You asked for it, and here it is! Many people have emailed me over the years interested in sheet music from the game score, and many people are surprised when I tell them I don’t have any because the music production is all done digitally in Pro Tools. I physically play in each instrument on my keyboard, with sampled sounds from my computer, and eventually stack up enough tracks to simulate a large ensemble. So even though I’d love to, I’ve had a hard time figuring out what I could do to help people play this music.
Some aspiring musicians have taken it upon themselves to learn pieces from the game by ear, and adapt it to their needs, which is always great to see… the first step to understanding music better is to hear and internalize the music, and then embellish or change it as you see fit. But this might be beyond some people’s abilities or interests.
The people who ask about sheet music play many different instruments: piano, oboe, saxophone, trombone, mallet percussion, bass guitar… do I write melodies out in all their respective keys and ranges? For all skill levels and abilities? Arrange it for soloists, duets, trios, quartets?
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to prepare sheet music for all these scenarios, so I decided to give musicians the tools they need to create their own arrangement of the tune. This goes hand in hand with my belief that musicians should take creative ownership of the music they’re interested in. So, I’m providing you with a Reduced Score, that will let anyone on any instrument create their own parts and arrangements. You’ll have to do some work piecing together the part you’re interested in playing, and not all parts will be applicable to all instruments, but all the notes are contained here.
I’ve broken the score down into three parts:
- a keyboard part, with two traditional piano staves for parts like celeste, harp, or harpsichord. This part would be appropriate for a piano or electronic keyboard. Occasionally I’ve transposed parts to keep them central on the staves and avoid too many ledger lines, so they would require some experimentation to make them sound exactly as they do on the recording. I’ve also included chord symbols at the top of this part to assist other chording instruments in providing harmony.
- A lead part: This part generally has the monophonic (single note) melody part transcribed in it, although occasionally the octaves are transposed to stay on the staff. Often the melody is passed from instrument to instrument in the recording, so this part can be very busy. If you have more players they could take turns.
- A secondary part: This part contains countermelodies and other accompaniment parts not covered by the keyboard part. Sometimes it’s single notes, other times it contains accompaniment chords you might hear voiced in brass, strings, or woodwinds. If you’re arranging a tune for a larger ensemble, you could break this part out into multiple parts.
The Lead and Secondary parts will eventually be provided in Bb, Eb, and F so you don’t have to sight transpose if you’re playing trumpet, or alto clarinet (for example.)
Please note many parts are transposed up or down an octave or two to stay central on the staff and avoid ledger lines. If this makes a line too high or low for your instrument or range, transpose it into your instrument’s range, or simply don’t play it! These parts are all taken directly from the Pro Tools source files, so sometimes there may be subtle “inside” parts you’re not used to hearing… but take my word for it: they’re in there!
Finally: since the player will be familiar with the piece, I have omitted many articulations and dynamics. I believe a musician should be able to hear those automatically rather than rely on the arrangement to remind them. Copy editing those markings is also time consuming, and I’d rather spend my time getting the notes right!
The first piece is
Many people have asked for it, and here it is! This ZIP file contains the Reduced Score for Dragonspyre Opus 1 from KingsIsle’s Wizard101! Rather than trying to guess what instrument, what arrangement, what key, etc. etc. etc. I’ve decided to provide you with this reduced score, which contains virtually all parts of the tune. All you have to do is pick which part you’re interested in playing, and have fun!
My goal is to help the W101 and P101 musical communities celebrate the music of a favorite game, and to learn to enjoy the process of creating their own expression of it. I’ve already learned a lot about harmony, and music layout and readability by undertaking this project, but I’m sure there are things I could do better. If you have any ideas or insights on how I might better accomplish this, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org