Dearly Beloved

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Kingdom Hearts Opening Menu Screenshot.

"Dearly Beloved" is the opening and main theme to all Kingdom Hearts games. Composed for the first game by Yoko Shimomura, a version of the piece has been featured in every official Kingdom Hearts release to date.

It begins playing as soon as the game loads and plays over the opening Menu Screen in a loop. However, if you continue to listen to "Dearly Beloved" without pressing any of the buttons on your controller for approximately 10-15 seconds, the screen will open up to Opening Menu Cinematic or Demo Loop, which will play the orchestrated version of the Kingdom Hearts theme song. There is also a Reprise version that plays after the credits at the last screen in Kingdom Hearts and while viewing your Battle Report results in Kingdom Hearts II.

Dearly Beloved contains two distinct melodies comprised out of identical chord structures, allowing them to be layered on top of each other. The second melody was first introduced in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Versions[edit]

  • In Kingdom Hearts, the main melody is performed as a piano solo with a synthesized choral background.
  • The reprise of Kingdom Hearts features a bell solo with pizzicato strings as support.
  • The Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories version contains the original melody played on the piano, along with the secondary melody played by a synthesizer.
  • The Kingdom Hearts II version transformed "Dearly Beloved" into a full orchestral piece, featuring a piano solo carrying the main melody and various woodwind solos building the secondary melody.
  • The reprise of the Kingdom Hearts II version contains the both melodies, but played as a piano solo.
  • Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days contains a nearly identical version of the Kingdom Hearts II "Dearly Beloved" reprise, only this time it has the flute used in "Roxas' Theme".
  • Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep features a new orchestral arrangement of "Dearly Beloved", still featuring a piano as with the previous games but including a violin solo featuring a third theme exclusive to this game. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is the first game to change the chord structure of Dearly Beloved, albeit briefly.
  • Kingdom Hearts Re:coded contains a slightly faster version of the original Dearly Beloved theme. It features both the first and second melodies, with pizzicato string support.
  • Two arrangements of the song, entitled "Dearly Beloved" and "Concert Paraphrase on Dearly Beloved", appear in the Piano Collections Kingdom Hearts.
  • Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance's version of "Dearly Beloved" retains the original theme with pianos, violins, glockenspiel, and plucked violins, then the melody is played with flute and then has a slightly quicker part where a tambourine comes into play. Unlike other versions, it also switches between a 4/4 and 3/4 time signature - according to Shimomura herself as a reference to the "3D" in the title.

Audio samples[edit]

Dearly Beloved (Birth by Sleep)
Dearly Beloved KHBBS.ogg
Dearly Beloved (358/2 Days)
Dearly Beloved KHD.ogg
Dearly Beloved (Re:CoM)
Dearly Beloved KHRECOM.ogg
Dearly Beloved (KH2)
Dearly Beloved KHII.ogg
Dearly Beloved (KH1)
Dearly Beloved KH.ogg
Dearly Beloved (χ [chi])
Dearly Beloved KHX.ogg
Dearly Beloved (Dream Drop Distance)
Dearly Beloved KH3D.ogg
Dearly Beloved (Re:coded)
Dearly Beloved KHREC.ogg
Dearly Beloved -Reprise- (KH2)
Dearly Beloved -Reprise- KHII.ogg
Dearly Beloved -Reprise- (KH1)
Dearly Beloved -Reprise- KH.ogg
Concert Paraphrase on Dearly Beloved
Concert Paraphrase on Dearly Beloved (Piano Collections).ogg
Dearly Beloved (Piano Collections)
Dearly Beloved (Piano Collections).ogg
Dearly Beloved (1.5 HD Remix: Final Mix)
Dearly Beloved KHHD.ogg


Variations[edit]

The themes "Friends in My Heart", "Always on My Mind", "March Caprice for Piano and Orchestra", and "Fantasia alla Marcia for Piano, Chorus, and Orchestra" are variations of the "Dearly Beloved" theme that can be heard in Kingdom Hearts. "Musique pour la tristesse de Xion" from the Piano Collections Kingdom Hearts Field & Battle album, contains melodies from "Dearly Beloved" in the last page. "Dearly Dreams", the field music for the Mirage Arena in Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, also contains the main melody from "Dearly Beloved", as does "The Key", the battle theme to Ventus-Vanitas. Most recently, "Link to All" from Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance centers around the main melodic theme from "Dearly Beloved".

Sheet music[edit]

Piano Collections Kingdom Hearts contains the official sheet music.