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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Song of the Week! 31 May 2014

From chatbox user kathy, today's request is from the Classic genre. Finally, it's time to talk about an Italian-inspired song on this corner!

 O Sole Mio (オーソレ・ミオ)
Taiko 9, Taiko PS2 7, Taiko PSP 2x3 (80)x4 (100)x7 (279)x8 (381)
Taiko Wii 1x3 (80)x4 (100)x7 (280)x8 (381)
Taiko 3DS 1x3 (80)x3 (100)x7 (279)x8 (381)
 Taiko 9, Taiko PS2 7, Taiko PSP 2, Taiko Wii 1, Taiko 3DS 1
 Children/Folk -> Classic

Aside from the Variety song NIGHT OF FIRE, the Classic genre is the only one on Taiko games to feature worldwide-known musical tracks from Italian composers, whose backgrounds have also deeper roots into the Italian tradition, in spite of Niko's techno track. Here is the story of one of these popular songs.

Written in 1898, 'O Sole Mio is is one of the most known musical contributions from the Italian city of Naples, as its lyrics are written in that city's local dialect (Neapolitan). The title is translated in regular Italian as 'Il Mio Sole', which in English is read as 'My Sunshine', which was also one of the earlier Japanese names used to refer to this song in Taiko (私の太陽).

From many stories around the song's origins, it looks like 'O Sole Mio's lyricist, Giovanni Capurro (1859-1920), has been inspired both by a wonderful sunrise spotted on the Black Sea and by the beauty of Anna Maria "Nina" Vignati-Mazza, an Italian noble woman from Oleggio who won Naples's first beauty contest. What is already proved by official documentation, however, is the song's actual origins: in 1898, the poet/playwriter Capurro wrote the song's lyrics as a poem, and some time later asked to composer/songwriter Eduardo Di Capua (1865-1917) to set it to music. Later in the same year, the song was presented for the musical contest Pierdigrotta 1898, an event promoted by Italian publisher Bideri, where came in second place after a piece called Napule Bello!. Even if 'O Sole Mio proved to be the most popular through the passing of time, Capurro and Di Capua received very little money for its creation, with publisher Bider holding the song's rights even to this day, after a 2002 tribunal trial which credited the song's co-creation to Alfredo Mazzucchi for the melody, thus extending the copyright until 2042.

Several musical personalities from the later decades performed the Neapulitan either in its original form or in other languages with alternative lyrics, thus expanding the song's popularity all over the world. Among the many artists, Italian operatic tenor Luciano Pavarotti's rendition of 'O Sole Mio awarded him the 1980 Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal Performance, while rock'n'roll sensation Elvis Presley tributed it with an alternative, ballad-styled version of the original with different lyrics, titled "It's Now or Never". In rhythm game talk, the original song is also being featured in Pastagames' Maestro! Jump in Music. For Taiko games, 'O Sole Mio takes a rather different turn, becoming for the drumming games a remixed techno-trance track with half of the original song. This particular rendition has been composed by Jesahm (自営山) (Nocturne Op. 9-2, Star Trigon Medley), with the singing voice of Udzuka Yasuo (兎束康雄).

'O Sole Mio's Oni mode is yet another of the strange specimen of 8* challenge with some pretty hard sections for the tier; while the patterns roll generally nice around the common 1/16 pattern schemes between small and medium-sized clusters, the very dense, monochrome 1/32 clusters require the same speed attitude of harder songs like Kita Saitama 2000 in order not to miss any note, as the time distance between the notes is pratically the same, compared to the infamous 2000 song's 1/16 hi-sped clusters!

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