This week I composed two variants of a song for a Japanese video game. They are both based on the same melody, which is intended to be sung by a woman in Japanese. In one of the variants, the accompaniment is orchestral, while the other is electronic.
Both variants use the Pianoteq virtual instrument, as well as virtual instruments from the Sonuscore VST library called “The Orchestra Complete”. In particular, they both use the “Luscious Strings” patch, and the orchestral variant is based on the “Stream of Consciousness” animation patch, which is just lovely, and a Strings ostinato patch. The vocal part is primarily performed by a vibraphone, and secondarily by a vocal patch; this helps the melody stand out quite well for a vocalist to sing. The electronic version uses Sonuscore’s Elysion library, which I love.
So, what makes the music “Japanese”? The melody is loosely based on the pentatonic scale. This gives the music a Japanese flavor, while clearly echoing a Western harmonic structure.