Yamaha Electone arrangement of 笑傲江湖 (The Smiling Proud Wanderer). The novel is, incidentally, my favourite Jin Yong story.
I struggled to finish this. Apart from experimenting with fingering and tuplets that were a little beyond me, I spent days just trying to get the main two lead sounds “right.”
The main leads as in the Chinese Flute and Zither. For the flute, the Electone Stagea’s Di Zi was simply too shrill. I had to mix in some Yokubue and Western Flute to make it more bearable, and to have an airier sound.
For the Zither, the Stagea has two Gu Zheng sounds, but these aren’t really the Gu Qin/Goo Kam sound used in the original recording or TV series. Worse, the more I mixed and fiddled, the weirder it became. “Less is more” obviously applies to Yamaha Electone AWM user sounds.
Anyway, this is the best that I can do, for the moment. If I can find the time, I’ll tweak the registrations again and update the below links.
The original name for the 1984 TVB series was The Smiling Proud Wanderer – which honestly is a weird awkward mouthful. Therefore, for the registration files, I used the crispier movie title from the 90s i.e. Swordsman. For the record, I love both the TVB series and the two movies starring Sam Hui. (During my active NS times, I was also notorious for my many impersonations of Dong Fang Bu Bai …)
Free Yamaha Electone Score & Registration Data for 笑傲江湖 (The Smiling Proud Wanderer)
Warning! The registration and Finale PrintMusic files are zip files! You might need to disable your virus/malware protection before downloading.
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- First and foremost, the score I used in my YouTube upload ISN’T the final version. I further amended after printing that one. Thereafter, I decided to go green and just play the amendments without reprinting the score.
- Please excuse the … erm, pink pencil in the video, which I forgot to remove before recording.
- The whole song is essentially a duet with the Chinese Flute and Zither. If you’re familiar with the original story, you’d know the significance of that. 🙂
- The Zither sound, named as Kam in my registrations, should be played with a slight staccato. I didn’t include the corresponding articulation marks in the score as I didn’t want to platter entire lines with dots.
- Originally, I included Horizontal Touch with the Chinese Flute sound, named as Siew in my registrations. This ended up just sounding weird. In fact, it started sounded like those killing flute sounds in some Wuxia shows! (I.E. if THAT’S the effect you want, add in copious amounts of H.T.)
- Right before the first stanza, I did this weird thing with both hands on the lower keyboard. That is NOT necessary. I confess to only doing that because I couldn’t play sextuplets smoothly enough with just the left hand … (It does look kinda fanciful, though)
- For the moment, this arrangement concludes my mini-feature of TVB series starring Chow Yun-Fat i.e. 發哥 (fatt gor) from the late 70s and early 80s. There’s actually one other song which I want to arrange – to share, I already did the transcription for that back in June.
Unfortunately, the title for that song is just a little too, erm, sensitive for the moment, given what’s happening over in Hong Kong. I hope, I sincerely hope, things over there would be resolved soon. And not just for the sake that I could upload another Cantopop video.
About 笑傲江湖 1984, TVB’s Extravaganza for Special Effects
笑傲江湖 has long been my favourite Jin Yong story. A highly imaginative political satire in the guise of a Wuxia epic, every theme it explores is still relevant today.
So I’ve read, it was even temporarily banned from newspaper publication when Jin Yong first released it in the 60s – the story being too prickly for Cold War times. Were you to read it today, I’m sure you would agree the conflicts fuelling the plot mirror those ongoing in our world. For example, isn’t the animosity between the Five Mountain Sword Sects Alliance and the Sun Moon Holy Cult a Chinese medieval version of the ongoing Sino-China Trade War? Of the previous Sino-Russian Cold War too?
On the other hand, as much as I love the novel, I didn’t quite like the 1984 TVB series. (Anyway, I only read the novel in 1994) While the title song was great, and Chow Yun-Fat among the best Linghu Chong ever, the show was just SO over-the-top.
Over-the-top as in, the early 80s was when TVB went berserk with laser effects, and they absolutely drenched this show with it. They also took quite a lot of liberty with certain key plot elements, for example, with the Evil-Warding Swordplay. Instead of the swordplay being supremely fast, which was how the novel described it, the dastard technique became some sort of Jedi lightsabre skill. Users lovingly “finger” a sword blade to imbue it with a laser-ish glow. It’s like, WTH?!?!
Such was 80s Hong Kong TV. Experimental, amusing, frequently eye-rolling as well. It also encouraged me to strengthen my Chinese so that I could one day read the novel.
By the way, I still have the novel in my pads. Every Jin Yong novel, to be exact. Every now and then, I launch them and re-read my favourite portions.
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