The Skyrim Theme Becomes Elevator Music

Courtesy of the fine folks at Reddit, we've got a video of YouTube user (and pianist) live4divin, who performs a jazz reharmonisation of Jeremy Soule's main theme from Skyrim. For non-musicos, reharmonization is when you take an established melody (say, "All The Things You Are") and write new chords to go underneath it. It can be a really fun practice, and most jazz pianists can spontaneously reharmonise melodies to some extent or another.

(Fun fact: Jazz musicians refer to a reharmonised tune as a "reharm," which is a term I've always enjoyed. Sample usage: Man, did you hear Joe Pass play that "Giant Steps" reharm? That cat is amazing!)

(Second fun fact: Jazz musicians actually do call other players "cats." I'm serious!)

It's particularly easy (and fun) to do a reharm for a simple melody like the main theme to Skyrim, and so this player has a good time coming up with some extra-"jazzy" jazz chords to put underneath it. In between melody statements, he does a bit of a noodling vamp that doesn't do too much for me, but hey — this is YouTube, it ain't the Blue Note.

My fellow Kotaku editors and I were talking about how this jazz sounded more elevator-ish than some other jazz. The more I listen to it, I started to hear it, so to test this theory out I thought I'd put the music behind a scene from one of the most iconic elevator games of all time.


    Further proof that Jazz is fucking terrible.

    I'm willing to bet that without live4divin actually playing the Skyrim theme properly at the start, no one would pick that it's a "reharm" of it.

    I am a jazz guitarist and I can't say I've ever heard anyone say "reharm". Also, calling someone a "cat" kinda stopped happening in the '60s.

    That said, nice to see Skyrim get some jazz love.

    turning the theme into a jazz style makes it sound horrible!

    Only the beginning and the end were identifiable.

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