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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Classic Showcase: Classic Medleys

The Classic Medley series is exactly what it says on the tin; multiple famous classical compositions mashed together into one song by Namco, heavily remixed, and then each given a theme or a backstory. The medleys introduced multiple different songs in one go so multiple notecharts need not be made for each individual song. Many songs in these medleys have since come out on their own slowly to become Taiko songs (like Ode to Joy from the Rock version). Each of these medleys have 'Classic Medley' in their titles, followed by the theme they are given. Some of these are quite old, so footage is hard to come by!

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-Classic Medley series-




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Classic Medley (Rock ver.) (クラシックメドレー ロック編) --- Old ---
Version
Taiko 3

x7 (381)x10 (381)
Taiko 4, PS2 1
x5 (210)x7 (381)x10 (381)
Taiko 6
x5 (210) x7 (381)x9 (381)
Taiko 3, 4, 6, Taiko PS2 1
145
none
 clsr


Classic Medley (Rock ver.) (クラシックメドレー ロック編) --- New ---
Version
Taiko PSP 1, 2, Taiko DS 2, Taiko Wii 3, Taiko iOsx4 (138)x5 (210) x8 (381)x10 (606)
Taiko Wii 5x4 (138)x5 (210) x8 (381)x9 (606)
Taiko PSP 1, 2, Taiko DS 2, Taiko Wii 3, 5, Taiko iOs, CD Red
145
none
 clsr


The very first Classic Medley song and one of the first songs ever in the Classic genre (the other oldies being From the New World and the Sports Day medley) was a tough one, composed by Masubuchi Yuuji. Collections of music from famous European composers were thrown together and given a rock and roll remix, with an electric guitar playing through the entire song. They are in order:

Beethoven's 5th Symphony *Fate* (Beethoven)
Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky)
Carmen Suite- Habanera (Bizet)
For Elise (Beethoven)
Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Swan Lake (Tchaikovsky) <-repeat
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (Bach)

Four out of the six songs in this medley have branched out on their own in Taiko no Tatsujin, with the only ones left being For Elise and Carmen Suite- Habanera.

The old 10* had sparse notes for the first half of the song and many plain repeating clusters, which was seen as difficult in the old standard. As soon as the 2000 series was introduced, the chart plummeted down the difficulty scale, and a new, much tougher chart came in its place to retain the 10* rating. This one is filled with clusters, even more so than the old one, and piled on the pressure with alternations between 5 note clusters and 4 note clusters, which can be disorientating to hit after a while. There are some good streams too.

Interestingly, the new Classic Medley Rock version has yet to appear on a single Taiko arcade, although it was included in every other console Taiko has appeared on. It's definitely ramped up, but is still quite easy compared to other insane 10* songs, featuring plain beats and emphasizing volume rather than difficult patterns.

Classic Medley (Sports Day ver.) (クラシックメドレー 運動会編)
Version
Taiko 3x5 (169)

x2 (169)
Taiko PS2 1x5 (169)x5 (208)
x3 (208)
Taiko 5x5 (169)x5 (208) x6 (437)x5 (344)
Taiko 6x5 (169)x5 (208) x5 (437)x5 (344)
Taiko 3, 5, 6, Taiko PS2 1, CD Red
70~160
none
 clsu


Alongside the Rock medley was this one, themed after a sports meet. In a way it's like the Rock version's little, much easier brother. Two commentators talk in the background of the music from the beginning to the end, from the running event to the bread-eating event, to the results and prize-giving ceremony. Four songs were chosen, and they are as follows.

William Tell Overture (Rossini)
Carmen Prelude (Bizet)
Heaven and Hell Overture (Offenbach)
Pomp and Circumstance, Op. 39 (Elgar)

From being a completely easy Donderful song in AC3, the Sports Day notechart was upgraded twice over a very short time and finally reached 5* Donderful on the fifth arcade. The last chart, though still easy, has one part which is just full of don note streams and nothing else (the Carmen Prelude portion). The actual Carmen Prelude chart which was made later kept this exact same pattern of 7 note clusters, except with kat notes thrown in for more variety. All the songs in this medley have been made into standalone songs in the Classic genre.

Classic Medley (Home Party ver.) (クラシックメドレー ホームパーティ編)
Version
Taiko PS2 3x3 (130)x4 (???) x3 (214)x3 (214)
TDMx1 (130)x3 (???) x2 (214)x2 (214)
Taiko PS2 3, Taiko Drum Master, CD Donderful
102~110
none
 clsf


The easiest and shortest classic medley so far, being only 2* on Oni. The Home Party Version mixes folk/children songs from the West, with a mild country-style music, and themed after a house party. It was later ported to both Japanese and American versions of Taiko Drum Master under the name Foster's Medley, following Stephen Foster who is the original composer for all of the featured pieces.

 Symphonic Medley No.1 (シンフォニックメドレー第1番)
Version
Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko +x3 (127)x5 (200) x7 (407)x8 (527) 
Taiko DS 3x4 (127)x5 (200) x7 (407)x8 (527) 
 Taiko PSP 2, Taiko DS 3, Taiko Wii U 3, Taiko +
 63~110
 none
 clstaj


For the only entry of this series without the words "Classic Medley" on the title, we have a track featuring portions of three Classic songs who haven't been featured on Taiko games as stand-alone songs: Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No.1, 1st Movement (1874-1875), Debussy's Golliwog's Cake Walk (1908) and Chopin's Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 (1842), also known in French as the "Polonaise héroïque".

Judging by the fact that no other "Symphonic Medley" song has been made since then, it's plausible to assume that this was the first in a song series that got debunked. This track's SongID (clstaj) might hint at the identity of this medley's arranger, which is currently speculated to be Namco Sounds musician Katsuro Tajima (田島勝朗), already composer of the Game Music 'Symphonic' songs and the 4-sillable Classic arranges in later years (Dokadoka, Chikochiko, Puchipochi).

Being a song by the many BPM/scrolling shifts, to achieve an high rate of accuracy is no easy feat, coupled by the addition of selected tricky clusters along the run.

Classic Medley (Wedding ver.) (クラシックメドレー ウェディング編)
Version
Allx4 (129)x5 (166) x5 (300)x7 (402)
Taiko DS 1, Taiko Android, CD 2008
90~200
none
 clsmar


The latest classic medley is a rare DS1 exclusive song (not counting the smartphone versions) which has not been included in any arcade version, nor ported to any other games console. It is themed around a wedding ceremony, which goes well until the banquet, where one guest- probably the groom- had been having a little too much to drink or was choking on food and the celebration ended in disaster.

The majority of this medley is actually played out to the fourth song, In the Hall of the Mountain King, where things got really ugly at the wedding celebrations and the BPM keeps on increasing, and it is here that a few note clusters are an obstacle to newbie players trying to FC the song. One of the more surreal and frightening medleys in Taiko.

Five songs are involved, and unlike Rock and Sports Day, none of the songs listed below have had a chance to shine in Taiko with their own notechart yet.

Wedding Chorus from Lohengrin (Wagner)
Toast Song from La Traviata (Verdi)
Liebesträume No. 3 (Liszt)
In the Hall of the Mountain King (Gynt)
Waltz in A-flat major Op. 69-1 (also known as the 'Farewell Waltz') (Chopin)

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