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Immersion: bardic songs

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Immersion: bardic songs

Post  runestyr on Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:23 am

In this thread
http://project-skyrim.forum.com.bz/t7-improving-immersion-brainstorming-thread
Stratomunchkin made a lot of immersion suggestions, including this one:

Additonal songs for the bards. Bard telling stories. Needed: a decent voice actor. Texts from the in-game books.

Not only do I like that idea, but I've done it twice before for the Thief series: a voice set for a religious character who sings lines from his religion's in-game texts (instead of talking to himself like most of the AI in Thief), and a special voice set for a drunk (66 lines to cover most situations) plus a song for him to sing as he leaves the bar and stumbles home. That song was written by a friend of mine who gave me permission to perform it for use in the game.

So, I am starting this thread for 3 purposes.

  1. Gather songs. If there's an in-game book you think could be made into a song, post the (altered if necessary) text here with your suggestion as to how the music should sound.
  2. Gather music. If you can write music, write some tunes for these songs. If you can play lute or drum (I suppose an acoustic guitar might simulate a lute if you limit your chords to 3 or 4), perform the music to accompany the singing or storytelling.
  3. Gather singers. I'll be one, but we have a lot of voice actors already, so who else can help?

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Re: Immersion: bardic songs

Post  Ultiman on Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:09 am

i like this idea alot some new songs would be great. maby we can also add some extra locations to find bards he he perhaps have one that wont stop following you and singing and u get some sort of quest when you kill him Razz lol idk

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Re: Immersion: bardic songs

Post  runestyr on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:54 am

Then let's get to it. This page lists the books in Skyrim, which (appropriately) include many repeats from earlier in the game series:
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Books

Of course, many of them are journals or scholarly works that are poorly suited for entertainment. But I think I can turn this one into a song:
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Fall_of_the_Snow_Prince
I'll work on writing it this weekend.

Other possible candidates include these, if anyone wants to take them on:
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Flight_from_the_Thalmor for an anti-Thalmor song
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Great_Harbingers for a song about the Companions
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:King_Olaf%27s_Verse and this one is already a song, I guess
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Love_Poem always a hit with the ladies (and now that I look at the lyrics I realize they fit the tune of Greensleeves Twisted Evil )
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Pirate_King_of_the_Abecean for those with pirat-itude
http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Song_of_the_Askelde_Men for your darker moods
and of course, there are several books that include actual songs, for those who just want to sing and not to write. Go to it!

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Re: Immersion: bardic songs

Post  runestyr on Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:23 pm

Wow, it's been almost a month since I promised to write a song about the Snow Prince. But inspiration does not often come on demand. Last night I was unpacking the game music to listen to it more easily, and got an idea.

1. The story is about the turning point in the most significant battle in recorded Nord history. So the song needs an epic feel. I think the Skyrim main theme (around 2 minutes when the men's choir starts singing about the Dovakin) would work very well for that. I need a lute song that repeats the vocal theme, or maybe a drum, against which I could sing. But maybe I can figure out how to do that myself, in time.

2. Real life Nordic poetry is alliterative and allegoric; Thun's speech is a good example. But I don't want to go too far in that direction, or some people might get confused by the lyrics. And, the vanilla bard songs are later-medieval in style (i.e. literal rhyming, not alliterative allegory).

3. It occurred to me that because this song is about the defeat of the mer long ago, it would be an inspiration to all Nords given the current situation with the Empire and the Aldmeri. The StormCloaks in particular could use it to stir up emotions. So, the bard's introductory comments (if any) might reflect the attitude of "we beat them before."

4. This song also supports Skyrim canon since the story suggests that the Snow Prince was a Falmer, prior to their degeneration (another mod I'd like to see, i.e. less-degenerated snow-elves).

Once I had a tune selected, it was easy to rough-draft the verses and the chorus. I am going for 3-4 minutes in length:


In most ancient of times, on the Solstheim isle,
when the Nords fought the Mer, win this land or we die.
Ysgramor's men had beat the elves into retreat.

The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, the rarest of mer,
with his unholy magic spear and armor.
The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, came to turn the tide,
but the Nords won the land when the Snow Prince died.


When he rode in their midst, the elves cried with a boom,
“Lo, the Snow Prince has come, and he brings men their doom.”
With his spear he laid low many heroes in gloom.

The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, the rarest of mer,
with his unholy magic spear and armor.
The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, came to turn the tide,
but the Nords won the land when the Snow Prince died.


The Snow Prince's spear felled many of our lords,
when a grieving young squire threw her slain mother's sword,
and the Snow Prince died despite his still-glowing wards.

The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, the rarest of mer,
with his unholy magic spear and armor.
The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, came to turn the tide,
but the Nords won the land when the Snow Prince died.


With the battle at end we did burn our foe's dead,
but to honor the Prince with a barrow instead,
In a Stalhrim the Snow Prince now does rest his head.

The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, the rarest of mer,
with his unholy magic spear and armor.
The Snow Prince, the Snow Prince, came to turn the tide,
but the Nords won the land when the Snow Prince died.


HAIL THE HONORED DEAD! IN SOVINGARDE!

Comments?


Last edited by runestyr on Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:20 pm; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : OK, I'm done updating the lyrics until you've had a chance to comment)

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Re: Immersion: bardic songs

Post  runestyr on Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:30 am

Update: I made a recording of this today, and learned a few things. First, it sounded cool when I was singing it thanks to the psychological principle of closure as it pertains to performing arts*. Second, it's a complex tune. Third, I'll have to make the recording later when I don't have a cold.** affraid But it wasn't a total waste, since I got the melody memorized and the drum rhythm worked out. And my phone now has a nice ringtone.

* Human nature is to fill in gaps and make assumptions without necessarily even noticing it. So in a live performance, we ignore little things that aren't quite right. But, modern music and video techniques, where you do something 10, 20, or 100 times then edit the heck out of it, means we expect perfection in pre-recorded media. So while it sounded good while I was singing it, the playback was like this: Suspect

** Thanks to this cold, my voice was scratchy and couldn't hold the tune as well as I like. So until I'm better in a few days, you'll just have to listen to the main theme starting at 2:09 to imagine how it will sound.

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