Returning to the tedious hobby of Electone arrangements after 27 years.
I used to love doing Electone arrangements.
It’s one of those truly tedious but rewarding pastimes. Not too different from jogging, or jigsaw puzzles, or to an extent, writing.
Back when I was still attending lessons at Yamaha, I used to scribble one every month. Cole Porter compositions, Motown classics, half-transcribed Sadao Watanabe hits, the likes of. These were, of course, very raw and I have long since trashed all these out of embarrassment. Still, I had a great time experimenting with ideas and struggling to capture rhythms and chords. The kick from doing these arrangements, undoubtedly, was also a key factor in sustaining my interest in the Yamaha Electone throughout all those years.
Since returning to the Electone in 2008, I have sporadically toyed with the idea of doing arrangements again. I ended up … not finishing even one. Laziness and distractions are naturally the primary culprits but in my defence, I would highlight it was also due to the task not being as streamlined as I thought it would be with current technologies.
Despite all sorts of notation software available online, none fully cater to the Electone style of notation. This situation is made worse by the unique symbols increasingly use in Electone arrangements: Memory buttons, sequence notes, 2nd Pedal, Aftertouch, S.A., and so on. Not that these are completely undoable with the current softwares available, but it’s just tedious. Very tedious. In most cases, it is often far easier to just write everything with a pencil.
Yeah. The good old pencil. And rulers and erasers. The requisites for all homemade Yamaha Electone arrangements.
Which then brings about slanting lines. Uneven stems. Blotches from repeated erasing. Oh gosh! I spilt cola on my manuscript!!!
… … … What excuses have I been giving myself? Shameful! What happened to my perseverance from the 80s?!
So yes! I’ve given myself a good kick and finally gotten down to finishing an Electone arrangement for the Stagea ELS-02C.
As for the song, which is very important for I needed it to sustain my determination, I chose the opening theme from my favourite American television series EVER. The opening theme for the first season of Wonder Woman in 1975.
Naturally, this is also to coincide with Diana’s return to the big screen this week. Oh! How long we fanboys have waited for this. How long I’ve waited!
Without further ado, here are the files! Inclusive of registration data for the Stagea ELS-02s.
Free Electone Score & Registration Data for Wonder Woman 70s Theme
(The registration is in a .zip file. You’d need to unzip this and extract the files within to a folder on your USB)
- I’ve never been good with percussions, so I based this off a midi file I found, like, 15 years ago. For the life of me, I cannot remember where I downloaded the file from. So I can only offer a silent, heartfelt thank-you to the creator of that file.
- The one-bar intro has an explosion sound on the second beat. (To imply, you know, the SPIN) I know this is weird, but putting it in the first or third beat felt weirder.
- The hardest part of this arrangement is the frantic walking bass. As much as possible, I avoided unnecessary syncopations.
- If you’re using the Stagea ELS-01 or ELS-01C, you’d need to replace some of the sounds. Such as the Super Articulation Trumpets.
- I have no way of testing but I highly doubt the registration would work on the ELs.
- This is fully sequenced. Note that I often programme registration changes to kick in a few nanoseconds earlier than indicated. For example, instead of the change happening as notated on the first beat of Bar 4, I would programme it to kick in at Bar 3, Beat 4, Clock 78. This is to, ahem, cater to my tendency to play some notes slightly earlier. In some cases, it also allows for the change to fully effect. I can’t explain the latter beyond saying, if you play the note at the same time as the change, sometimes, the voice comes out weird.
- Most parts of this arrangement have a Custom A.B.C ongoing with the percussions. I decided that this gives that funky walking bass more punch.
- I am … agonisingly far from being a truly competent Electone player. So I’m still trapped in that student situation of arranging things I can’t completely play. The performance above is … a guide. A ROUGH guide!
- I did this Electone arrangement in Finale PrintMusic 2010. If you want the raw file i.e. the editable file, please email me!