I used to love doing Electone arrangements. It’s one of those truly tedious but rewarding pastimes. Not too different from jogging, or jigsaw puzzles, or to an extent, writing. Back when I was still attending lessons at Yamaha, I used to scribble one every month. These were all very raw and I have long trashed them in embarrassment. Still, I delighted myself experimenting with ideas and struggling to capture rhythms and chords. The kick from doing these arrangements, undoubtedly, was one of the key factors that kept me playing the Electone throughout all those years.
Since returning to the Electone in 2008, I’ve been regularly toying with the idea of doing arrangements again. And I ended up … doing not even one. Laziness and other time commitments are naturally the primary culprits, but in my defence, I would highlight it was also due to the task not being as streamlined as I thought it would be with current technologies. Despite all sorts of notation software available online, very few fully cater to the Electone style of notation. This is made worse by the unique symbols increasingly use in Electone arrangements. Memory buttons, sequence notes, 2nd Pedal, Aftertouch, S.A., and the likes of. Not to say these are completely undoable in the current software available, but it’s just tedious. Actually, it is often far more tedious than just writing it out with a pencil.
Yeah. The good old pencil. And rulers and erasers. The companions of all homemade Electone arrangements.
And slanting lines. Uneven stems. Blotches from repeated erasing. Oh gosh! I spilt cola on my manuscript!!!
… … … What excuses have I been giving myself? Shameful! What happened to my perseverance from back then?!
So yes! I’ve given myself a good kick and finally gotten down to finishing an arrangement.
For the song, which is very important for I so needed it to sustain my determination, I chose the opening theme from my favourite television series EVER. The first season of Wonder Woman from 1975.
This is also, of course, to coincide with Diana’s return to the big screen this week. To also coincide with the movie review theme of this blog. Oh! How long we fanboys have waited for this. How long I’ve waited!
And if you play the Electone too. If you have a Stagea, preferably the second generation ones. Ta-da, here are the files.
(The registration is in a .zip file. You’d need to unzip this and extract the files within to a folder on your USB)
- I’ve never been good with percussions, so I based this off a midi file I found, like, 15 years ago. For the life of me, I cannot remember where I downloaded the file from. So I can only offer a silent, heartfelt thank-you to the creator of that file.
- The one-bar intro has an explosion sound on the second beat. (To imply, you know, the SPIN) I know this is weird, but putting it in the first or third beat felt weirder.
- The hardest part of this arrangement is the frantic walking bass. As much as possible I avoided unnecessary syncopations.
- If you’re using the ELS-01 or ELS-01C, you’d need to replace some of the sounds. Such as the Super Articulation Trumpets.
- I have no way of testing, but I highly doubt the registration would work on the ELs.
- This is fully sequenced. However, note that I often programme registration changes to kick in a few nanoseconds earlier. For example, instead of the change happening on Bar 4, Beat 1, Clock 0, I would programme it to kick in at Bar 3, Beat 4, Clock 78. This is to, ahem, cater to my tendency to play notes slightly earlier. HOWEVER, in some cases, it is also to allow for the change to fully take effect. I can’t explain this beyond saying, if you play the note at the same time as the change, sometimes, the voice comes out weird.
- Most parts of this arrangement have a Custom A.B.C ongoing with the percussions. I decided on this to give that funky walking bass more punch.
- I am … agonisingly far from being a truly competent Electone player. So I’m still trapped in that student situation of arranging things I can’t completely play. The performance above is … a guide. A ROUGH guide!
- I did this arrangement in Finale PrintMusic 2010. If you want the raw file, so to speak, please email me!
Last but not least, now that I’ve sorted things out, I’m going to be uploading Electone arrangements and registrations regularly. Next on the list, something from Sega’s Ryu ga Gotoku series of games!
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