I'm analyzing composition techniques in the music of the older Zelda games. I'm really trying to understand the decisions these composers make when writing these tunes. For example, in Oracle of Ages, the Crown Dungeon has a song which I find interesting, https://youtu.be/n-4Wd9z-sXM
It has very chromatic harmony. The upper register harmonies are mostly minor and major 3rds. But the monophonic bassline ostinato tends to create minor, major and augmented triads when combined with the upper registers, with a few ambiguous chord clusters here and there. How do they come up with this stuff? What type of music does this tune and era reflect most? Classical, jazz? I'd like to learn to write stuff like this.
Another tune is the final level of the 1st Zelda. This one seems more complex to analyze. https://youtu.be/m-DAsdX82O0
The upper registers and monophonic bassline separately are pretty simple. The upper registers I believe is all Augmented 4ths, tritone. Yet combined with the repeating bassline they collide in interesting ways to create more complex harmonies. The very first chord implied seems ambiguous, 1st result on the Piano Companion app is C Major 7 sus4, obviously in the song it's missing a fifth. The melody jumps around and "resolves" on a diminished chord. This is the first 4 seconds of the song.
Then the motif repeats, with the only change being the bassline dropping a semitone. But the harmonic consequences are astounding to me. The bassline does a unison with one of the upper register's notes, kind of emphasizing that tritone sound, perhaps even resolving some of the tension and confusion caused within the previous 4 seconds. Then the melody jumps around, landing on and "resolving" to B7, fifth omitted. Something Koji Kondo likes to do in some of his other dungeon music, he will have diminished harmonies that seem to find some resolution in Dominant 7th harmony.
So is this influenced from late Classical or Jazz? Maybe somebody out there has something to add to help me understand this style of composition better. Maybe you know of similar techniques that composers have used. I'm really interested in how this atonal stuff can still sound good even without the the familiar chords and progression of tonal music. Thanks everyone.