Pokémon Sun and Moon: A Musicologist’s View

Pokémon Sun and Moon

It was pleasantly surprising to begin a game of Pokémon and hear the introduction using vocals which, one is hoping, is of some relevance to Alohan (Hawaiian) traditional vocal singing. After these vocals however, the music settles back into a very traditional upbeat Pokémon rhythm, high instrumentation, and counterpoint melodies.

pokemon_sun_moon-0-0

For the music of Pokémon in general, nostalgia plays an important role to its followers with an enormous fan base for the original games.  Part of this would be due to episodic memory, where music will evoke memory and emotion, creating the feeling of nostalgia in humans (Hallam et.al, 2009, 137). Fans are prone to “woop” and cheer during marathons such as AGDQ (Awesome Games Done Quick) when a Pokémon theme is played during the break, and even more so when a game is being run. Pokémon Sun and Moon are no exceptions to this, and although the opening is different, the music exhibits a composition consistent throughout the franchise and continuing this sense of “hype”, nostalgia, and overall success.

Reference:

Hallam, S., Cross, I., & Thaut, M. (Eds.) (2009). The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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