Monday, October 07, 2013

Waltz for Venus

Cowboy Bebop is by far one of the best artistic achievements humanity will ever come up with.  An integral part of it success is the musical score the accompanied it.

To this day, 15 years after it was released, I cannot with my perfect hearing discern whether this is a xylophone or a music box.  It is from the scene "Waltz for Venus."  I would appreciate anybody's knowledge/better-hearing than mine to tell me what it really is.


The Great and Powerful Oz said...

I rather fell in love with the music from "Monster Princess" aka "Kaibutsu Oujo". There is an orchestral version of the music that was released that I can recommend highly. Check it out!

Amethyst said...

It's definitely a music box sound. Probably made using a digital music maker like Garage Band:

Anonymous said...

Its a xylaphone ( bad spelling ).

Anonymous said...

It actually sounds much more like a celeste than either one. But it is likely a sampled or synthesized celeste.

== Romulus Ledbetter

Chris Ivey said...

That's either a vibraphone played by a musician with four hands, or more likely: a vibraphone sample played on a PCM sampling keyboard like the Korg M1.

The passage feels like it was played by a jazz pianist - not a percussionist.

LordSomber said...

The glissando (notes between notes) makes it more likely to be a music box than xylophone.

But then I wouldn't be surprised if it were just a particular patch on a digital keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a Glockenspiel?

Anonymous said...

Ummmm. Yeah. Look, a xylophone is made of wood and sounds like you are hitting wood. Here is an example of xylophone.

A vibraphone at least is made of metal as is the glockenspiel but neither the vibe or glock is played with a keyboard [there are keyed glocks but...]. The sample used is supposed to sound like a celeste.

[Here is a real celeste playing the most famous moment for celeste].

Most synthesizer patches called music box are somewhere in the same space as the celeste or keyed glock but you will have to trust me on this. Not sure why Chris thinks it is PCM M1 compared to other technology, but I don't hear evidence of that.

It sounds like jazz because of the harmony more than the playing.

I think you are all guessing.

== Romulus Ledbetter [composer and conductor]

Chris Ivey said...

I mentioned the old Korg because it shipped with a glockenspiel (that's the word, dunno why I said vibraphone) voice, that sounded awfully like that. Jazz musicians tend to stick to instruments they like so I wouldn't be surprised if that's what they used - but there aren't a lot of photos or videos of the Seatbelts on the web, but it looks like that might be one of the keyboards they use.

It's just a hunch based on a memory of a sound, so I could certainly be wrong.

I fooled around for a while trying to duplicate it with SampleTank - never got it right.

Pax Empyrean said...

It's hard to say. The acoustics sound like it's in a large empty room, and a music box isn't usually loud enough to echo that much.

So, probably not a music box. If I had to guess, it's synthesized. The Seatbelts' wikipedia page does list percussionists aside from drummers, so it's possible they actually had someone play the actual instrument, whatever it was.

Anonymous said...

Since you seem to like this kind of sound, check out Plaid's soundtrack for Tekkonkinkreet.

Here's one track I really like from it:

Plaid -- "Safety in Solitude":

I thought of this because of your music box/xylophone question .....