I can’t remember exactly how I found Joshua Taipale but I have a feeling it was because of this PDF that he mentioned on Twitter (now X).
This work originated from his Patreon page and later was released as a standalone release on his Gumroad page.
The book is concise at 27-pages, but has a lot for you to chew on. Joshua includes a lot of musical examples that show each variation of “The Royal Road” and how they relate to the basic chord progression.
For me, a work like this does it’s job as long as I learned something new and it made it fun and easy. It’s clear that Joshua has simplified this as best as he could… what amazing work!
Probably the most valuable part of this is his accompanying Google Spreadsheet with song titles and links to YouTube so you can listen to more examples of this chord progression. That and the notated examples are my favorite part of this work.
In conclusion, if you are curious about this topic, I recommend to just go get this now. I haven’t seen anything quite like this and Joshua’s passion shines through this work. Inspiring and well thought of. Get it now!
Pros: Concise good analysis and explanation of this chord progression & the related variations.
TLDR: If you’re curious about common harmonic characteristics found in Japanese video game music, this is a good introductory guide from Joshua Taipale. Recommended for the music or music theory geek & likely to be useful for aspiring video game music composers.
Get your copy directly from Joshua here: https://joshuataipale.gumroad.com/l/royal-road-guide
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