The Full Wiki

Video game music: Wikis

  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vg icon.svg

Video game music is any of the musical pieces or soundtracks found in video games. It can range from a primitive synthesizer tune to an orchestral piece, usually such that the older the game, the simpler the music. In recent times, many games have had complex soundtracks similar to those of movies. It is also much more common for video game soundtracks to be commercially sold or even be performed in concerts that focus on video game music[1]. Music can also be an important gameplay element in certain types of video games (like rhythm games).

Contents

History

Early video game technology and computer chip music

At the time video games emerged as a form of entertainment in the 1970s (the first generation), music was stored on physical medium in analog waveforms such as compact cassettes and phonograph records. Such components were expensive and prone to breakage under heavy use making them less than ideal for use in an arcade cabinet, though in rare cases, they were used (Journey). A more affordable method of having music in a video game was to use digital means, where a specific computer chip would change electrical impulses from computer code into analog sound waves on the fly for output on a speaker. Sound effects for the games were also generated in this fashion.

While this allowed for inclusion of music of arcade games in the 1970s, it was usually monophonic, looped or used sparingly between stages or at the start of a new game, such as Pac Man or Pole Position. The decision to include any music into a video game meant that at some point it would have to be transcribed into computer code by a programmer, whether or not the programmer had musical experience. Some music was original, some was public domain music such as folk songs. The popular Atari 2600 home system, for example, was capable of generating only two tones, or "notes", at a time. Some exceptions, such as arcade games developed by Exidy, took steps toward digitized, or "sampled", sounds.

This approach in game development carried on into the 1980s. As advances in silicon and cost of technology fell, a definitively new generation of arcade machines and home consoles allowed for great changes in accompanying music. In arcades, machines based on the Motorola 68000 CPU and Yamaha YM chips for sound generators allowed for several more tones or "channels" of sound, sometimes eight or more. Home console systems also had a comparable upgrade in sound ability beginning with the ColecoVision in 1982 capable of four channels. However, more notable was the Japanese release of the Famicom in 1983 which was later released in the US as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. It was capable of five channels, one being capable of simple PCM sampled sound. The home computer Commodore 64 released in 1982 was capable of early forms of filtering effects, different types of waveforms and eventually the ability to play 4-bit samples on a fourth sound channel. Its comparatively low cost made it a popular alternative to other home computers, as well as its ability to use a TV for an affordable display monitor.

Approach to game music development in this time period usually involved using simple tone generation and/or frequency modulation synthesis to simulate instruments for melodies, and use of a "noise channel" for simulating percussive noises. Early use of PCM samples in this era was limited to sound bites (Monopoly), or as an alternate for percussion sounds (Super Mario Bros 3). The music on home consoles often had to share the available channels with other sound effects. For example, if a laser beam was fired by a spaceship, and the laser used a 1400 Hz tone, then whichever channel was in use by music would stop playing music and start playing the sound effect.

The mid-to-late 1980s software releases for these platforms had music developed by more people with greater musical experience than before. Quality of composition improved noticeably, and evidence of the popularity of music of this time period remains even today. Composers who made a name for themselves with their software include Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Kōji Kondō (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda), Kōichi Sugiyama[2] (Dragon Quest), Rob Hubbard (Monty On the Run), Hirokazu Tanaka (Metroid, Kid Icarus, EarthBound), Martin Galway (Times of Lore), Hiroshi Miyauchi (Out Run), and Yūzō Koshiro (Ys). Toward the end of the life of the Famicom, some cartridge games were custom manufactured with additional tone generating chips built into them at the developer's expense, further expanding to the number of channels for composition. NES games had many different ways of being composed. One for example, is DragonStrike's music, which was composed on the Commodore Amiga's program 'Dr. T' and was ported onto the NES according to video game musician Frank Klepacki.

The oncoming generation of arcade, home consoles, and home computers would reshape the approach to music in video games.

Early digital synthesis and sampling

The first home computer to make use of digital signal processing in the form of sampling was the Commodore Amiga in 1985. The computer's sound chip featured four independent 8-bit digital-to-analog converters. Instead of simply generating a waveform that sounded like a simplistic "beep", such as FM synthesis, this technique allowed short samples of pre-recorded sound waves to be played back through the computer's sound chip from memory. It allowed a developer to take a "sample" of a real instrument or sound they wanted at a significantly higher quality and fidelity than was previously available or would come to be available on home computing for several years. This was an early development example of what would later be called wavetables and soundfonts. For its role in being first and affordable, the Amiga would remain a staple tool of early sequenced music composing, especially in Europe.

The Amiga's main rival, the Atari ST, used the Yamaha YM2149 Programmable Sound Generator (PSG), which was limited compared to the Commodore 64's SID chip and thus digitized sound was heard on Atari ST only through certain programming tricks that consumed processor time making it impractical for games. Since it had in-built MIDI ports, the Atari ST was instead used by many professional musicians as a MIDI programming device.

IBM PC clones in 1985 would not see any significant development in multimedia abilities for a few more years, and sampling would not become popular in other video game systems for several years. Though sampling had the potential to produce much more realistic sounds, each sample required much more data in memory. This was at a time when all memory, solid state (cartridge), magnetic (floppy disk) or otherwise was still very costly per kilobyte. Sequenced soundchip generated music on the other hand was generated with a few lines of comparatively simple code and took up far less precious memory.

The previously mentioned hybrid approach (sampled and tone) to music composing in the third generation of consoles continued to the fourth generation, or 16-bit era, of home game consoles with the Sega Mega Drive in 1988. The Mega Drive, (Sega Genesis in the US) offered advanced graphics over the NES and improved sound synthesis, but largely held the same approach to sound design. Ten channels in total for tone generation with one for PCM samples were available in stereo instead of the NES's five channels in mono, one for PCM. As before, it was often used for percussion samples, or "drum kits" (Sonic the Hedgehog 3). The 16-bit Sega referred to was the CPU and should not be confused with 16-bit sound samples. The Genesis did not support 16-bit sampled sounds. Despite the additional tone channels, writing music still posed a challenge to traditional composers and it forced much more imaginative use of the FM synthesizer to create an enjoyable listening experience.

As cost of magnetic memory declined in the form of diskettes, the evolution of video game music on the Amiga, and some years later game music development in general, shifted to sampling in some form. It took some years before Amiga game designers learned to wholly use digitized sound effects in music (an early exception case was the title music of text adventure game The Pawn, 1986). By this time, computer and game music had already begun to form its own identity, and thus many music makers intentionally tried to produce music that sounded like that heard on the Commodore 64, which resulted in the chiptune genre.

The release of a freely-distributed Amiga program named Sound Tracker by Karsten Obarski in 1987 started the era of MOD-format which made it easy for anyone to produce music based on digitized samples. MOD-files were made with programs called "tracker"s after Obarski's Sound Tracker. This MOD/tracker tradition continued with PC computers in 1990s. Examples of Amiga games using digitized instrument samples include David Whittaker's soundtrack for Shadow of the Beast, Chris Hülsbeck's soundtrack for Turrican 2 and Matt Furniss's tunes for Laser Squad. Richard Joseph also composed some theme songs featuring vocals and lyrics for games by Sensible Software most famous being Cannon Fodder (1993) with a song "War Has Never Been So Much Fun" and Sensible World of Soccer (1994) with a song "Goal Scoring Superstar Hero". These songs used long vocal samples.

Similar to the Amiga, this approach to sound and music developments in arcades began to appear in certain specialized arcade system board revisions. In 1991, games like Street Fighter II on the CPS-1 used voice samples extensively along with sampled sound effects and percussion. Neo Geo's MVS system also carried powerful sound development which often included surround sound.

The SNES (1990) brought digitized sound to console games.

The evolution also carried into home console video games, such as the release of the Super Famicom in 1990, and its US/EU version SNES in 1991. This home console system sported a specialized custom Sony chip for both the sound generation and for special hardware DSP. It was capable of eight channels of sampled sounds at up to 16-bit resolution, had a wide selection of DSP effects, including a type of ADSR usually seen in high end synthesizers of the time, and full stereo sound. This allowed experimentation with applied acoustics in video games, such as musical acoustics (early games like Castlevania IV, F-Zero, Final Fantasy IV, Gradius III, and later games like Chrono Trigger), directional (Star Fox) and spatial acoustics (Dolby Pro-Logic was used in some games, like King Arthur's World and Jurassic Park), as well as environmental and architectural acoustics (Zelda III, Secret of Evermore). Many games also made heavy use of the high quality sample playback capabilities (Super Star Wars, Tales of Phantasia). The only real limitation to this powerful setup was the still-costly solid state memory.

Other consoles of the generation could boast similar abilities yet did not have the same popularity as the SNES. The Neo-Geo home system was capable of the same powerful sample processing as its arcade counterpart, but was several times the cost of a SNES. The Sega CD hardware upgrade to the Genesis added multiple PCM channels, but few games used this feature and instead streamed music from the CD from a Red Book format. Neither saw the circulation of the SNES.

Popularity of the SNES and its software remained limited to regions where NTSC television was the broadcast standard. Partly because of the difference in frame rates of PAL broadcast equipment, many titles released were never redesigned to play appropriately and ran much slower than originally intended, or were never released. This showed a divergence in popular video game music between PAL and NTSC countries that still shows to this day. This divergence would be lessened as the fifth generation of home consoles launched globally, and as Commodore began to take a backseat to general purpose PCs and Macs.

Though the Sega-CD, and to a greater extent the PC Engine in Japan, would give gamers a preview of the direction video game music would take in streaming music, the use of both sampled and sequenced music continues in game consoles even today. The huge data storage benefit of optical media would be coupled with progressively more powerful audio generation hardware and higher quality samples in the Fifth Generation. In 1994, the PlayStation with a CD-ROM drive supported 24 channels of 16-bit samples of up to 44.1 kHz sample rate, equal to CD audio quality. It also sported a few hardware DSP effects like reverb. Many Squaresoft titles continued to use sequenced music, such as Final Fantasy 7, Legend of Mana, and Final Fantasy Tactics. The Sega Saturn also with a CD drive supported 32 channels of PCM at the same resolution as the PSX. In 1996, the Nintendo 64, still using a solid state cartridge, actually supported an integrated and scalable sound system that was potentially capable of 100 channels of PCM, and an improved sample rate of 48 kHz. Games for the N64, because of the cost of the solid state memory, typically had samples of lesser quality than the other two however, and music tended to be simpler in construct.

The more dominant approach for games based on CDs, however, was shifting toward streaming audio.

MIDI on the PC

The first developers of IBM PC computers neglected audio capabilities (first IBM model, 1981).

In the same timeframe of late 1980s to mid 1990s, the IBM PC platform followed a different path from other computers. Early PC gaming was limited to the 1-bit PC speaker, and some proprietary standards such as the IBM PCjr 3-voice chip. While sampled sound could be achieved on the PC speaker using pulse width modulation, doing so required a significant proportion of the available processor power, rendering its use in games rare.

The resulting vacuum in useful sound performance, coupled with increasing interest in game software as PC clones began to dominate the market, resulted in competition among add-on card sellers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The first two recognizable standards were the Roland MT-32, followed by the AdLib sound card. Both such examples were typically listed in the game's requirements of the era. Roland's solution was driven by MIDI sequencing using advanced LA synthesizers, and cost significantly more than other products. This made it the first choice for game developers, but placed it out of the common consumer's view. The AdLib used a low-cost FM synthesis chip from Yamaha, and was quite affordable.

The AdLib card was usurped in 1989 by Creative's Sound Blaster, which used the same Yamaha FM chip in the AdLib, ensuring 100% compatibility, but also added 8-bit 22.05 kHz (later 44.1 kHz) digital audio recording and playback of a single stereo channel. The Sound Blaster constituted the core sound technology of the early 1990s, a combination of a simple FM engine that supported midi, and a DAC engine of one or more streams. Only a minority of developers ever used Amiga-style tracker formats in commercial PC games, (Unreal) typically preferring to use the MT-32 or AdLib/SB-compatible devices.

The last major development before streaming music came in 1992: Roland released the first General MIDI card, the wavetable SCC-1, and General MIDI with wavetable samples quickly usurped AdLib as the standard. Developers increasingly made a compromise in light of the variety of hardware around by then, and the increasing use of General MIDI: instead of writing one sequence for each supported sound device, to use MIDI sequencing as a common music standard, with sampled sound effects. This allowed a large variety of cards to be supported from the same data(usually a sequence written for SB or MT-32). However, different products used different sound samples, and further, the samples were mixed at different relative volumes, meaning that no single sequence would be accurate on every other General Midi device.

All of these designs and workarounds in the products reflected the high cost of memory storage which rapidly declined with the optical CD format.

Pre-recorded and streaming music

Taking entirely pre-recorded music had many advantages over sequencing for sound quality. Music could be produced freely with any kind and number of instruments, allowing developers to simply record one track to be played back during the game. Quality was only limited by the effort put into mastering the track itself. Memory space costs that was previously a concern was somewhat addressed with optical media becoming the dominant media for software games. CD quality audio allowed for music and voice that had the potential to be truly indistinguishable from any other source or genre of music.

In fourth generation home video games and PCs this was limited to playing a Red Book audio track from a CD while the game was in play (Sonic CD). However, there were several disadvantages of regular CD-audio. Optical drive technology was still limited in spindle speed, so playing an audio track from the game CD meant that the system could not access data again until it stopped the track from playing. Looping, the most common form of game music, was also problem as when the laser reached the end of a track, it had to move itself back to the beginning to start reading again causing an audible gap in playback.

To address these drawbacks, some PC game developers designed their own container formats in house, for each application in some cases, to stream compressed audio. This would cut back on memory used for music on the CD, allowed for much lower latency and seek time when finding and starting to play music, and also allowed for much smoother looping due to being able to buffer the data. A minor drawback was that use of compressed audio meant it had to be decompressed which put load on the CPU of a system. As computing power increased, this load became minimal, and in some cases dedicated chips in a computer (such as a sound card) would actually handle all the decompressing.

Fifth generation home console systems also developed specialised streaming formats and containers for compressed audio playback. Sony would call theirs Yellow Book, and offer the standard to other companies. Games would take full advantage of this ability, sometimes with highly praised results (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night). Games ported from arcade machines, which continued to use FM synthesis, often saw superior pre-recorded music streams on their home console counterparts (Street Fighter Alpha 2). Even though the game systems were capable of "CD quality" sound, these compressed audio tracks were not true "CD quality." Many of them had lower sampling rates, but not so significant that most consumers would notice. Using a compressed stream allowed game designers to playback streamed music and still be able to access other data on the disc without interruption of the music, at the cost of CPU power used to render the audio stream. Manipulating the stream any further would require a farm more significant level of CPU power available in the 5th generation.

Some games, such as the Wipeout series, continued to use full redbook CD audio for their soundtracks.

This overall freedom offered to music composers gave video game music the equal footing with other popular music it had lacked. A musician could now, with no need to learn about programming or the game architecture itself, independently produce the music to their satisfaction. This flexibility would be exercised as popular mainstream musicians would be using their talents for video games specifically. An early example is Way of the Warrior on the 3DO, with music by White Zombie. A more well-known example is Trent Reznor's score for Quake.

An alternate approach, as with the TMNT arcade, was to take pre-existing music not written exclusively for the game and use it in the game. The game Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter and subsequent Star Wars games took music composed by John Williams for the Star Wars films of the 1970s and 1980s and used it for the game soundtracks.

Both using new music streams made specifically for the game, and using previously released/recorded music streams are common approaches for developing sound tracks to this day. It is common for X-games sports-based video games to come with some popular artists recent releases (SSX, Tony Hawk, Initial D), as well as any game with heavy cultural demographic theme that has tie-in to music (Need For Speed: Underground, Grand Theft Auto). Sometimes a hybrid of the two are used, such as in Dance Dance Revolution.

Sequencing samples continue to be used in modern gaming for many uses, mostly RPGs. Sometimes a cross between sequencing samples, and streaming music is used. Games such as Republic: The Revolution (music composed by James Hannigan[3]) and Command & Conquer: Generals (music composed by Bill Brown) have utilised sophisticated systems governing the flow of incidental music by stringing together short phrases based on the action on screen and the player's most recent choices (see dynamic music). Other games dynamically mixed the sound on the game based on cues of the game environment.

As processing power increased dramatically in the 6th generation of home consoles, it became possible to apply special effects in realtime to streamed audio. In SSX, a recent video game series, if a snowboarder takes to the air after jumping from a ramp, the music softens or muffles a bit, and the ambient noise of wind and air blowing becomes louder to emphasize being airborne. When the snowboarder lands, the music resumes regular playback until its next "cue". The LucasArts company pioneered this interactive music technique with their iMUSE system, used in their early adventure games and the Star Wars flight simulators Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: TIE Fighter. Action games such as these will change dynamically to match the amount of danger. Stealth-based games will sometimes rely on such music, either by handling streams differently, or dynamically changing the composition of a sequenced soundtrack.

Personalized soundtracks

Being able to play one's own music during a game in the past usually meant turning down the game audio and using an alternate music player. Some early exceptions were possible on PC/Windows gaming in which it was possible to independently adjust game audio while playing music with a separate program running in the background. Some PC games, such as Quake, play music from the CD while retrieving game data exclusively from the hard disk, thereby allowing the game CD to be swapped for any music CD.

Some PlayStation games supported this by swapping the game CD with a music CD, although when the game needed data, you had to swap the CDs again. One of the earliest games, Ridge Racer, was loaded entirely into RAM, letting the player insert a music CD to provide a soundtrack throughout the entirety of the gameplay. In Vib Ribbon, this became a gameplay feature, with the game generating levels based entirely on the music on whatever CD the player inserted.

Microsoft's Xbox, a competitor in the sixth generation of home consoles opened new possibilities. Its ability to copy music from a CD onto its internal hard drive allowed gamers to use their own music more seamlessly with gameplay than ever before. The feature, called Custom Soundtrack, had to be enabled by the game developer. The feature carried over into the seventh generation with the Xbox 360 except it is now supported by the system software and enabled at any point.

The Wii is also able to play custom soundtracks if it is enabled by the game (Excite Truck,[4] Endless Ocean[5]).

The PlayStation Portable can, in games like Need for Speed Carbon: Own the City and FIFA 08, play music from a Memory Stick.

The PlayStation 3 has the ability to utilize custom soundtracks in games using music saved on the hard drive, however few game developers have used this function so far. MLB 08: The Show, released in North America on March 4, 2008, has a My MLB sound track feature which allows the user to play music tracks of their choice saved on the hard drive of their PS3, rather than the preprogrammed tracks incorporated into the game by the developer. An update to Wipeout HD, released on the PlayStation Network, was made to also incorporate this feature.[citation needed]

In Audiosurf, custom soundtracks are the main aspect of the game. Users have to pick a music file to be analyzed. The game will generate a race track based on tempo, pitch and complexity of the sound. The user will then race on this track, synchronized with the music.

Current application and future developments

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

The Xbox 360 supports Dolby Digital software, sampling and playback rate of 16-bit @ 48 kHz (internal; with 24-bit hardware D/A converters), hardware codec streaming, and potential of 256 audio simultaneous channels. While powerful and flexible, none of these features represent any major change in how game music is made from the last generation of console systems. PCs continue to rely on third-party devices for in-game sound reproduction, and SoundBlaster, despite being largely the only major player in the entertainment audio expansion card business, continues to advance its product development at a significant pace.

The PlayStation 3 handles multiple types of surround sound technology, including Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD.

Nintendo's Wii console shares many audio components with the Nintendo GameCube from the previous generation, including Dolby Pro Logic II. These features are extensions of technology already currently in use.

The game developer of today has many choices on how to develop music. More likely, changes in video game music creation will have very little to do with technology and more to do with other factors of game development as a business whole. As sales of video game music separate from the game itself became marketable in the west (compared to Japan where game music CDs had been selling for years), business elements also wield a level of influence that it had little before. Music from outside the game developer's immediate employment, such as music composers and pop artists, have been contracted to produce game music just as they would for a theatrical movie. Many other factors have growing influence, such as editing for content, politics on some level of the development, executive input and other elements.

Game music as a genre

Many games for the Nintendo Entertainment System and other early game consoles feature a similar style of musical composition that is sometimes described as the "video game genre." Some aspects of this style continue to influence certain music today, though gamers do not associate many modern game soundtracks with the older style. The genre's compositional elements may have developed due to technological restraints, and may also have been influenced by technopop bands such as Yellow Magic Orchestra, which were quite popular during the period. Features of the genre include:

  • Pieces designed to repeat indefinitely, rather than having an arranged ending or fading out.
  • Pieces lacking lyrics and playing over gameplay sounds.
  • Limited polyphony. Only three notes can be played simultaneously on the Nintendo Entertainment System. A great deal of effort was put into composition to create the illusion of more notes playing at once.

Although the tones featured in NES music can be thought of emulating a traditional four-piece rock band (triangle wave used as a bass, two pulse waves analogous to two guitars, and a white noise channel used for drums), composers would often go out of their way to compose complex and rapid sequences of notes, in part because of the restrictions mentioned above. This is similar to music composition during the Baroque period, when composers, particularly when creating solo pieces, focused on musical embellishments to compensate for instruments such as the harpsichord that do not allow for expressive dynamics. For the same reason, many early compositions also feature a distinct jazz influence. These would overlap with later influences from heavy metal and j-pop music, resulting in an equally distinct compositional style in the 16-bit era.

In an unrelated but parallel course in the European and North American developer scene, similar limitations were driving the musical style of home computer games. Module file format music, particularly MOD, used similar techniques but was more heavily influenced from the electronic music scene as it developed, and resulted in another very distinct subgenre. Demos and the developing demoscene played a big part in the early years, and still influence video game music today.

As technological limitations gradually lifted, composers were given more freedom and with the advent of CD-ROM pre-recorded soundtracks came to dominate, resulting in a noticeable shift in composition and voicing style[6].

Video game music outside video games

Appreciation for video game music, particularly music from the third and fourth generations of home video game console and sometimes newer generations, continues today in very strong representation in both fans and composers alike, even out of the context of a video game. Melodies and themes from 20 years ago continue to be re-used in newer generations of video games. Themes from the original Metroid by Hirokazu Tanaka can still be heard in Metroid games from today as arranged by Kenji Yamamoto.

Video game music soundtracks were sold separately on CD in Japan well before the practice spread to other countries. Interpretive albums, remixes and live performances were also common variations to original soundtracks (OSTs). Kōichi Sugiyama was an early figure in this practice sub-genres, and following the release of the first Dragon Quest game in 1986, a live performance CD of his compositions was released and performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra (then later by other groups including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and NHK Symphony). Yūzō Koshiro, another early figure, released a live performance of the Actraiser soundtrack. Both Koshiro's and fellow Falcom composer Mieko Ishikawa's contributions to Ys music would have such long lasting impact that there were more albums released of Ys music than of almost all other game-type music.

Like anime soundtracks, these soundtracks and even sheet music books were usually marketed exclusively in Japan. Therefore, interested non-Japanese gamers have to import the soundtracks and/or sheet music books through on or offline firms specifically dedicated to video game soundtrack imports. This has been somewhat less of an issue more recently as domestic publishers of anime and video games have been producing western equivalent versions of the OSTs for sale in UK and US, but only for the most popular titles in most cases.

The Original Poster of the first Video Game Music Concert Dragon Quest in Concert (Family Classic Concert) held on August 20, 1987 at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Composed and conducted by Kōichi Sugiyama, Dragon Quest Suites I&II were performed.

Other original composers of the lasting themes from this time have gone on to manage symphonic concert performances to the public exhibiting their work in the games. Kōichi Sugiyama was once again the first in this practice in 1987 with his "Family Classic Concert" and has continued concert performances almost annually. In 1991, he also formed a series called Orchestral Game Concerts, notable for featuring other talented game composers such as Yoko Kanno (Nobunaga's Ambition, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Uncharted Waters), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Keiichi Suzuki (Mother/Earthbound), and Kentaro Haneda (Wizardry).

Global popularity of video game music would begin to surge with Squaresoft's 1990s successes, particularly with Final Fantasy VI, Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy VIII by Nobuo Uematsu and with Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross by Yasunori Mitsuda. Compositions by Nobuo Uematsu on Final Fantasy 4 were arranged into Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon, a live performance by string musicians with strong celtic influence recorded in Ireland. The Love Theme from the same game has been used as an instructional piece of music in Japanese schools.

On August 20, 2003, for the first time outside Japan, music written for video games such as Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda was performed by a live orchestra, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra in a Symphonic Game Music Concert in Leipzig, Germany at the Gewandhaus concert hall. This event was held as the official opening ceremony of Europe's biggest trading fair for video games, the GC Games Convention and repeated in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

On November 17, 2003, Square Enix launched the Final Fantasy Radio on America Online. The radio station has initially featured complete tracks from Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XI: Rise of Zilart and samplings from Final Fantasy VII through Final Fantasy X.

The first officially sanctioned Final Fantasy concert in the United States was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, on May 10, 2004. All seats at the concert were sold out in a single day. "Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy" followed and was performed at various cities across the United States.

On July 6, 2005, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra also held a Video Games Live concert, which was founded by video game music composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall at the Hollywood Bowl. This concert featured a variety of video game music, ranging from Pong to Halo 2. It also incorporated real-time video feeds that were in sync with the music, as well as laser and light special effects. Video Games Live has been touring worldwide since.

On August 20, 2006, the Malmö Symphonic Orchestra with host Orvar Säfström performed an outdoor concert of game music in Malmö, Sweden before an audience of 17,000, currently the attendance record for a game music concert.

From April 20–27 2007, Eminence Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra dedicated to video game and anime music, performed the first part of their annual tour, the "A Night in Fantasia" concert series in Australia. Whilst Eminence had performed video game music as part of their concerts since their inception, the 2007 concert marked the first time ever that the entire setlist was pieces from video games. Up to seven of the world's most famous game composers were also in attendance as special guests.

Video Game Music Education

Video game music has become part of the curriculum of traditional schools and universities[7]. Berklee College of Music, Yale University, New York University and the New England Conservatory all feature or are adding to game music to their curricula. Training seminars[8] such as GameSoundCon also feature classes in how to compose video game music.

Fan culture

In addition to these professional deviations, a huge network of English speaking fans has sprung up with the help of emulators and the Internet in recent years.[citation needed]

Related music genres

See also

References

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message