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Band Land

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That thing he's riding on? It's a maraca.

SpongeBob: Mr. Krabs, what are you doing in Squidward's dream?
Mr. Krabs: Hard time, boy, or at least it feels like it. Do you think you can make it across this sheet of music to the Golden Spatula on Squidward's big nose?
SpongeBob: Don't worry, Mr. Krabs. I'll end this challenge on a high note!

Quite a few video games have levels or other areas that are music-themed. No, we're not talking about an Unexpected Gameplay Change to a Rhythm Game here. (There might be a music-themed Mini-Game or three, but that's not the whole point of the place.)

These levels make you "face the music" in a more literal fashion. They're made of musical instruments, sheet music, or (somehow) music itself, often of giant scale. You might get blasted out of a huge trumpet, walk gingerly along a giant keyboard, or slide down a musical score. Often, moving around and interacting with your surroundings will "play" at least a few of the instruments. If the level designer is feeling especially playful, the background music itself may even be affected by what you do in the level. As these settings tend to be light and comical, they're sometimes used to indicate a Breather Level. But don't count on it.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Tamagotchi, Melody Land is inhabited by Tamagotchis who love music and has Fantastic Flora themed around music, such as plants growing musical notes and bells.

    Asian Animation 
  • Noonbory and the Super 7: Melody Forest, in which some sort of music is always playing. It gets visited in the episode “Lurkboy’s Cape Caper”.

    Audio Play 
  • The Day The Orchestra Played is set in a “very distant, far-out place, beyond the deepest star in outer space” which “has [...] only instruments for residents”.
  • Once Upon An Orchestra: Sydney Saxophone Joins The Symphony Of Life has Symphonyville (inhibited specifically by the instruments of Classical Music), as well as the unnamed town Sydney Saxophone lived in before moving to Symphonyville.
  • Children’s audio record Piccolo, Saxo, Et CompagineTranslation  by Andre Popp is set in one, called the Kingdom Of Music and inhabited by Animate Inanimate Object musical instruments (specifically the instruments of the symphony orchestra). The first sequel implies that it’s located somewhere in Europe. One of the other sequels, Piccolo Et Saxo A Music CityTranslation  introduces a second Band Land in the form of the titular Music City, which is found somewhere in America and home to Animate Inanimate Object electronic musical instruments.
  • Rusty In Orchestraville, another children’s audio record, has the town of Orchestraville, inhabited by living musical instruments- however, Rusty’s visit to it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • The rather obscure Christian music program Sing God’s Word has two kids wander into Symphony City, which is inhabited by sentient (and, of course, Christian) musical instruments.

    Comic Books 

    Eastern Animation 
  • The Soyuzmultfilm stop-motion cartoon Orchestra Country is Exactly What It Says on the Tin- set in the city of orchestral instruments, the plot involves a trio of non-symphony instruments- an electric guitar, a saxophone, and a rock-style drum- attempting and failing to introduce the city's inhabitants to "modern" non-classical music.
  • Russian short film Seeing Music involves two children venturing to the City Of Music to meet the instruments of the symphony orchestra.

    Films — Animation 
  • Piccolo, Saxo, and Cie: This Animated Adaptation of the above-mentioned Piccolo, Saxo, Et Compagnie replaces the Kingdom Of Music with the whole Planet Of Music, inhabited not just by talking instruments but also living notes and clefs as well.
  • Tubby the Tuba (1975): The Singing City.
  • Yellow Submarine: Pepperland.

  • Ernest LaPrade’s 1925 novel Alice In Orchestralia, which involved Alice (no, not that Alice) going Down The Tuba Bell and winding up in the titular country, where a bass violnote  introduces her to the instruments of the symphony orchestra.
  • The Day The Instruments Split! (by Trinity Bursey) is set in a city inhabited by living musical instruments. According to the supplemental materials, the city is named “Cadenza”.
  • The House On Melody Street has the titular street, inhabited by the different families of instruments and the Conductor.
  • The Ice Castle: An Adventure In Music by Pendren Noyce has the Land Of Winter, a combination of this and a Slippy-Slidey Ice World that makes up one quadrant of the world of Lexicon.
  • In My Neighborhood is set in a (nameless) city inhabited by humanoid musical instruments. The narrator is a drum who feels useless because, unlike all the other instruments, he cannot play a melody.
  • One of the many fantastical realms the narrator visits in A Journey To The World Underground is Music-Land (or, in a few translations, “Harmonia” or “Crochet Island”note ), an otherwise barren country populated by sentient stringed instruments that communicate by playing themselves.
  • The Land Of Music, Laughter, And Love
  • The Melody’s Song series is set in the singing-themed Voice City, which the second book reveals is located in the more generally music-based Sound Kingdom.
  • Mila And The Magical Music Box: Harmonia, which the titular music box transports Mila to.
  • One of L. Frank Baum’s poems, “Miss Violin’s Beau” is set in a place simply called “Music Land''. The poem itself mostly consists of a Hurricane of Puns set off by Miss Violin being unable to find her “beau”.
  • German children's book Mit Rapauke im Lande der MusikinstrumenteTranslation  involves a boy named Jonas meeting a sentient drum named Rapauke, who takes Jonas on a tour of the Land Of Musical Instruments.
  • Hungarian author Klára Chitz’s novel Muzsikus Péter HangszerországbanTranslation  has a land populated by musical instruments and “reproduction devices”note , which young Peter adventures to in search of a lost melody.
  • Elizabeth Simpson’s 1917 childrens’ novel Prince Melody In Music-Land is naturally set in one of these, as its sequel, The Little Princess Of Music-Landnote .
  • Rhythm Rescue: Music Metropolis.
  • The Story Of Vox Angelica And Lieblich Gedacht has Musicland, inhabited by human versions of various musical instruments and even individual organ pipes.
  • 1876 children’s novel Trip To Music-Land is naturally set in one, albeit one that turns out to have been All Just a Dream.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In D’Ennery and Clairville’s In Name Only adaptation of La Poule Aux Oeufs D'ornote , the main characters at one point find themselves transported to the Isle Of Harmony, which is inhabited by humanoid musical instruments and ruled over by King Bémol and Queen Cadence (who make up a lyre).

  • The radio program Land of the Lost (1943) has Harmony Hollow, the place where lost musical instruments go- Isabell and Billy visit in the episode "Marriage Of The Fife And Drum".

    Video Games 
  • Music World in The Adventures of Cookie & Cream.
  • Aero the Acro-Bat 2 has Disco Fever.
  • The Breath of Fire series has the recurring kingdom of Tunland/Tuneland, a less cartoonish, more realistic take on this trope. Its architecture has a noticeable music motif, and its inhabitants are very musically inclined, to the point that one game requires you to use a special flute to even communicate with them.
  • The second level of Barney's Hide & Seek on Sega Genesis is Music Town.
  • Brütal Legend takes place in a fantasy world inspired by metal music and its various sub-genres.
  • The music levels of Bubsy II.
  • The Cat in the Hat: Musical Madness, a level which takes place inside a gramophone, is full of spinning turntables, accordions, and squawking horns.
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time features Mosquito Marsh, a swamp area that takes cues from Louisiana. Its first level, however, fittingly called "Off Beat", is a Mardi Gras-esque parade that's a mix between a Band Land and a haunted area.
  • In the Arcade Game Crazy Climber 2, the inhabitants of one of the skyscrapers you climb have a inexplicably tendency to hurl musical instruments out of the windows.
  • Cuphead: The second half of Funhouse Frazzle features oversized musical instruments, microphones, and phonographs in the background, in addition to anthropomorphic tubas that serve as enemies.
  • Donkey Kong:
  • Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp has the second half of the Beethoven level, which is just… bizarre.
  • This is probably the best term for where Eternal Sonata is set, though a lot of it's a matter of Theme Naming.
  • Some rounds introduced in Season 5 of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout feature large lilypad-shaped drums that players can bounce on. They are most prominent in the race round Lily Leapers.
  • Figment has the Freedom Isles, which combine this with a World in the Sky.
  • Stage 3 of the Korean Arcade Game Hard Head has Floating Platforms that function as small toy pianos.
  • It Takes Two (2021): The final chapter of the game takes place in the attic and every level portion is based on some different genre of music while Cody and May try to put on a concert.
  • Journey 1983: You bounced on drums, fired at moving microphones, played your piano to shoot down things, used your guitar as a jetpack...then fought off groupies trying to steal your instruments. Pure cheesy gold!
  • Juke's Towers of Hell: The Tower Of Jazz in Zone Seven
  • In Jumping Jack'son for the Atari ST, the player has to place records on turntables while avoiding musical instrument enemies.
  • Jump Start Music is set in one, simply called the Land Of Music.
  • Kirby:
  • HarmoKnight has Melodia, an entire band planet. Characters even resemble musical instruments and notes, to an extent.
  • The second to last world in Kingdom Hearts 3D is based off Fantasia. The hit sounds get replaced with stings!
  • The boss-stage of Bongo Bongo in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a giant drum, and Bongo Bongo is trying to hit you while playing the drum.
  • Super Mario Bros. games:
    • Mario Kart 7 has Music Park (or known in Europe as Melody Motorway), which sees you driving past giant trumpets, across piano keys and jumping over tambourines. It makes a return in 8.
    • Mario Kart 8 has the Electrodrome, which is a giant nightclub, and also features Music Park as one of its retro race courses.
    • Mario Party 7: The minigame Catchy Tunes takes place inside a large musical learning table for toddlers, with multi-colored xylophones in the sides, a metronome at the north and a piano keyboard at the south. Several color-coded musical symbols will begin falling from the sky, and each player needs to catch one symbol from each color to win the minigame (and they have to be collected while they're falling, as they'll vanish as soon as they touch the floor). If nobody manages to get five different symbols after 30 seconds, the minigame ends in a tie.
    • Mario Party DS: Toadette's Music Room. It takes place inside the place where Toadette practices music, and the board's paths pass over (or next to) several instruments like drums, trumpets, a piano and a cello. In this board, the Stars are sold by sentient musical notes, one at a time, and each one sells it for a different price (ranging from 5 to 30 coins). In Story Mode, Toadette asks the gang to defeat Hammer Bro., who is messing with the instruments and is so careless that it may end up breaking any of them.
    • In Super Mario Galaxy 2, a section of the Cloudy Court Galaxy has drums and a cymbal that you can jump on.
    • In Super Mario 3D Land, one section of the Big Boo's Haunt level 6-3 has Mario walking across a giant piano keyboard.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 3, Mayl's home page has a background with part of a detailed musical piece.
  • The bonus stages of Milon's Secret Castle are patterned entirely on musical notation.
  • Mother 3 has the attic of Club Titiboo, which features abandoned musical instruments for you to fight. The boss is a sentient bass which performs a powerful "jam session attack" with a nearby drum and electric guitar.
  • The first level of Parasol Stars features instruments as enemies, with a matching boss.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the world Neon Mixtape Tour, taking place in The '80s where music genres were the rage. Fittingly, the world's gimmick are musical Jams (Punk, Pop, Rap, Metal, 8-bit, Ballad), which alter the speed of the zombies, as well as allowing certain zombies to use special abilities when their favourite Jam plays.
  • In Purple, you will occasionally have to pass through colorful corridors inhabited by flying deadly instruments, while clavinet music plays.
  • The Trope Namer is Band Land from Rayman. Rayman Origins resurrects it as the Desert of Didgeridoos, which combines Band Land with a side order of Shifting Sand Land and a little bit of Gusty Glade.
  • Planet Sonata in Ristar, which, as its name suggests, is made out of musical instruments and more abstract representations of music. The first stage of the planet even has you rebuilding the background music, bar by bar.
  • The entirety of the incredibly low-budget platformer Rock N Roll Adventures is set in one. The levels feature giant stereo equipment, and the enemies are walking drums and cymbals. It all looks very similar to Zool's music level...seeing as how the company behind the game was also behind an aborted Zool game, it's likely they just reused the assets from the Zool prototype to make Rock N Roll Adventures.
  • The 'Sixties' theme in the Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 expansion Time Twister includes lots of parts for building this kind of theme park.
  • Rootin' Tootin', a Maze Game by Data East in which you play a tuba.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog games:
  • In Snoopy's Grand Adventure, the sixth and final world, "Melody Chateau", takes place in the house of the music-loving Schroeder, and the goal of the world is to rescue him. Enemies in this world include flute snakes, bats, fish, and busts of Beethoven. The final boss is the Marble Pianist, a pair of stone hands that cracks every time it presses a piano key.
  • Musical Town, the sixth level of Sparkster (SNES).
  • Squidward's Dream in SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. In no way a breather level.
  • Super Monkey Ball. Advanced Floor 11 is about rolling your ball on the strings of a giant guitar. It's definitely not a Breather Level. Also, Advanced Floor 18 is a downhill ramp in the shape of a treble clef, where you start in the middle of the spiral part and have to chase down the goals, which have a small head start and ski down the ramp.
  • Tadpole Treble's setting, Opus Island, is one of these. Every body of water has a musical theme, looks like a musical score, and the notes are either obstacles or collectibles.
  • The Sega 32X game Tempo comes about as close as one can get to being an entire game made of this trope: although the levels are quite varied, they all have some sort of musical motif.
  • An area of Toontown Online, "Minnie's Melodyland", has piano-key sidewalks, trees with music-note fruit, flowers that look like gramophones, and buildings with names like "Double Reed Bookstore" and "Tom-Tom's Drums".
  • Vexx has a sub-level inside one of the worlds composed of nothing but floating musical instruments. You get there by jumping inside a giant piano. No, it doesn't make any sense.
  • The first level of Wayne's World (SNES), set in a music shop full of various homicidal instruments.
  • The second level of World of Illusion (mostly a sky-plus-mountaintops level) has segments that take place on giant keyboards suspended in space where stepping on each key generates a musical note that randomly changes into an item or a bomb. The Sega Master System version of its predecessor Castle of Illusion features a segment with a similar premise in the Library level, where you walk across the keys of a piano with a page of sheetmusic in the background, wherein some of the musical notes suddenly come to life and drop off the page to attack you.
  • The second level of Zool has a general music theme, with not only musical instruments but also stereo equipment.

    Web Animation 
  • Indie cartoon Sounzee is set in a (nameless) world inhabited by living musical instruments- for instance, Title Character Sounzee is an acoustic guitar.

  • The Melody Kingdom from Cucumber Quest has its citizens, architecture, nature and culture built around music, like every kingdom with its theme in Dreamside.
  • The Land of Quartz and Melody in Homestuck, which is themed around music boxes. The Land of Heat and Clockwork also contains a few hints of turntables, such as the Beat Mesa.

    Western Animation 
  • Short film A Musical Masterpiece is set on Treble Clef Island, a Band Land shaped like a treble cleff and inhabited by living musical notes and instruments, as well as the Conductor
  • The world of Jammers by Baby TV is one, inhabited by living musical instruments.
  • Jammbo in Jelly Jamm. Not surprising since it's the source of all the music in the entire Universe.
  • Little Lulu visits one in "Musica-Lulu", where she is put on trial by living musical instruments and then escapes the courtroom, finding herself in a surreal world filled with menacing giant instruments and musical notes. And then she wakes up.
  • Mixels has Musicland, home of the musical instrument-themed Mixie tribe.
  • Musicalia has the titular location, inhabited by animate instruments as well as more abstract representations of music like Harmony and Rock.
  • Short-livednote  Christian childrens’ series Musicland Band has one on the titular Musicland, which is populated by living instruments.
  • One of Disney's Silly Symphonies shorts, "Music Land" by name, portrayed rival nations called The Land of Symphony and the Isle of Jazz, inhabited by anthropomorphic musical instruments.
  • In the 1980s special Puff the Magic Dragon and the Incredible Mr. Nobody, Puff and a boy named Terry travel through the Fantaverse, which includes Cleftomania, a land made of musical instruments. They are instructed to "proceed harmonious through," but have to tame the Savage Beast first.
  • The Simpsons parodied "Music Land" with the Couch Gag of "The Kid is All Right". It was even called a "Silly Simpsony". Just like in the original Disney short, Springfield is now a music-themed town and the characters are anthropomorphic instruments.
  • The “magical, musical world” of Symfollies, inhabited by anthropomorphic musical instruments, definitely counts as one of these.
  • The titular world of Taratabong is one- the landscape has various musical features (such as bell-like flowers), and the inhabitants are anthropomorphic instruments..
  • Obscure children’s music education program "The Tuneables" is set in one, called “Tuneville”.


Rhythm Route

A giant music-themed city.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

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