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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Song of the Week! 7 September 2013


You know what this section lacks of for this year? A Classic song review. With that said, ... There you go!

 American Patrol (アメリカンパトロール)
Version
Allx4 (129)x5 (182)x7 (324)x8 (415)
 Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 2, CD Full Combo
 200
 none
 jazamp


The Classic genre is pretty much a stagnant pool right now except the occasional new tune on console, but there was a time where it was simply flourishing with new works. Speaking of which, this is another of those console-exclusive picks!

Like When the Saints Go Marching In, American Patrol is another traditional American piece known and beloved by all. It's a march composed for piano in 1885 by Frank White Meacham (1856-1909), incorporating both original melodies and melodies from other patriotic songs of the era, like "Dixie" and "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean". Like many other 'patrol' themed compositions of the 19th century (like the Turkish Patrol or Owl's Patrol), the idea behind the song is the representation of a military band approaching the listener, passing by, and fading into the distance.

Sseveral arrangements of the American Patrol have been performed by different artists; among the most famous is Carl Fisher's 1891 arrange for wind band, Jerry Gray's swing version of 1941 and Morton Gould's dissonant revisiting named "American Patrol for 3 Bands". Many decades later, former Namco musicians created another arrangement of the American Patrol for Taiko Portable 2's first batch of downloadable songs, and then seen later on Wii as well. Unlike the original song whose chimes often call back to America's most known patriotic songs, this arrangement contains several soundbytes which reference Namco's gaming past, including a short extract from 1983 videogame Mappy's main BGM.

Chart-wise, Americ Patrol is a typical high-speed swing chart with short 1/12 clusters. It's not particularly easy, especially if you get easily disoriented by continuous red-blue to blue-red clusters, which can be hard to read at times. Maintaining a good level of focus is required to securely FC this song.

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