Flute Boy’s Meadow – Gerudo Valley

JordanDecember 10th, 2012 by Jordan

Good afternoon, Zelda Dungeon, and welcome to this week’s Flute Boy’s Meadow!

Today, I have opted to take a look at one of my favorite songs from the Zelda series: “Gerudo Valley” from Ocarina of Time. This song’s popularity is incredible, and with good reason. It is a wonderfully crafted piece with excellent use of percussion and acoustic instruments to create a feeling that is befitting of a wild and mysterious desert. For this song to stand out so clearly in an already impressive soundtrack, it certainly says something about its quality.

To read more, jump on in!

Take a survey of Zelda fans and ask them what their favorite song from Ocarina of Time is and the overwhelming majority will most likely offer “Gerudo Valley” as their answer. The song is vastly popular and has seen hundreds of fan renditions everywhere from metal to dubstep, and was included as a track on the bonus CD that released with Skyward Sword.

So, what has given the song such incredible fame? In short, it provides a fast-paced combination of quick guitar plucking and dramatic trumpets that together form a uniquely effective blend. It’s the kind of track that makes you want to get up and do something, but with the soaring brass instruments as well it bears a feeling of adventure. This is a definitive Zelda song.

The song begins with a short burst of an acoustic guitar, and then from there rises a steady crescendo as the song builds itself from the ground up. First is the rapid, foot-tapping claps that give a foundation to the entire song; these are part of what creates the energetic tune. The claps also give the song a bit of a wild and almost tribal feeling.

Building from the claps comes the groundwork of the guitars. Initially, we are treated a steady strumming that also persists throughout the song until the iconic rising plucks of the strings join in. Here, the song is starting to build into something really special, but it doesn’t quite define itself until the sound of those trumpets back up the guitars. In this intro section, the song basically lays everything out for viewing. You are given a small taste of all that makes the song: rapid claps, steady strumming, quick guitar plucking, and finally the trumpet anthem.

Some songs that try to do this end up tiring themselves out quickly, making it hard to continue listening to them. However, Gerudo Valley doesn’t make itself boring or repetitive. No matter how long the player toils through Gerudo Valley, Gerudo Fortress, and the desert beyond, they never tire of hearing this song. It is the perfect example of complex simplicity. There is not that much to this song, but it comes out as something much greater than the sum of its parts.

So, how well does this song fit its desert location? As I said before, the rapid claps give the song a wild tone but with the acoustic guitar and soaring trumpets added in it then brings something very distinct to mind: traditional Latin-American music. Think of Mexico; what images come to mind concerning the country’s scenery? Sure, it has its forested areas and is not a full desert, but much of the land is covered by plains. Hot, arid plains. Whether or not we immediately think of it, these are the images conjured by this kind of tune. Koji Kondo used that to his advantage when he created Gerudo Valley’s theme.

A marriage of Latin-American folk music and adventurous tunes, “Gerudo Valley” makes the perfect musical compliment to its locations. Beyond that it makes for an excellent tune to listen to at any time. Its core simplicity also offers it up for endless opportunities as a cover song, leading to countless YouTube artists and Zelda fans worldwide making their own versions of the timeless tune.

How do you like Gerudo Valley? Is it your favorite song from Ocarina of Time, or are there other themes that beat it in your opinion? How do you like its orchestral version? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to give your ideas for future editions of Flute Boy’s Meadow as well. See you next week!

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  • Marco

    Totally agree… I’ve this tune like ringtone! I love it!
    But you know… it is totally lovelye Zelda’s Theme! eheh

  • Tarquil

    I like this one but I like the song of Storms Windmill Hut more…there used to be an incredible remix on nintendoland before it got shut down.

  • Linkfan99

    Awesome – Always been one of my favorite songs!

  • Linkfan99

    …It fades out after 1:30…

    • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

      Yeah, I noticed that… maybe I should replace it with the 10-minute version.

  • Darkgreyfire

    I loved this song. It was nice to hear something totally different than anything else in ocarina. It gave the valley and fortress an individual identity, and made it feel as though you were invading a foreign land, separate, and much different from the rest of Hyrule.

    • hot apple Fi

      I’d like to see the next Zelda title have a bunch of different kinds of music. The orcastra sounds amazing, but at times it all blends together. It would be nice like you said about GV, if every town or area had its own type of music. Orcastra for the castle, maybe more of an Irish folk music for the forest, Spanish for the desert, and maybe just a piano for a quant little village. It does give it more of an identity. Another example would be the hidden village in TP. It’s old western music made it stand out as a area unlike anything else in the game.

  • hot apple Fi

    Love the Spanish sound of this song.

  • Aaron hill

    very cool and interesting my favorite zelda song.

  • Tehlul

    This song makes me think of the gerudo hotties

    • Steele

      pointy tits!!!!

      • Tehlul

        No that’s Impa.
        Those things will put someone’s eye out

        • http://www.facebook.com/jordan.dipalma Jordan DiPalma

          Let’s not forget the Great Fairy, either ;)

          • ZELDASTUFFS

            soooooooooooooooo many pointy boobs what about navi in close up

  • Avia Rayne

    I always loved Gerudo Valley. I think what really rekindled that love was when I first heard ZREO’s Gerudo Valley Redux version. It took what the game offered and pretty much highlighted the best features of the song and beefed them up. I’m pretty sure though, now I favor the 25th Anniversary edition’s version, only because the brass just sounds amazing on that CD. It really took Gerudo Valley to new heights!

  • ZeldaTeacher

    I really like this song, it is one of the top tracks on the 25th anniversary cd that came with SS. It definitely sets the tone for the area. Jordan, since you asked, it would be cool to see an article done on the fairy fountain/select file theme.

  • marill

    This whole part of the game has always been my favorite. Everything about it.

  • littlemissgleek

    Definitely my favourite song from ocarina of time

  • The Hylian Monolith

    I love that song. My love of it was recently rekindled randomly, I had hated it for months because I heard it so much.
    Can you do PH Oshus’s Theme next week or, if you want more major melodies, the Ballad of the Wind Fish?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dakota.zouzias Dakota Zouzias

    The Gerudo Valley theme definitely is my favorite song from Ocarina of Time (the Gerudos are also my favorite race in Zelda). The Goron City theme is a close second.

    Holy crap. I had to look up the Gerudo Valley theme for orchestra because I forgot what it sounded like. Right when the drums started playing, I remembered that it was my favorite track on that CD.

    And I’m going to also vote for Oshus’ Theme from Phantom Hourglass. Not many people care for the DS games, but I absolutely adore them.

  • npatoray24

    definately my favorite, followed by the bolero of fire

  • The Unicorn Hanger-Outer

    Isa remind me of Mexico! Isa very spicy music! All jumpy and hot!

  • Someone

    This is one of my favorite songs and it brings bac memories, also Molgera’s song is close to this one, so I vote for Molgera’s song next.

  • Naga

    although this isnt quite my favorite Zelda song, its in my top 5 no doubt. i can play the whole thing (i almost have it memorized) except the first measure on flute, which i havent even attempted yet because it starts on the lowest note that its possible for the C flute to play, and its very difficult to make the sound. Looking at the music, its spans just over 3 octaves.

  • Erander

    I love this song. I do wish that someone would make a remix of Goron City!