[HOMM IV] Origin of the Sea Theme, The Similar Music Thread

The old Heroes games developed by New World Computing. Please specify which game you are referring to in your post.

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lotusreaver
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[HOMM IV] Origin of the Sea Theme, The Similar Music Thread

Postby lotusreaver » Jul 31 2009, 23:25

Hi guys,

I had a question about the sea theme in Heroes IV and its origin. Here's the YouTube video for reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkDXNSWJLuo

The same song appears in Sea Dogs II/Pirates of the Caribbean as the Tavern theme (2003) and in a Japanese anime series which premiered in 2002 days after Heroes IV went on sale called Twelve Kingdoms. The same songs appear in Lineage II, Black & White 2, and Civ IV. So I don't really think there's plagiarism here. Rather, this is not an original song, but a remix of an older Celtic folk song.

Reference videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWkq2l8AMlU (Pirates)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYeM0Km3ITg (Twelve Kingdoms)

Does anyone knows the name of the original folk song? I've been looking for information all over the web but all I can find is speculation and hearsay.

----------------------

Random fun fact, Twelve Kingdoms actually has another track in common with Heroes IV, but played with a Chinese string instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I7ufyaEGK8 (Twelve Kingdoms)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbJ1oxPvZrY (HOMMIV)
Last edited by lotusreaver on Jul 31 2009, 23:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lotusreaver » Jul 31 2009, 23:40

More fun parallels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiUgycUNFJo (Warlords Battlecry II)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gp998NT1hw (HOMMIV)

Also, check out the first 15 seconds of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wToDNLRDfjs (Black & White 2)

And the last 2 minutes of this track sounds like the snow lands theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJK8KSiBIac (Black & White 2)
Last edited by lotusreaver on Aug 1 2009, 6:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby lotusreaver » Aug 1 2009, 3:18

I emailed Paul Romero, the composer, about why two of the tracks in the HOMM IV soundtrack and Twelve Kingdoms are virtually identical. What a nice guy! Here's what he responded with:

The chord progressions used in both sets of music are progressions that date back up to 500 years. Many composers use the same chord progression (only 12 major and 12 minor chords exist in all music) so you will hear these progressions in many many pieces of music over the last 5 centuries. As for the second set of comparisons, I think whoever created the music for twelve kingdoms probably did hear my music from HOMMIV because I've never played a video game or watched anime my entire life! So I know I've never been exposed to any music from twelve kingdoms (actually I've never even heard of it). I only write music for specific areas that game producers ask of me.

Good questions!


Interesting. I'm going to email him back about the song also appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean. Stay tuned.

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Postby theLuckyDragon » Aug 1 2009, 5:13

Interesting finds :)
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Postby lotusreaver » Aug 1 2009, 6:30

Actually, I got another email from Paul Romero which provided some closure. I posted it on my blog, but I'll also repost the email here.

“I think what all three of us composers have in common is that we probably used an ancient instrument sample (companies sell pre-recorded bits of ancient instruments playing very old melodic fragments which then I can add orchestral accompaniment and vary the speed of the melody to suit the mood. These fragments come in instrumental catalogs and many soundtrack composers will use bits and pieces of melodies to incorporate into their scores. I’m not sure what catalog the little tune came from but I’m sure it’s from the same one that the other composers used as well. I try not to use such pre-recorded fragments due to the fact that lots of other composers will be using the same tool, but when you have deadlines like we have in this industry (i.e., producers needing a 3 minute piece of music within 24 hours, composed, recorded, mixed, mastered, then embedded into the graphics), we use every tool possible in order to have a good-sounding piece of music created in a timely fashion.”


So there you have it. The similarities are due to all composers using the same samples. Considering Heroes IV was an unfinished product (by the development team's own admission) and deadlines were rushed by 3DO, I'm not surprised the music was largely arrangements of ancient instrument samples.

Still, the music is gorgeous and Romero did a good job arranging them. Consider this mystery solved. Case closed.

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Postby GreatEmerald » Aug 1 2009, 11:13

Indeed, interesting finds... And yes, HoMM4 music is really nice, though for me it seemed a little too monotonous - you don't get such obvious difference when you walk from one terrain to another, for example, grass to snow, like you get in HoMM3. Yet that makes the style of the game - HoMM3 campaign musics are the same style, same goes to most MM7 overland music tracks.

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Postby Kalah » Aug 1 2009, 11:26

Very nice indeed. :)
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Shyranis
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Postby Shyranis » Aug 1 2009, 19:02

Nice bit of research =)

josep
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another place i've founded this song

Postby josep » Sep 2 2011, 10:29

i've discovered this song in the game sea dogs 2 first and i felt in love whit it.
looking for the author founded that vidio comparison in youtbe (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzbzxyJo9RA)and later i hearded it in the intro of a program called "big fat gypsy wedding "

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIeoJaI2qy0

and i'm crazy for now searching the author. i've used a program called "shazam" to tell me about the song and said:

name of teh song: "ecume et vague de l'âme" from the disc: "nature atmospheres" and author:"yogitea"

http://www.amazon.com/Nature-Atmosphere ... 452&sr=1-2

and appears in more albums... so i'm really crazy wasting time on this and i can't get any conclusion,
i've also bought the song and is almost the same on sea dogs, it's kind of relaxing music with sounds of the seashore. the only references are:
yogitea
origins zen media
pop/rock international
11 june 2.011

...for whatever "altre_fedaykin@yahoo.es" ,josep. thanks to everybody

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Postby Marzhin » Jun 27 2014, 10:14

For those still interested in that old topic, the adventure map music of Heroes IV is based on the Complete Celt collection from Advanced Media Group. Some tracks are even lifted straight from that sample collection, with little to no modification.

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Postby Panda Tar » Jun 27 2014, 13:54

Oh. :shh:
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Marzhin
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Postby Marzhin » Jun 27 2014, 14:56

This sample collection is apparently still loved by video game composers. It is for instance used in The Witcher 3, as demonstrated by this (beautiful by the way) piece titled The Fields of Ard Skellig. :)

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Postby savetara » Jun 30 2014, 5:35

Nice! Just wish they had a Kontakt version.

EDIT:
I see they have the EXS24 version which might load into Kontakt properly.
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Re: [HOMM IV] Origin of the Sea Theme, The Similar Music Thread

Postby Dominic Copher » Apr 21 2017, 9:43

Yep, The Fields of Ard Skellig is a perfect theme for islanders! I heartily recommend a composer Adrian von Ziegler, if you're into more celtic sound.
Last edited by Dominic Copher on Apr 24 2017, 6:18, edited 1 time in total.


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