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How Toverland Enchants its Audience with Music

Original article from (Author: Walter Jonker)

The Magic Valley is a new themed area of Toverland in which a lot of attention has been paid to music.  

We asked Tessa Maessen about the role music plays in the park and how the music choices were made.

Toverland Enchants Audience with MusicAn Impression of the Magic Valley

The Magic Valley is a new theme area in Toverland. Here visitors of all ages can find suitable attractions and rides. Spinning roller coaster "Dwervelwind" and water ride "Djengu River" are the biggest attractions. The area is connected to the story of the "Dwervels”; they inhabit the area and you can sometimes notice their traces there.
Music plays an important role in the world of the Dwervels, for it creates its atmosphere. There are seven areas, each having its own musical image. The following video gives an impression of the atmosphere in some parts of the area:

The Seven Musical Themes

The themed area has eight different music zones. On the drawing they are indicated with colours.

The letters on the map stand for sound effects. For example, A; "Enchanting twinkling as the magical drops echo against the rocky walls of the cave and echo for eternity."

Toverland Enchants Audience with Music 

Below we have given the description + the sound bite of some of the zones.

Yellow zones = transition zone to the rest of the park.

Music: anticipating, on the way to the enchanting world, hidden deep behind the green hills.
Blue zone = the magical oasis, where the green prevails over all other colours:

Music: Avatar spirits, music that affects you, absolutely no tension.

Red zone = the heart of the Dwervels’ home; Dwervels are kind people, now and then a little bit clumsy, though unintentionally. They are mischievous, curious, have good climbing skills, charming, and really enjoy life. They live close to nature and look more like a hobbit than a troll. They like to be heard, for example when they blow the horn; in the carousel a dwervel blows his shell.

Music: Dwervels 1

Music: Dwervels 1

Purple Zone = spinning coaster Dwervelwind, where the winds swirl. Music: in the style of the Dwervels’ music, but has more tension; more bombastic, yet airy with strings and violins.

Several pieces of music were composed for this attraction:

two for the queue,

one for the boarding station and

one for the attraction itself.

Green zone = restaurant and fountain(show). Music: Next to the charming background music, a hit song enhancing the fountain show is played regularly. Here music must help to create an emotional moment with an enchanting woman’s voice and a harp, contributing to the “water feeling”.  

Katara Fontain Show

Katara Plaza

Want to discover the other zones and sound effects? Then take the map and visit the park.

Music determines the atmosphere

Tessa Maessen and Peter van Holsteijn have been actively involved in the development of Toverland’s soundscape. Tessa is happy to speak about the realization of this project. 

Where/how have you realized, that music is important for an amusement park?
Tessa: “Music is not only important in an amusement park; music is very important everywhere. Just try watching a movie without sound. Without sound it is much more difficult to get the right feeling. This is also true for an amusement park: music sets the tone!”

What is the role of music in a park?
Tessa: “Music enhances the mood and the feeling. Music enhances the experience, so to speak.

In the Magic Valley we use different music zones to build up to a certain climax. Music helps us direct the feelings of our guest. Peter van Holsteijn, our imagineer, named the word: timing. Through the music we can work towards a certain timing”. 

Isn’t it much easier to have one recognizable tune for a whole area?
Tessa: “In various parts of the Magic Valley we want to evoke different feelings: In the restaurant zone the key word is relaxation, in the Dwervelwind zone just the opposite, excitement, and the Children’s area may have a playful, cheerful atmosphere. You cannot achieve this in one music piece. To add to that, we already had experience of working with different music zones. In the Land of Toos we have been working with several zones to enhance the themes of Eastern and Western magic since 2011”.

What role do the Dwervels play in the music choice?
Tessa: "As for the sound effects, the Dwervels are the guideline: In the beginning of the Valley the Dwervel is (almost) nowhere to be seen. He spies on the guest, so to speak. Now and then you can hear a rustle or a murmur. But the deeper you get into the valley, the more curious the Dwervels become of the visitors, they also become more dominant. You will hear no Dwervels in the yellow "transition zones", but in the red "folk’s zone" – their zone – their sounds will prevail.”

What do you pay attention to while choosing a music piece for a certain zone?
Tessa: “We started by writing a music plan of the Magic Valley: we determined various zones and defined the atmosphere per zone. Then for every zone we searched for already existing example music, which would broadly reflect the mood of the zone. With the music plan, the example music and the atmosphere impressions of  (the different parts of) the Magic Valley, we have then briefed and inspired the composers of IMAscore. IMAscore then comes up with music demo’s, so that we can give our feedback. In order to do so, we critically listen to the music: does the music evoke the desired feeling, does it fit into the idea of the zone, and, also important – does it fit into the total picture of the Magic Valley. A demo of 1, 5 minutes is thus developed into a complete music piece of sometimes more than 20 minutes.” 

How important is the quality of the sound? It is background music after all…
Tessa: “The management of Toverland finds good sound quality very important. Moreover, good music – and I sincerely believe that the music of the Magic Valley is very good – sounds much better through good boxes. And even though it is mainly background music, the music sets the tone!”

What do you expect from the music sales at the souvenir shop?
Tessa: "I do hope that the music CD of the Magic Valley will be sold out in no time! There is certainly enough demand already, both via Toverland and via IMAscore. Time will tell .. For those interested: The CD is available from mid-May.”


The technical support and the soundscape were provided by Imascore. In total they have composed over 2.5 hours of music and sound effects. These are divided over eight musical zones, 2 onrides (Dwervelwind and Djengu River) and the fountain show.

In the Magic Valley we use (among others) a DMX show control system. This system allows to control the light, sound and effects in the entire valley – and soon also in the entire park – from one central point.

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