Fair warning: I'm more-or-less a complete neophyte when it comes to music theory.

I Bede's theme from Pokemon Sword/Shield, there's a piano riffing in a descending manner in the harmony in a really cool way. I don't know any better, but it seems Latin-inspired.

In any case, what is this kind of riff referred to as, and are its origins actually Latin as I've guessed?

(starts at the 32 second mark, but you may wish to listen to what comes before for context).

  • 1
    it's honestly really difficult to isolate the piano in this track. do you have sheet music to analyze?
    – plurple
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 16:41
  • Hi! I'm afraid "what's this [chord/riff/guitar effect]" types of questions aren't covered here. Plus, it might be hard to get more specific, but "a descending manner" isn't a lot to go on. Feel free to edit this question to ask something more concrete about this technique. I think maybe the word "glissando" covers what you're looking for. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 18:34

1 Answer 1


I think you're referring to that descending lick, which is actually a blues stereotype. This is seen a lot in video game music, especially the pokemon soundtracks. I've attached a transcription of the section here- (not mine, taken from musescore)

enter image description here

The key is C major, but this lick has a pentatonic sound- to write something similar, base your melody off of the pentatonic scale. (in this case, the notes of the C major pentatonic scale are C, D, E, G, A, C. It's clear that this is a pentatonic lick, because the right hand begins on an A octave, and ends on a major third between G and C, with the notes in between, E and D, borrowed from the pentatonic)

This sound is not necessarily latin- it has roots in blues and jazz. you can get a similar sound by using the blues scale- to understand the concept of a blue note, you can read this page-



To learn more about latin jazz, take a look at this


  • Can you hear that lick in the song? There's a lot going on, so it might be in there somewhere, but I can't hear it...
    – Edward
    Commented Dec 3, 2023 at 23:00
  • Hi, I just looked at the sheet music for the piece.
    – plurple
    Commented Dec 6, 2023 at 22:40

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