Capstone Album: 9 Songs (XX:XX) Contemporary electronic music genres, influenced by the intentions and thematic content of nine different genres of game music. Introduction. interest: Electronic music production, involvement in game music community, career interest
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9 Songs (XX:XX)
music genres, influenced by
the intentions and thematic
content of nine different
genres of game music
production, involvement in
game music community,
Two major goals:
Analysis of medium
Understand game music as an
evolving art form, including its
background, current state, and
Analysis of perception
Reach an informed conclusion
about how game music is seen by
the public, critics, and fans
What is Video Game Music?
Promotion of emotion
Listener has active role
Basis of gameplay)
Function and Interaction
ESA Lists9 “Supergenres” of games:
fighting, role-playing, children/family, action,
adventure, strategy, shooter, racing, and sports
Interactivity defines game music:
Game music “genres” determined by dynamic qualities (whether or not the music adapts to player actions)
The Legend of Zelda
Ocarina of Time
Hyrule Field Theme
Player in Combat
Combat Has Resolved
Melody Has Played TWICE
Resolution Has Played
Is the soundtrack Important?
New genre: Games based on
2005: Nokia rules that all mobile games they offer must have a feature to turn off the music
2006: Microsoft rules that music in every XBOX 360 game must be replaceable with the user’s own music files
Dedicated music stores:
In 2008, $1.4 Billion, 500
Million songs sold
Rock Game Decline:
Rapid franchise sequels,
Guitar Hero disbanded,
survival in new genres
Player reproduces series of notes/rhythms
Largest cultural impact of game music
Entrance into music industry for artists
Use of popular music to promote games
Generation 1 (1970’s) – No sound at all
Generation 2 (Early ’80s) – Synthesis chips
Simplistic, sometimes atonal, “event sounds”
Generation 3 (Mid-late ’80s) – 8-Bit Era
Dedicated sound chips, multiple channels
(8-Bit labeled by composers as simplistic but expressive, by fans
as memorable and beloved)
Generation 4 (Early-Mid ’90s) – 16-Bit Era
Advanced sound chips, Storage and usage of
samples, First major game soundtrack CDs released
-Same sound by card
-Live instruments – no
limitations on composition
-More familiar for composers
-Limited storage space
-Dynamic music impossible
-Soundtracks much more
expensive to produce
-Easy communication with
-Small filesize, complex
-Different sound by card
-Limited set of instruments
-Synthetic, “choppy” sound
- Game Bands
(The Minibosses, Armcannon, The
Protomen, Metroid Metal, OneUps)
- Large scale orchestral game
(Video Games Live, Final Fantasy
Good Friends, Play!)
- Game Music Organizations,
Game Music Culture
Quick development of game industry resulted in criticism/dismissal
- Use in popular music and games
The Next Level
Many See Game Music As:
A crucial piece of the industry
A prominent cultural force
A valid artistic medium
Bridgett, Rob (2005). "Hollywood Sound." Gamasutra: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050916/bridgett_03.shtml#3
Bruno, Antony. "Byte by Byte." Billboard. 19 12 2009: 13. Print.
Bruno, Antony. "Gaming the System." Billboard. 24 01 2009: 12. Print.
Collins, Karen. Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design. MIT Press, 2008. Print.
Eno, Brian. Keyboard Wizards. Intervew by Jim Aikin. Jul 1981. Web. 20 Jan 2011. <http://www.moredarkthanshark.org/eno_int_key-wiz-win85.html>.
Farnell, Andy. "An Introduction to Procedural Audio and its Application in Computer Games." Games Sound: Theory and Practice of Video Game Music, Sound Effects, and Dialogue (2007): n. pag. Web. 15 Jan 2011. <http://obiwannabe.co.uk/html/papers/proc-audio/proc-audio.html>.
Hall, Kenji. "Video Game Music Strikes a Bigger Chord." BusinessWeek Online 07 09 2008: 25. Web. 10 Jan 2011.
Harlin, Jesse (2007). "Aural Fixation: Does It Sound Next Gen?" Game Developer (February).
Huang, Eugene (2007). "GCD: Next-gen Audio Will Rely on MIDI, Says Sony." GamePro.com: http://www.gamepro.com/news.cfm?article_id=106508
Jørgensen, Kristine. "Left in the Dark: Playing Computer Games with the Sound Turned Off." From Pac-Man to Pop Music: Interactive Audio in Games and New Media. Karen Collins. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2008. Print.
Bibliography( Questions? )
Nielsen, Simon, Jonas Smith, and Susana Tosca. Understanding Video Games: The Essential Introduction. New York, NY: Routledge, 2008. Print.
Nokia Corporation (2005). "From Bleeps to Soundscapes: Designing Mobile Game Audio." http://sw.nokia.com/id/e2b3d80a-5ea7-453b-978e-1814310b4639/From_Bleeps_To_Soundscapes_Designing_Mobile_Game_Audio_v1_0_en.pdf
Penfold, R A. Practical MIDI Handbook. 3rd ed. Great Britain: Bell and Bain Limited, 1997. Print.
Phelps, Philip. "A Modern Implementation of Chiptune Synthesis." 01 02 2007. 3. University West of England Archive. Web. 15 Jan 2011.
Sloboda, John. Exploring the Musical Mind: Cognition, Emotion, Ability, Function. 1st ed. Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Turcan, Peter, and Mike Wasson. Fundamentals of Audio and Video Programming for Games. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Press, 2004. Print.
Wilde, Martin. Audio Programming for Interactive Games. Boston, MA: Elsevier/Focal Press, 2004. Print.
Wolf, Mark. The Medium of the Video Game. 1st ed. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2001. Print.
Yi, Matthew. "They Got Game." San Francisco Chronicle 18 Dec 2004.
ANTIPODE - MALFORM
9 Songs (XX:XX)
Contemporary electronic music genres, influenced by the intentions and thematic content of nine different genres of game music