Behind the Music: “Dragon Half” and Beethoven

So what’s up with that Dragon Half ED? If you’ve heard it, you probably know that it’s taken from a classical piece; those with a keen ear will likely notice that, specifically, it’s Beethoven. But what exactly is the piece it’s drawn from? And what does it have to do with eggs?

Well, minus motifs from “Ode to Joy” and a few others, “Watashi no Tamagoyaki” is set to the tune of the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 92. (You can listen to it here.) That’s a lot to break down, but if you’re not a classical fan, here’s what that means. This is the seventh symphony Beethoven wrote, and the 92nd piece of music he wrote overall. Classical symphonies usually consist of four separate movements, each of a specific tempo or style. A symphony’s fourth and final movement tends to be allegro (brisk and upbeat) — as with this one.

Beethoven originally wrote his seventh symphony for a concert performed to benefit wounded soldiers. Together with his “Battle Symphony,” it was first performed in December 1813, and was such a big hit that it was performed 3 more times in the following 10 weeks. Audiences especially enjoyed it because it was loud, bold, and celebratory — and it was perfect for Viennese audiences. Napoleon had occupied Vienna twice in recent years, and in 1813 his loss at the Battle of Leipzig (his first big loss ever) sent him back to France.

So, what does any of this have to do with Dragon Half? Absolutely nothing, most likely. Composer Kohei Tanaka was probably not musing on Napoleon and the occupation of Vienna when he chose this piece to serve as the ED. If anything, it’s just an upbeat, bold, exciting piece — that sounds hilarious when you overlay lyrics about omelettes and beer on top of it.

Incidentally, this isn’t Tanaka’s only use of Beethoven in his music. His score for Hyouka: You Can’t Escape also makes use of a better-known Beethoven composition: the first movement of his Moonlight Sonata.

You officially have a fun fact worthy of even the most supreme weeps. BAM.

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