Hello Zelda Universe, welcome back to the second edition of “Hidden Skills”. Today I will explore an aspect of Zelda that many fans enjoy: music. Orchestrated, dubstep, 8-bit, or home-brewed covers—you can find Zelda music performed in just about any genre. While each variety has its own flair, the same Zelda atmosphere runs deep no matter how a melody is presented. The importance of music is also vibrantly displayed in most titles with the acquisition of an instrument that Link must utilize to complete his journey.

Keep reading to explore the role music plays for us and its impact on culture.

Since the inception of the Zelda series, music has played a major role in setting the atmosphere for a certain dungeon or cinematic sequence, even in a literal sense by using a musical instrument as a means for fast transportation or to complete a puzzle. The most prevalent and culturally popular of these instruments is the ocarina, more specifically, the Ocarina of Time.

The Ocarina of Time or various iterations of ocarinas have been used during several of Link’s journies. In fact the ocarina is the most recurring musical instrument in the Zelda series; perhaps we may even see the ocarina return in the next Zelda title. Nevertheless, with such a strong tie to in-game musical entities, it is no surprise that the musical scores for Zelda titles are beautifully crafted with strong dedication from the composers.

Fans’ favorite iconic tracks were brought to life this past year, as Nintendo chose to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Zelda though its music with the Symphony of the Goddesses tour trekking across the world. Numerous musicians spent countless hours practicing and gearing up for the adventure, and the end result was both stunning and nostalgic if you had the opportunity to see the performance live. To me, music is no less important to the Zelda series than story or game play, and together all three construct the perfect balance for my video game experiences.

As you can see, devotion to hard work is a reoccurring theme in the musical word. My friend once spoke these words, which I’ve believed in since:

“If someone cares more about their ego instead of what they do, whether it be music or a certain sport, then they shouldn’t be fortunate enough to be successful.”

These words may sound slightly harsh but bring up a great point that can be related to a musician’s commitment to what they do. Through hard work and patience, great results can be produced, but it is important to remember to remain humble in whatever area you are concentrating in, whether it be music, sports, or academics. Focusing too greatly on one’s current and past achievements will prevent greater success in the future.

Every genre of music has the same core aspect—storytelling. Each song’s tones, melodies, lyrics, notes, and beat draw forth a unique story; moreover, we can often relate our own lives to these musical tales. The powerful sound of music can pull us back up when we are down, get us through rough times, and speak words we might not be able to speak ourselves. Music is the constantly changing art that everyone can appreciate.

Furthermore, the unseen art of music can be the driving force behind a cultural trend. I was introduced to the emerging dubstep genre nearly a year ago; since then I have watched its fan base spread like wildfire among the internet and my acquaintances. Being especially popular with my generation, it has re-birthed a sense of vigor and brought to life a great passion: the feeling of forever young. This is only one example of a culture shift; music has brought forth generation movements in the past and will continue to do so in the future. In a way, music is always playing in our lives—bonding to our memories and painting the way forward.