Touhou arranges I'd wish to get made. Of course, not one arranger will read this, let alone actually follow it. And since I don't consider myself a Touhou fan anymore, those will come too late anyway.
Oh, and please use something better than Melody Assistant for any of those.
星幽剣士 (Highly Responsive to Prayers)
"Swordsman of a Distant Star"? Like, a Jedi Knight? Let's arrange this theme to have the exact same structure and sound exactly like Duel of the Fates from Star Wars.
芥川龍之介の河童 ～ Candid Friend (Mountain of Faith)
This theme seems so fitting for any intense physical activity. I think it would be hilarious to see it arranged as a Folk Metal drinking song in the style of bands like Korpiklaani or Finntroll.
Giant medley of everything
All 365 Touhou, Seihou and related themes, combined into one medley not longer than 20 minutes. No longer shall anyone be sad about his favorite theme not being arranged.
ハーセルヴス (Shuusou Gyoku)
There's enough material in the song for a 10 minute old Nightwish style symphonic metal epic.
I'm damn sure that not only will this be the best arrange of this theme ever, but also the only one that expands upon the ideas behind the theme and does justice to it. Any arranger who reads this should start working on this now. Yeah, I surely know that only few people will care about this and the Seihou fanbase is basically nonexistant (well...), but come on, shouldn't we fulfill their wet dreams once in a while too? Break out of that damn Touhou arrange conformity!
* ^ Of this I am absolutely certain. Nicovideo has no single video tagged ハーセルヴス, and YouTube, at the time of writing, only lists three generic MIDI rip "arranges". And in contrast to all the other ideas on this page, there is actual demand on part of the fanbase for an arrange like this, as shown by the comments on all of those YouTube videos! If that's not enough motivation to get you going, I don't know what is.
Look, I even have a concept.
If you're lazy, just rip off the aforementioned Nightwish song, replace the melodies, and call it a day.
Oh wait, you aren't.
In the music comments, ZUN notes that there are many styles and emotions going on in the short running time. Fans agree that this is the defining characteristic that makes this song as great as it is. This arrangement concept fleshes out each of these emotions and gives it more time to shine, and symphonic metal is the genre best suited for this job.
Instrumentation should be clear. Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Bass, Drums, Strings, Violins, Bells, and whatever kind of additional symphonic instruments you see fit. Of course, since this is fan stuff and we all only have a very limited budget, there are no demands for outstanding realism concerning the instrument sounds. It shouldn't sound _too_ cheap though.
Then, having DEEP and MEANINGFUL lyrics is of utmost importance for this to work. So, how about catering to the nonexistant Seihou fanbase and retelling the story of Shuusou Gyoku (after someone translated it, that is), or at least the important parts. You can include direct quotes, too. This probably will need a bunch of singers, one for each involved character, so... I just trust on the ability of the fanbase to recruit them. Japan can do that too, so why can't we? VIVIT-captured can be performed by the same singer as the normal VIVIT, but her voice needs to be flanged/phased/chorused in this case (AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT USE AUTOTUNE, AT LEAST NOT IN THE EXCESSIVE WAY CONTEMPORARY POP MUSIC DOES).
I think it's clear that those should be performed in clearly audible English, but I still feel the necessity to state that. I do not want it to be ripped apart by horrible Engrish manvocals. Oh, and please don't cast trained opera singers, I hate that damn vibrato as well.
Start out fairly slow, maybe around 90 BPM, and keep this tempo throughout that first part. Follow the basic structure in the first minute of the original, right down to opening with a bell solo. The different melodies already come in exactly the right order to work as verse, break, and refrain. Mix it up a little and streamline some of the voices according to your arranging skills. In this first part, avoid covering the great mood changes present in the original, we save them for later. Just focus on building up tension.
Turn that one sequence of 16th notes on the piano into a guitar solo, maybe in a higher key. As it is a guitar solo, be sure to make it as effective as possible. Streamline it, slow it down, and add ornaments, bends, and sweeps as you please. You can shred here, but don't overdo it.
Close off the first part with the melody of that harpsichord pattern repeated throughout the second minute of the original theme, arranged as a break with some POWERFUL IMPACT, especially with the vocal delivery (including the lyrics). This should be the first time it appears as a main melody.
By now (time should be between 3 and 4 minutes), you should have fired off every clearly audible melody of the source material at least once. Conventional arranges would just stop in this case, but in this case, now it's really going to get interesting. Time for shit to get real.
This should have a faster tempo and be more energetic, but aside from that, I have no clue how to continue. But I can imagine two options here.
- Easy mode: Fill the remaining minutes with VIVIT's three boss themes (夢機械 ～ Innocent Power, 幻想科学 ～ Doll's Phantom, 少女神性 ～ Pandora's Box). This definitely gives you some fanservice plus points.
- Lunatic mode: Open the Herselves MIDI, look at every part, and twist them around until you created something sounding both different and familiar to fill the rest of the arrange. Um, yeah. I really guess most fans won't even actively notice your arranging brilliance in this case, as they usually don't pick apart both the original and your arrange. But it will certainly give you plus points with the more music-aware crowd (which probably long turned it's back on Touhou mus*shot*).
No matter what you choose, be sure to include throwbacks to the original Herselves every now and then to give the whole song a bit more coherence. (This is especially important to silence people who will later claim that you just copy-pasted two arranges together.)
Change to major key in the final part to emphasize a feeling of hope as the lyrical storytelling reaches the game's ending (inb4 the game has no happy ending). You may move back to minor key at the very end to close off the arrange with the opening bell solo, if you want.
Currently, Western arrangers have a huge problem that it's very hard to get their music heard by a relevant amount of people, when compared to Japanese doujin circles. The current model of supplying the Touhou fanbase with arranges works by focusing piracy efforts on those circles, collecting them in one-click hoster repositories and torrents. YouTube arrange uploaders then sift through these collections and upload arranges they deem notable. This attracts both views and subscribers and gives them an enormous influence, leading to even more piracy from the same repositories.
* ^ OMG, I said the "p" word! Seriously, if you even try to deny that the Western Touhou fanbase is solely based on piracy, you suffer from a loss of reality, period. See, this scheme not only locks out non-Japanese people, but is morally questionable as well.
Another key factor in this is the role of this wiki. By relegating the creation of scripts who can spit out those pages in mere minutes, the current scheme is strengthened even further. Editors simply become too lazy to do any manual work required to add Western music to the wiki, which is currently not available in easily accessible database form. This is especially unforgivable as this wiki tries to encompass all fan-made material, as stated on the main page. To an outsider, this signals that Western Touhou arranges either doesn't exist at all, or are not notable enough to warrant their inclusion. However, at the present time, there is no such thing as notability. Before the advent of those scripts, listeners merely added their favorite albums, that is, the albums they deemed notable. But now, any album released on any convention will eventually get added to the wiki, which totally eliminates this argument.
For most fans who only consume the doujin material, there is nothing wrong at all with this scheme. The fanbase is perfectly fine with it, and it's here to stay. However, as stated, it extremely demotivates potential arrangers who wish to just directly release something without having to print and release a CD first, and then having the CD pirated and - maybe - uploaded at the whim of the uploaders. And posting it on your personal YouTube channel will not get you very far. Without posting (pirated) arranges from already established and popular circles, you miss the instant bonus of hundreds of subscribers which will, in turn, exponentially attract new listeners by merely passing the link around.
... Damn, this should have been an entirely different rant. Oh well.
This arrange will probably be good enough and meet the standards to be posted on OverClocked ReMix, but the submission queue and judging often results in a month-long delay between the time of submission and the actual mix post. However, as ocremix promises quality, many people can be reached.
Another solution would be a publication through one shared and centrally managed release channel, similar to the recently established Distant Phantasm project. This seems to be the ultimate answer to all the problems Western arrangers have. New tracks are submitted through a standardized form and published within a few days without judging. The arranger is fully credited and his homepages are linked in the video description. And even though Distant Phantasm is only active for a few days, the view counts and comment frequency are already pretty solid, showing that this concept seems to catch on.
ネメシスの要塞 (Double Spoiler)
This has to be the saddest story during my entire stay in the Touhou fanbase. Double Spoiler gets released and this theme, with it's incredible foreboding atmosphere, quickly becomes first my favorite of this game, and then my most favorite Touhou theme altogether. So, I was eagerly waiting to see some great arranges, but those just didn't pop up, and after C79 passed, it seemed that this theme has already faded into obscurity. Please, just do anything creative with it! Ideally progressive rock.
My Maid, Sweet Maid (Kioh Gyoku)
It's like a brighter counterpart to Lullaby of Deserted Hell! So, the next time anyone wants to arrange Lullaby, use this one instead!
妖精燦々として (Fairy CDs)
OH MY GOD this is so bouncy~ And really blows Infinite Nightmare out of the water as far as cool beats are concerned. It will probably be hard to do a creative arrange while retaining that bounciness at the same time.
呑んべぇのレムリア (Uwabami Breakers)
Magic of Life (ZUN's Strange Works)
Hmm. These can stay fairly close to the original. Maybe add some vocals.
年中夢中の好奇心 (Fairy Wars)
I'd like to hear a very calm, piano-centric arrange. Should also have some, but not too many other instruments. And a few crazy chords and harmonies.
Since one will probably need more source material, add anything from the fairy CDs. Preferably 夜だから眠れない, 妖精燦々として or 神域のかくれんぼ暮らし. Make sure every single theme can still be recognized.
If that's not enough, add 夜空のユーフォーロマンス from Undefined Fantastic Object.
And if that's still not enough, add Lost Paintings from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
エキストララブ (Story of Eastern Wonderland)
戦車むすめのみるゆめ (Story of Eastern Wonderland)
Not a single good arrange yet, and I can understand why, as the melodic content is quite low. This will need strong additive writing. No stylistic preferences here, but pop/rock in the style of Liz Triangle would fit, I think. And please, for the love of God, base your arranges on the SoEW MIDI version, not the god-awful FM one everyone knows!
東方怪奇談 (Highly Responsive to Prayers)
魔鏡 (Highly Responsive to Prayers)
Because HRtP also has other themes besides 永遠の巫女! *sigh* And about the latter, hell, just tag your future Maiden's Cappricio arranges as 魔鏡 and I'll accept it!
夢消失 ～Lost Dream (Phantasmagoria of Dim.Dream)
This should come as no surprise to anyone who is familiar with this theme, which is actually already very popular within the Western scene. But this is more about the theme needing a very awesome PV. Once this happens, I'll bet it will instantly supersede Alstroemeria Records' Bad Apple in popularity. Arrange it in any style you want, but I'd prefer it not to be a four-on-the-floor electronica subgenre this time.