Mouse Guard Music?

Hey everyone,

I use music in every game I run, but I’m struggling finding the perfect soundtrack to fit a Mouse Guard campaign and would love some suggestions! I have an extensive soundtrack collection but everything I think will work ends up being just that touch too bombastic, or lacking in subtlety. So yeah, any recommendations would be well appreciated.

Thanks

Jez

I ran a session with the Lost soundtracks. I made up 4 basic playlists and gave them to a player to play from the right list whenever appropriate. There are a few tracks that are far too epic but generally it worked quite well.

This is the only experience I have had in using music during a game.

Nature sounds would be pretty cool I think. Even better would be playing it outside, near a campground or park. As far as music goes, I’ve scoured my music looking for something that would fit, but everything so far takes my mind OUT of the Mouse Territories, so I’m not using it. The closest I got was two bands: Dead Can Dance and Talkdemonic.

I’ve contemplated this very question and had trouble myself. The German band Corvus Corax, maybe, or other artists in that general vein? Or alternatively there must be some movie soundtrack that fits, though usually I consider those the cheater’s way out.

Of course, everything’s better with Manowar.

I’d go with the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, myself.

Cheater’s way out? That’s be the right tool for the job in my opinion.

Nothing with lyrics would fit…

The nature sounds idea is neat, I might have to steal that.

I would go for something Celtic and simple. I can’t think of any groups in particular but that’s the direction I would head.

–Victor

I wonder if a mouse could get any decent sound out of a stringed instrument which is mouse-sized, so I imagine music which favors percussion and maybe some wind instruments. Of course, music is only allowed in the safety of towns because making any unnecessary noise in the wilderness just attracts predators.

I don’t think you can be concerned with physics of scale in the MG universe. Otherwise, things like fire wouldn’t work.

You can, but it will be outside human hearing range. 12" string is the basis for violins; 6" is an octave higher, 3" two higher, 1.5" 3 higher, and 3/4" 4 higher. So a mouse sized cello would be 3 octaves above a violin (instead of 1.5 down for 36" string length). The volume would be thin, as well, but could be taken up by using a full length or even 1.5 or 2x length resonance box instead of 3/4 length.

I’m not so sure it would be inaudible; based on what you’ve said, four octaves higher places the strings on a mouse-sized violin starting at the highest octave on a piano, with the low G being a G7 (last G on the keyboard) at roughly 3kHz frequency, still quite audible to humans. Although it seems mice like to chat away in the 10kHz-70kHz range, whereas most humans can only hear up to 12kHz, so those high-pitched mouse-sized violins may well sound like a double bass to them! Yay internet research. Anyway Science+Mouse Guard=Broken.

I’ve been chasing up peopleses’ suggestions, and this is what I’ve found:

Corvus Corax take their gig way too seriously:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/85/Corvus_Corax_German_Band.jpeg

But they do do rather authentic medieval music. Not quite what I had in mind, but nice to find new sounds.

Manowar — maybe slightly less appropriate.

Lost — not bad, but there is this ever present ominousness that is possibly too dark.

Last of the Mohicans — It good a great soundtrack, but there’s a strong native american undercurrent, which seems at odd with Mouse Guards’ entirely european society.

The Celtic and simple suggestion was where I was headed, but I keep finding myself in relaxation massage land. There’s a couple of tracks by Aine Minogue that are really spot on, esp on her Twilight Realm album. about half the tracks are good.

The big winner for me though is The Village soundtrack. The violins in that give a great “winter is coming” feel to it and is spot on. Even though it’s cheating.

Still looking for more suggestions, and have been listening to nature recordings too.

A violin has a 3-4 octave range, depending upon performer skill…

Note that a soprano recorder is also a 12" instrument, and for a mouse, would need to be 0.75"
Halving the working length of an instrument raises by an octave. For tube based, capping an end effectively doubles length if that end is opposite the turbulence. Volume is a direct function of amount of air moved.

Peak performance Human hearing is 12 Hz to 40kHz, typically not much above 20kHz with many not really hearing above 12kHz or 16kHz; peak performance mouse range is 1kHz to 90kHz.
A Violin is about 200Hz to 1760hz, with a nominal performance range of 300 to 1200Hz
A viol 3 octaves higher runs 1600-14000, nominal 2400 to 9600. The highest end is beyond many people’s hearing.
adding another octave (and making it in scale a violin) gives 3200-28000, nominally 4800 to 20000… well into the range most humans can’t hear in it’s upper octaves.

A 6" garkelein recorder is roughly 1000hz to 4000hz; taking it to mouse scaled soprano of 0.75" is 3 octaves… 8000-32000Hz; the mouse garkelein would be twice that… and well outside most people’s hearing.

You, sir, clearly know your stuff, and I bow to your knowledge in the field!

I’m writing a mousey bit of music. I’ll post it when I get it finished (it’ll be a zipped MP3 due to requirements of my ISP…)
The upper octave of a mouse-cello is painfully high; the mouse-violin is in dog whistle range.

I’m thinking mouse-cello, mouse-violin, and mouse recorder in trio… added a glock.

Hostman Op. Nr.4 at http://aramis.hostman.us/mg/MouseyMusic.zip (incomplete, but there). peak note is A=14080 or so.

Man that is high pitched. Wow.

OK so I’ve wasted a fair bit of time tracking down Mouse Guard music and here’s what I would have as Mouse Guard soundtrack:

Spirits of the World - Aine Minogue - The Twilight Realm
King of the Faeries - Aine Minogue - The Twilight Realm
Keridwen & Gwion - Faun - Zaubersprüche
Ne Aludj El - Faun - Licht
The Gravel Road - James Newton Howard - The Village Soundtrack
Hagall - Wardruna - Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga
Von den Elben - Faun - Licht
Fort - Faun - Licht
Løyndomsriss - Wardruna - Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga
Heimta Thurs - Wardruna - Runaljod - Gap Var Ginnunga
Loibere Risen - Faun - Renaissance
Karunta - Faun - Totem
Noah Visits - James Newton Howard - The Village Soundtrack

All of these are available on iTunes. It was impossible to find whole album’s worth of material, which is why I’ve pinched a song from here and there over the artists’ catalogues.

Most of them contain prominent celtic harp melodies which carry the medieval spirit of the Mouse Territories and the spritely nature of the mice themselves; most have that folorn or pensive air, a sense of impending peril, that danger is coming. I’ve included the tracks by Wardruna as a contrast to reflect what lies beyond the Scent Borders — that grim nordic element implied by bears and wolves.

Anyway hope you like 'em. Go buy 'em if you do.

I have composed a 15-minute piano work entitled “Brave Mouse Sonata.” Let me know if you want a recording of it! Either PM me or email me at my gmail account which is the same as my forum name.

Matt

Saw Robin Hood last night. (Epic!) There might be a couple songs on that soundtrack would work.

–Victor

Cool. will check it out.

Also ALIZBAR is great. A Russian harpist.

When I work on Mouse Guard these soudtracks are ones I will shuffle through:

Last of the Mohicans
Rob Roy
Lord of the Rings (Fellowship, Towers, & Return)

But I can see where those are all very strongly associated with their movies and don’t mesh perfectly with Mouse Guard.