How many Donkey Kong 64 fans remember the very first level they saw in Donkey Kong 64? Donkey Kong Country Returns brought back memories for me. The beautiful, yet spooky music playing as you make your way through the ghost ship Gloomy Galleon (Pearl Treasure) is one I will never forget! In fact, it was so good that I decided to transcribe the song myself.
This Donkey Kong 64 level music is actually a medley of two songs found on Donkey Kong 64’s soundtrack – “Ghost Ship” and “Jolly Roger.” The Donkey Kong 64 OST was composed by Grant Kirkhope, with additional work by Robin Beanland. At the time Donkey Kong 64 was released (November 1999) Grant Kirkhope had already begun working with Rare on Donkey Kong 64 and Banjo-Tooie . Donkey Kong 64 marked the first Donkey Kong game to have music composed by an outside composer, so it was a real treat for fans.
Of course, the melodies from “Ghost Ship” and “Jolly Roger” are present in Donkey Kong Country (SNES), which was written by David Wise. You remember David Wise, right? Donkey Kong 64 wasn’t his first Donkey Kong game! He also wrote Donkey Kong Country as well as Donkey Kong Land .
In this sheet music transcription of the Donkey Kong 64 Gloomy Galleon title theme, I tried to capture all of the subtleties that make this Donkey Kong 64 song so memorable. Those beautiful harmonies and melodies, as well as those excellent chord progressions brought me back to simpler times growing up. Though Donkey Kong 64 may not go down as one of the best Donkey Kong games in history, but I can still enjoy it for what it is – a Donkey Kong game with lovely music.
The Donkey Kong 64 sheet music is in the key of D minor, due to it’s dark and spooky nature. If you are looking for sheet music Donkey Kong Country style, be sure to check out my Donkey Kong Country 2 Medley .