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12/18/2010 10:11:39 AM
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The Music of Halo: Reach Dissected.

[b]WARNING! WARNING! LONG, LONG, POST! DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN HALO: REACH'S MUSIC![/b] [i]Foreword: This thread is basically about the music of Reach and how its themes are related to the past Halo games. If you're not interested in details and want a particular song, scroll down to the list. Also: Please tell me if you'd be interested in a thread for all of the Halo games' music.[/i] [b]Caveat: Although I find myself decently talented with music, my descriptions are not always the most technical. I apologize to those of you with more extensive musical knowledge than I and welcome corrections to my word usage.[/b] Halo: Reach's music is, on the surface, possibly the largest departure from the original style of Halo that Marty O'Donnell has made. This can seem jarring, but a Halo fan with a sharp ear will actually be able to identify that Marty isn't as detached from the original Halo themes as we may think he is. Throughout this post, I'll be going through each track in Halo: Reach and picking it apart, noting when themes are reused or established. My system: As I explain a song, I will put a number between two brackets, which will be used throughout the post as certain themes recur. The themes are notated as [#] and drumbeats are notated separately as [d#]. Themes followed by a number (e.g. [1b]) are variants of another theme. If I name a new theme without describing it, that means it's original. [b]I've provided links to simplify the experience, but you'll still need to pay a fair amount of attention here.[/b] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB5h5YF__JA][b]Overture:[/b][/url] This piece contains only one original song. As such, I won't be notating it extensively. 0:00 - Beginning of theme [1] 0:14 - A new song. Vaguely reminiscent of Middle-Eastern style music. At 1:22, we hear a variant of theme [1] that I'll dub as theme [1b]. 2:01 - Theme [1c] 3:18 - Theme [2] 3:48 - Theme [3] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGXbwb7K_kg][b]Winter Contingency:[/b][/url] 0:00 - We hear theme [1] in its "full" form along with [d1]. Starts with the first three notes of the Halo theme, but changes as it goes into a different scale (Phrygian?). The melody with the strings at 0:58 we hear (which is arguably Reach's theme) is actually not original. It was pulled directly from the first theme Halo 3's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLmKxAiKM2A]"Farthest Outpost."[/url] 3:09 - [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXwhcOClbk]VGA World Premiere theme.[/url] Only difference from "Lone Wolf" is minor percussion in the initial brass opening. 5:32 - Amelodic cellos. No repetition. 6:24 - Drumbeat [d2] 7:10 - Theme [4] 8:02 - Starts out with a melody like [1b], but becomes its own. 9:38 - Theme [5] 10:36 - Theme [6] seems original, but the baseline is that of the latter half of the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXwhcOClbk]VGA theme.[/url] Another theme emerges for about six seconds at the end, but I'm not expanding upon it because it's theme [3]. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-tC27YCChA][b]ONI: Sword Base:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Original theme but drumbeat [d3]. 1:54 - New theme, but has the last two notes of the Arbiter's theme (Think of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl6JlT8AFAY]"Cortege" from Halo 2's "Sacred Icon Suite"[/url]) 2:58 - New theme, but contains the full theme from "Cortege." 4:45 - Drumbeat [d2] 5:25 - Original theme. 5:51 - A bit of theme [1] mixed with the Reach [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtCEkWWixIc]announcement trailer theme ("We're not going anywhere")[/url], which combined, I'll call theme [7]. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s07rRQqmpJc][b]Nightfall:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Original, amelodic. Interesting note is that at 2:28 you can hear a slight beat that was also used in ODST. 2:55 - Theme [4] with a little expansion. 3:58 - Theme [6] expanded. 5:15 - Them [1c] abridged. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ePw5-70JZk][b]Tip of the Spear:[/b][/url] 0:00 - A direct adaptation of the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylLAsTNDWU8]Halo theme[/url] to Reach's scale (which I believe is Phrygian). 3:04 - Original theme. 4:13 - Original theme. 5:06 - Original theme, with the drums being used at the end of the "A Spartan Will Rise" ViDoc. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9jn2zvaqOk][b]Long Night of Solace:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Brass of [1] leading into expanded version of [1c]. 2:35 - Theme [5] brought back with drums and extra guitar work. 4:25 - Original theme. 5:36 - Theme [1] with just strings. 6:58 - Original theme. 9:15 - Original theme. 9:55 - Theme [1] with no percussion. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBsHTZYtb3A][b]Exodus:[/b][/url] 0:00 - First two notes of theme [1] leading into a slow version of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD21I2tlEaM]"In Amber Clad"[/url] from Halo 2. 1:29 - Original theme leading to drumbeat [d4]. 2:32 - Theme that I'll call [9]. 3:15 - Theme [7] 5:42 - Drumbeat [d5] with a direct adaptation of the music played at the end of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_w_gLF45HTM&feature=player_detailpage#t=254s]"The Menagerie" from ODST[/url]; just a little less melodic. 6:44 - Theme [7] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrQkfzgiwnc][b]New Alexandria:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Theme [2] is very reminiscent of the progression of musical ideas and repetition as [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHAhf0F868Y]"Epilogue"[/url] from Halo 2. 2:41 - Theme [4] abridged. 3:22 - An evolution of the beginning of the [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXMbLLLyuCs]Mausoleum Suite[/url] from Halo 2. 4:56 - Original theme. 5:54 - Original theme. 7:08 - Theme [3] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2WwMXbdPJA][b]The Package:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Theme [8]. Side note: Reminiscent at one point of part of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz0b4STz1lo&feature=player_detailpage#t=174s]"Jupiter"[/url] from Holst's "The Planets." Not Halo related but still. 0:57 - Reminiscent of parts of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GLmKxAiKM2A#t=124s]"Farthest Outpost"[/url] from Halo 3. 1:56 - Original theme with bass line reminiscent of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXwhcOClbk]"Lone Wolf"[/url] from the VGA World Premiere trailer. 3:06 - Original theme with the beginnings of the drums from [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXwhcOClbk]"Lone Wolf."[/url] 3:31 - Original theme but at 4:27 it has bits of theme [1c]. 5:22 - Original until 5:43 when it becomes the beginning of Cortana's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFJW9YdSGPA]"Keep What You Steal"[/url] from Halo 3. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvbfN_wPzBY][b]Pillar of Autumn:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Theme [1] with no percussion and a little more edge. 1:31 - Drumbeat [d4] with an evolution of theme [1]. 3:18 - Theme [9] with brass. 4:58 - Original theme. 6:12 - The cello parts of the second half of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnXwhcOClbk]"Lone Wolf"[/url] leading into drumbeat [d1]. 8:58 - Drumbeat [d5] with glissando. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZViMbs_wrE][b]Epilogue:[/b][/url] 0:00 - Theme [8] in piano form. 0:55 - Amelodic but original. 2:07 - Theme [2] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E5qCuBq0ko][b]From the Vault:[/b][/url] It truly is from the vault; these themes are from all Halo games. 0:00 - This whole part (minus the drums which are Reach-specific) is from Halo 3's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLmKxAiKM2A]"Farthest Outpost"[/url] but also should make you think of theme [1] because of Farthest Outpost being theme [1]'s progenitor. 1:13 - From [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGqS1okHH60&feature=player_detailpage#t=45s]"Impend"[/url] from Halo 2. 2:11 - From [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUF17cd8mKk]"The Maw"[/url] from Halo 1. 2:39 - From [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fa306R6JaHA&feature=player_detailpage#t=74s]"Ghosts of Reach"[/url] from Halo 2. 3:25 - From the end of [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAcEfmC3-OA&feature=player_detailpage#t=235s]"Behold a Pale Horse"[/url] from Halo 3. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EHt7k-vT1U][b]Ashes:[/b][/url] The whole song is an extended theme [3]. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FAIWdjipw0][b]Fortress:[/b][/url] Original. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtCEkWWixIc][b]We're Not Going Anywhere:[/b][/url] Announcement trailer music. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mu6eOO-q59M][b]At Any Cost:[/b][/url] Original, but uses drumbeat [d3] from ONI: Sword Base. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGO36c3JI3g][b]Both Ways (Remix):[/b][/url] This is a remix of the remix of a piece from ODST's [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GL3UmzvmL2E#t=150s]"The Office of Naval Intelligence."[/url] [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQyLgmNgl5Q][b]Walking Away:[/b][/url] Reach's throwback to [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t97u9qmgwN0]"A Walk in the Woods"[/url] from Halo 1 and [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9SbzVbpgMA]"Heretic, Hero"[/url] from Halo 2. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QDl2XTAPvE][b]Ghosts and Glass:[/b][/url] Theme [8] extended. [quote][/quote] [url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXgXgsTYV2Y][b]We Remember:[/b][/url] Theme [2] with electric guitar added.
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#Halo #Reach

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  • It Would, as so far as i can tell, the Halo: Reach fourm has a large amount of 'Haters' and 'Trolls'. -inweb

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  • I bump, but also pose a question: To those of you interested in this, would this thread be better off in the Universe forum?

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  • I love Marty=)

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  • Seeing as I'm trying to make this little guide as user-friendly as possible, I'm open to suggestions as to how I could improve it.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] BadJMan [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] ScarredViper I do agree, however, when do you know what the 'best' soundtrack is, when everyone has a different opinion. I agree on what you think is great, but I think the Tip of the Spear music is better. So where do they draw the line?[/quote] Ok, well perhaps something we could agree on is that they're both good and could have been used a bit more! You're right it's subjective what the 'best' is, but some pieces are more 'big' and 'epic' than others I think and I reckon that's easy to agree on. One particular bit I forgot to mention is right near the end of Winter Contingency, when you land in the courtyard - that bit is awesome and it really kicks in as soon as you jump off the falcon and start laying into the covies.. love that one.[/quote] Definitely.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] ScarredViper It wasn't to you, it was to the person before saying: "All people who bought the soundtrack will hate it"[/quote]I thought so, but just wanted to make sure.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] ScarredViper I do agree, however, when do you know what the 'best' soundtrack is, when everyone has a different opinion. I agree on what you think is great, but I think the Tip of the Spear music is better. So where do they draw the line?[/quote] Ok, well perhaps something we could agree on is that they're both good and could have been used a bit more! You're right it's subjective what the 'best' is, but some pieces are more 'big' and 'epic' than others I think and I reckon that's easy to agree on. One particular bit I forgot to mention is right near the end of Winter Contingency, when you land in the courtyard - that bit is awesome and it really kicks in as soon as you jump off the falcon and start laying into the covies.. love that one.

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  • [quote]Not to sound defensive here, but if people are going to disregard an entire thread because of the use of YouTube linksthat lead to exact times in the songs I'm mentioning for ease of use, then good riddance because they're acting pretentious. Not saying I can't improve it with the names of each part of each suite but I stil need to post the time, and if you're listening you'll hear it anyways.[/quote] Don't mind guys like him, OP. I can't stand elitists like him as well.

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  • I did notice this when listening to the soundtrack. However, it is a great soundtrack and a great dissection. I followed the music through with your notes. Not too complex, not too simple.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Rami730 What are you trying to say?[/quote]Well, with all these examples, the point one could deduce from this would be that Marty can never escape the previous Halo themes he's made. They're still hiding in the new Reach soundtrack.

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  • What are you trying to say?

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] IonicPaul [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Apocalypse 1313 Nice, Nice. I'm not gonna read it because I think Reach's music sucks ass. Halo 1+2 music was the best, and like 1 song from Halo 3. The newest song on the trailer for the Noble Map Pack is so epic I almost cried. Heheh. But seriously, on a title update they should put some old music back into the game. Halo music used to be cool but since Halo 3 its sounds nice and obnoxious.[/quote]Disagree entirely. And to whomever said not to judge his opinion for him, I'm not! I'm just saying that if people have that opinion it's a weird one.[/quote] It wasn't to you, it was to the person before saying: "All people who bought the soundtrack will hate it"

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] BadJMan [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Darth Sandwich Erm, all due respect, thats not an analysis? I have a degree in music A nice discography at best. But you need to break down the songs more thoroughly. a nice starting point would be Breaking down the structure for each track Look at the dynamics Tonality Timbre or Instrumentation Syncopation Speed Time signatures, etcs Relation to various modes Introduction of the harmony, melodys... I studied in the UK and my major project was analysis of Steve Vai's guitar playing. For those who don't know, hes the guy playing guitar on the Halo 2 theme. [/quote] This isn't a 'major project'. He's comparing the soundtrack to the previous halo games! One thing I'll say about the music is, although it is great, some of the biggest and best pieces are underused. Plus I don't feel there's one big recognisable main theme like the past Halos. The track that plays right at the beginning of Pillar of Autumn is fantastic and I believe should have been used more during the action, in fact I personally think it should be to Reach what the main Halo theme was to the first three.[/quote] I do agree, however, when do you know what the 'best' soundtrack is, when everyone has a different opinion. I agree on what you think is great, but I think the Tip of the Spear music is better. So where do they draw the line?

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Apocalypse 1313 Nice, Nice. I'm not gonna read it because I think Reach's music sucks ass. Halo 1+2 music was the best, and like 1 song from Halo 3. The newest song on the trailer for the Noble Map Pack is so epic I almost cried. Heheh. But seriously, on a title update they should put some old music back into the game. Halo music used to be cool but since Halo 3 its sounds nice and obnoxious.[/quote]Disagree entirely. And to whomever said not to judge his opinion for him, I'm not! I'm just saying that if people have that opinion it's a weird one.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Darth Sandwich Erm, all due respect, thats not an analysis? I have a degree in music A nice discography at best. But you need to break down the songs more thoroughly. a nice starting point would be Breaking down the structure for each track Look at the dynamics Tonality Timbre or Instrumentation Syncopation Speed Time signatures, etcs Relation to various modes Introduction of the harmony, melodys... I studied in the UK and my major project was analysis of Steve Vai's guitar playing. For those who don't know, hes the guy playing guitar on the Halo 2 theme. [/quote] This isn't a 'major project'. He's comparing the soundtrack to the previous halo games! One thing I'll say about the music is, although it is great, some of the biggest and best pieces are underused. Plus I don't feel there's one big recognisable main theme like the past Halos. The track that plays right at the beginning of Pillar of Autumn is fantastic and I believe should have been used more during the action, in fact I personally think it should be to Reach what the main Halo theme was to the first three.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] IonicPaul [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Mutoid Log You're not pleasing anything with this. The casuals won't care, and the people who have bought the soundtrack will only disapprove of you using youtube videos instead of it.[/quote]Not to sound defensive here, but if people are going to disregard an entire thread because of the use of YouTube linksthat lead to exact times in the songs I'm mentioning for ease of use, then good riddance because they're acting pretentious. Not saying I can't improve it with the names of each part of each suite but I stil need to post the time, and if you're listening you'll hear it anyways.[/quote] I bought the soundtrack, I don't think this thread is a waste of time. I love this thread, and like the issues raised. *Thread Saved* Please don't try to judge my opinion for me.

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  • And yes, a thread for all the Halo games' music would be sweet.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Mutoid Log You're not pleasing anything with this. The casuals won't care, and the people who have bought the soundtrack will only disapprove of you using youtube videos instead of it.[/quote]Not to sound defensive here, but if people are going to disregard an entire thread because of the use of YouTube linksthat lead to exact times in the songs I'm mentioning for ease of use, then good riddance because they're acting pretentious. Not saying I can't improve it with the names of each part of each suite but I stil need to post the time, and if you're listening you'll hear it anyways.

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  • Nice, Nice. I'm not gonna read it because I think Reach's music sucks ass. Halo 1+2 music was the best, and like 1 song from Halo 3. The newest song on the trailer for the Noble Map Pack is so epic I almost cried. Heheh. But seriously, on a title update they should put some old music back into the game. Halo music used to be cool but since Halo 3 its sounds nice and obnoxious.

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  • Seems like you put in much work into this thread, well done.

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  • One thing I'd like to point out is that you can INSANELY hear the Brass players breathing in during the main soundtrack. Its one of those things that you can't get rid of once you hear it - Dramatic moment, stuff flying everywhere, spartans fighting against insurmountable odds, BRASS PLAYERS BREATHING IN, grenades flying, heroic rush by humanity, BRASS PLAYERS BREATHING IN... ect. This thread was a good read though. I respect the effort.

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  • Darth Sandwich, who the hell wants to hear someone rant about that? ;)

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  • You're not pleasing anything with this. The casuals won't care, and the people who have bought the soundtrack will only disapprove of you using youtube videos instead of it. Tip: each track (represented on youtube as one video) has multiple independet parts, each of which has been named. For example, Winter Contingeny consists of The Battle Begins 3:10 Lone Wolf 2:23 Distress 1:38 Blood on the Ground 0:53 Noble Mission 1:15 Bait and Switch 1:19 Free Fire Zone 0:38 Discontent 0:51 Knowing this would help your dissection make a lot more sense.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] chancy319 Make your own thread then. We would love to see it.[/quote] Not sure if this was sarcasm, but I honestly would like to see an in-depth analysis. Again, my post was just a reference to show how past themes have been reused. Even if I was making a basic analysis, I'd have written more than "original theme" on half the songs. -_- [Edited on 12.18.2010 2:48 AM PST]

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  • [quote]Erm, all due respect, thats not an analysis? I have a degree in music A nice discography at best. But you need to break down the songs more thoroughly. a nice starting point would be Breaking down the structure for each track Look at the dynamics Tonality Timbre or Instrumentation Syncopation Speed Time signatures, etcs Relation to various modes Introduction of the harmony, melodys... I studied in the UK and my major project was analysis of Steve Vai's guitar playing. For those who don't know, hes the guy playing guitar on the Halo 2 theme.[/quote] Make your own thread then. We would love to see it.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Darth Sandwich [/quote]My initial title for the thread was too long, so I changed it to "dissected" instead of "and its Relation to the Past Music." I'm not analyzing the music in depth; I'm just relating it to the past Halo games' music so people can get a feel of how intermingled everything is. If I was analyzing it in depth, it'd have been much more effort than a couple hours in the middle of the night. [Edited on 12.18.2010 2:45 AM PST]

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