A Look Back at the Allied Race Music and Their Inspirations
2019/02/27 at 6:11 AM
With the addition of Kul Tiran and Zandalari Troll Allied Race music recently on the 8.1.5 PTR, many players were surprised to learn that Blizzard composed unique music for most other Allied Races. We thought it was a fitting time to review the other Allied Race music, which you may be unfamiliar with if you don't have each race unlocked!
Let's give all the Allied Race music a listen and discuss their inspirations. We'll be featuring the music of the Void Elves, Kul Tiran Humans, Dark Iron Dwarves, Lightforged Draenei, Mag'har Orcs, and Zandalari Trolls--Nightborne and Highmountain Tauren use music from their related Legion zones.
The Void Elf music has a menacing, otherworldly mood, with warped undertones of the Blood Elf music--fitting as the Void Elves are exiled from Silvermoon, posing a threat to the stability of the Sunwell.
There are also snippets of the Mac'Aree Void theme, showing up at 5:12. Mac'Aree was the zone in which Alleria honed her powers of the Void in the Shadows of Argus patch in Legion. To unlock the Void Elf Allied Race, you'll also need to earn reputation with the Argussian Reach faction, who is primarily based in Mac'Aree.
The Lightforged Draenei Allied Race music references the music of Azuremyst Isle, the starting zone of the Draenei from Burning Crusade, as well as Shattrath, City of Light. These similarities are fitting as the Lightforged are a group of Draenei that went on the Xenedar with Xe'ra to fight the Burning Legion, instead of staying on the Genedar like the regular Draenei.
Both soundtracks feature deep rumblings, evoking a sense of mysticism and the primordial cosmos, from which a woodwind theme emerges, with a faint harp for emphasis. However, the themes evoke different feelings through subtle orchestration changes, such as a greater emphasis on strings in the Lightforged theme. The Draenei theme represents a race aching for a home that doesn't exist, refugees crashed on a foreign planet, while the Lightforged have the same wistfulness for Argus, but stand proud in their mission to defeat the Burning Legion.
In contrast, the Draenei music from Warlords Shadowmoon deviates a bit from the mournful tone, instead projecting confidence. These Draenei from the alternate Warlords universe had a stable home, reflected in the brighter melody and brassier instrumentation.
Kul Tiran Human
The BFA kingdom of Kul Tiras draws inspiration from the British Isles, including the maritime culture, landscape, character accents, and folklore of the Drust. It's unsurprising that the music of the Kul Tiran Allied Race follows suit, building upon the musical similarities we've already seen in Patch 8.0.
Our first real taste of Kul Tiran music was the sea shanty in
With the Kul Tiras music added in Patch 8.0, Blizzard composed some new Tavern music, quite similar in style to the Allied Race music.
You can hear the influence of some sea shanties, like "Roll the Old Chariot" and "Spanish Ladies."
Learn more at the following links:
Traditional Folk Music of the British Isles
Our musical heritage: 3,000 years of British music through musical instruments
Folk Music of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and America
Dark Iron Dwarves
The Dark Iron Dwarf Allied Race music is inspired by
, instead of the Dark Iron theme from Cataclysm. You'll hear sweeping strings, a chorus, and drumbeat punctuation.
Back in Cataclysm, the "Dark Ironforge" track played in parts of Ironforge and Grim Batol, the site of a Great War between the Wildhammer Clan and the Dark Iron Dwarves.
It wasn't a stretch to assume that the Dark Iron Dwarf Allied Race music would sound similar--but Blizzard took things in a different direction, perhaps to symbolize the unity of the Dark Irons and the Alliance, as well as the friendship between Anduin and Moira. The Dark Iron Dwarves also arrived at the start of the Battle for Azeroth expansion, which included frequent throwbacks to past games, such as the Box Art resembling
Zandalari culture is a pastiche of Mesoamerican and South American civilizations, and the music includes clay flutes, rattles, shakers and other percussive instruments. Below you can hear the sound of the Teponaztli drum, one of the two sacred instruments of the Aztecs.
Even in the intense battle music of Zandalar Forever, these instruments were present:
Back at Battle for Azeroth launch, many players fell in love with the "City of Gold" soundtrack, which included a beautiful panflute section starting at 4:35.
If you'd like to learn more about the various cultural influences behind Zandalari music, check out the following articles:
Andean Music, the Music of the Incas
Music of the Aztec Empire
Sampled Instruments from Pre-Columbian America
Of the Same Stuff as Gods: Musical Instruments among the Classic Maya
The Mag'har Orc music draws inspiration from the other Orc-themed tracks in Warcraft, with heavy percussion, chanting, and horns. As the Mag'har orcs hail from AU Draenor, which we explored in the Warlords of Draenor expansion, it stands to reason their soundtrack is evocative of music from that expansion.
Even back in
, percussions was an important element of Orc themes:
The Orc music from Northrend also has percussions, as well as some grunts, but not the full-fledged chanting present in the Warlords and Mag'har Orc music:
As we move into Cataclysm, the Orgrimmar city music layers horns on top of the driving percussion:
Now that we've given all of the Allied Race music a listen, which is your favorite from this article?
Get Wowhead Premium
As little as
less than $1 a month
to enjoy an ad-free experience, unlock premium features, and support the site!
Show 24 Comments
Hide 24 Comments
Sign In to Post a Comment
Many might be the flaws of BfA from the gameplay to story narrative , but undeniably, the music at this expansion is an epitome of environmental aesthetics and the respected feelings that each location and situation trigger. The void elf music makes me feel like a monstrous, otherworldly exile, Vol'dun makes me feel despaired as I travel through a hopeless deserted location used as a death penalty , the music of BoD stresses me and reminds me of the urgency of the situation and how unexpected the attack was. In my opinion at least, the music of BfA (the allied races are a BfA feature therefore their music too, even though it was released at the end of Legion ) has surpassed the success of every other expansion.
While I personally think that Suramar remains the highest point of music and world-building of recent expansions, BfA has on overall much better score, in terms of scope and diversity of themes. Every zone feels very musically distinct, and it helps so much in making them interesting.
Really enjoyed this article.
Now that we've given all of the Allied Race music a listen, which is your favorite from this article
Forgotten about the Nightborne and the Highmountain now haven't we? :P
They don't have Allied Race music (there's a note at the top) so we didn't cover them in this post. It might be fun to do more posts in this style covering other types of music, but if we started including some Legion zone themes in this writeup, it would make sense to then cover music of other NPCs from Legion zones...and we had to draw the line somewhere.
I assume vulpera racial music is simply their zone music as well, and extrapolate that the same goes for Mechagnomes?
Post a Comment
You are not logged in. Please
register an account
to add your comment.