Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of World Showcase (Part 2)

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photo courtesy Brian McNichols
photo courtesy Brian McNichols

In Part 1 of my World Showcase music series, I discussed the music from Mexico through The American Adventure. Let’s continue our tour by finishing our clockwise walk around the lagoon.

Japan

Japan – like Mexico – isn’t full of familiar tunes thanks to its live shows. The Matsuriza Japanese drum show plays consistently during the day. If you’ve ever been in Epcot on a day they played, you’ve probably heard them clear across the park with their thump thumping. I always enjoy watching them perform – you get so much more out of it watching them play.

“Rokudan” is a song heard in their music loop, and played with traditional Japanese instruments. Other tunes include “Sakura” and “Kojo no Tsuki.” Anyone who has a background in Japanese music will be familiar with these three pieces.

photo courtesy Brian McNichols
photo courtesy Brian McNichols

Morocco

Ever thought you were hearing more crowd noise than you thought was in the Morocco area? That’s because, to make you feel like you’re in a bustling Moroccan city, there’s other noises piped in besides the music!

The type of music you’ll hear revolves around music with drums, strummed instruments like the lute or rebab, cymbals, violin, as well as flute.

photo courtesy Brian McNichols
photo courtesy Brian McNichols

France

We return to Western music with our arrival at the France pavilion. This has a wide variety of music, from lighthearted fare with woodwind instruments to low-key tunes featuring strings. And you can’t forget the French accordion music we hear being used in film and TV to tell people “We’re in France now!”

Some of the songs include “Comme ci, Comme ca,” “C’est magnifique,” “La vie en Rose,” and the “Can-Can!”

International Entrance

This area between France and the United Kingdom contains music from every area of World Showcase. If you hear it at the International Gateway, you’ll hear it at the selected area of the park as well. It’s an excellent sampling of music to get you excited for what you’re about to see.

copyright 2014 Claire NatThe United Kingdom

From “Greensleeves” and “Nymphs and Shepherds” to “Pastoral Dance” and “Shepherd’s Dance,” the music loop for the United Kingdom is pretty serene. That is, until you throw the live music into the mix. Once bands like the rockin’ British Revolution or the folksy Paul McKenna Band take the stage, they liven up the area quite a bit.

(And if you’re still pining for the Celtic styling of Off Kilter, make sure to check out the Paul McKenna Band. They’re not plugged in, but they bring back that Celtic style to the UK pavilion, and sound great!)

canadaCanada

I do really enjoy the music of the Canada pavilion, which bring in instrumental versions of some popular songs. I always enjoy hearing their version of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” since I am from Michigan and am very familiar with that Lake Superior tragedy. If you’re into Gordon Lightfoot, you’ll also hear instrumental versions of “If You Could Read My Mind” and “Early Morning Rain.”

Not all the songs are so somber. You’ll hear some nice brass arrangments, as well as a version of the Quebec National Anthem, “Gens du Pays.” Other folktunes include “Alberta Bound” and “Cape St. Mary’s.”

 

And with that, we finish our round-trip tour of World Showcase! With some of the countries, it was easy to see how they used previously released music to make a nice playlist – like in China and Norway. However, other countries used newly arranged music based on familiar tunes, like in Canada and Morocco.

These two articles were some of the hardest to write for the series, because the AtMousePhere is almost too good: I get so wrapped up in the area that I don’t listen to the music carefully enough! I certainly know better now, and in future visits I am looking forward to listening to the wonderful sounds of World Showcase!

 

Do you have a favorite World Showcase song? Which country provides the best atmospheric music? Which country would you like to actually visit the most? Comment below!

Claire Nat

I've been enjoying Walt Disney World since my Nana pushed my sister's and my strollers back in the late 1980s. I enjoy my day job here in the Denver area as a teacher and music coordinator at our church. I love music, reading, Doctor Who, Star Wars, and Michigan sports!

4 thoughts on “Epcot AtMousePhere: The Music of World Showcase (Part 2)

  • September 9, 2015 at 11:12 am
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    Great series, Claire. Music is such a huge part of the atmosphere in World Showcase. It’s great that you were able to highlight some of the titles that play in the various countries. You might want to add a bonus post about the music loop that plays prior to Illuminations – there’s nothing like hearing that music as the torches light and the sun begins to set.

    Reply
  • September 9, 2015 at 10:30 pm
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    Nice article and observations (I had never picked up on the Moroccan crowd noise!) – but… “counter-clockwise walk around the lagoon”? Are you sure that’s which way you were walking? :-))

    Reply

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