Featuring Final Fantasy IX and irish traditional music etc.
Greetings fellow game music lovers,
from Final Fantasy VI we make a huge jump to Final Fantasy IX from 2000, the last game in the franchise that was fully scored by Nobuo Uematsu alone. The soundtrack has been described sounding "medieval" by Uematsu himself and indeed there are many folksy and traditional sounding melodies in the suite. One of them is "Cleyra Settlement" from the Burmecian outpost the tribe Freya descends from:
Some people have identified this music as irish traditional music. Cause for this may be that the Burmecians, and thus the Cleyrans, seem to share many aspects of irish culture, especially their dance routines. Some hints can also be found in the song itself:
Nevertheless, there are also some clues that speak against it:
So what is Cleyra Settlement in the end? A small hint can be found in the lead instrument which sounds very much like a Calliope, a pipe organ that can often be found at circuses and carnivals:
Circuses and carnivals were the height of their popularity in the late 19th and early 20th century when the musical landscape was dominated by rags, waltzes and marches.
And indeed, there are some waltzes from that era with a musical curve pretty similar to Cleyra. Examples:
Victor Herbert - "It Happended in Nordland" (1904):
Maybe this one too:
Carol / Friedland - "Beautiful Roses" (1914):
So, my hypothesis is that Cleyra is a waltz that has been mixed to sound irish.
More Final Fantasy next week!