Author: Chris Wickham
Mulgore is a region abundant with vast grassy plains and windswept mesas, nestled in the foothills of Stonetalon Mountains of Kalimdor. It is home to the Tauren, a spiritual and nomadic bovine race who have recently began establishing permanent settlements in Mulgore, such as their capital city Thunderbluff. Young Tauren train at Camp Narache to the south, where the vast plains host a variety of docile beasts which make excellent bounty for hunting. However, Mulgore is not without its more dangerous inhabitants; quillboars have overrun the sacred Red Rocks and a vicious tribe of gnolls dwell near Palemane Rock.
Following the cataclysm, Jason Hayes' multi-purpose composition Plains, which could also be heard in the rolling farmlands of Westfall, was replaced by Mulgore-specific cues composed by David Arkenstone. In this cue titled Mulgore Plains, the ancestry of the noble and stoic Tauren is portrayed through rolling string and brass crescendoes, native flute melodies and steady hide drums rhythms. In an interview with Music of Warcraft, Arkenstone speaks of his experimentation with exotic woodwind and percussion to produce an 'earthy' sound to reflect the Tauren’s spiritual connections to the land that sustains their being. The native flutes that are used are tuned to a variation of the minor pentatonic scale, thus creating a more tribal or primitive impression. The string and brass accompaniments derive influence from this scale to compliment the breathy woodwind melodies.
The use of hide drums and more thunderous percussion in other Mulgore cues reflect not only the Tauren's colossal size, but also their dedication to the simple ways of life. Percussion instruments are speculated to be some of earliest instruments created by man. Moreover, percussion can be considered the 'backbone' or 'heartbeat' of a musical ensemble, which further reflects the Tauren’s belief that the land is a living entity which should be cared for.
Arkenstone suggests that the Tauren’s spirituality and shamanistic society bears resemblance to Native American culture, which uses music to explore and depict its rich oral history. The use of native flutes and percussion in Mulgore creates a natural parallel between the values of Native American culture and the fictional yet similar Tauren ancestry.