chopin's early productions (between 1829-30), Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2 is calm and passionate, mostly inspired by grand Italian operas. Its melancholic piano track has inspired over 14 variants throughout history. Instead of rocking it up, Namco gave Nocturne a jazz remix, filled with saxophones, pianos and drums. The entire song plays out in a lively swing beat, come in 2 by 2 clusters, and scroll quite fast. Nocturne is rather hard for an 8* song.

 Etude Op. 10-4 (練習曲Op.10-4)
Taiko 11 to 14, all consolex4 (132)x5 (205)x8 (528)x10 (852)
Taiko 0 onwardsx3 (132)x4 (205)x8 (528)x9 (852) 
 Taiko 13, 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 2, 4, Taiko Wii U, CD Donderful

Chopin composed 24 etudes, of which this is the 4th one, Étude Op. 10, No. 4, in C-sharp minor, which was named 'Torrent'. It was composed in 1830. It had a very quick tempo with continuous 1/16th notes (semiquavers), and rapid tone fluctuations. Op.10-4 is an extremely difficult tune to master on the piano, with a long, continuous flow of music which requires expert hand coordination and mastery of the piano and its notes. After all, the main purpose of the etudes are for self-improvement in piano skills.

The role of Etude Op. 10-4 is the same on Taiko too. Namco did its usual remix business and rocked out Etude Op.10-4 with bass drums in addition to the piano melody. The high tempo made it very suitable for a difficult song to master on Oni mode, and although the note streams looked easy, this is a song that wears your stamina down by having lots of them coming at a higher than normal speed, like a torrent of water. BPM changes rapidly and very often. There are more blue notes than red ones in this song, and before its Ura Oni difficulty was introduced, had the highest number of notes ever in the Classic genre when it was first seen in Taiko Wii 2.

The song was used in the national Taiko no Tatsujin 2010 tournament, for the district challenge (besides Saitama), together with Soroban 2000 and Akuukan Yuuei ac12.5.

  Etude Op. 10-4 (練習曲Op.10-4)
Taiko 11 to 14, all console

x10 (948)
Taiko 0 onwardsx5 (132)x6 (205)x8 (528)x9 (948) 
 Taiko 13, 14, Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko Wii 4, Taiko Wii U

The final unlockable Ura Oni difficulty in Taiko 13. Etude Op.10-4's Ura difficulty currently holds the record of most notes in the Classic genre, and is also the first song in that genre to have a Ura Oni. Just when you thought it could not get any harder, Namco proves everyone wrong by making Etude's rhythm even more difficult to grasp and even more confusing than most other songs of this generation. The minor BPM changes throughout the song is accompanied by irregular 1/16 and 1/24 cluster mixes and terrifying yet totally new note patterns in streams.

Kantan/Futsuu/Muzukashii difficulties of Ura mode, created for Taiko PSP DX, are the original notecharts with the scrolling speed at 3.3 times faster, like in Rotter Tarmination except with no big notes.

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