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Video Game Music Recognition Gets a Boost

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the still-no-historical-category-for-8-bit-glory dept.

Music 112

kghapa writes to tell us that for the first time ever, video game music is getting a much higher level of recognition through inclusion in this year's Ivor Novello Awards in London. "With the growing recognition of the immense detail and complex music compositions that are dedicated to video games, it seemed only a matter of time until game music was given some rightful spotlight. As the huge success and popularity of the fully orchestrated 'Video Games Live' concert has proved, modern and even classic games of days past have truly awe-inspiring musical scores. This concert alone has sold up to half a million tickets and featured music from a wide variety of games and gaming eras, from World of Warcraft to Zelda."

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Finally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813666)

"Mario Paint -Through Fire and Flame" will get it's due.

Re:Finally (4, Funny)

Joe Random (777564) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814120)

"Mario Paint -Through Fire and Flame" will get it's due.

Ask, and ye shall receive. [youtube.com]

Re:Finally (1)

Psychochild (64124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817314)

It's been said before, but Slashdot needs a (+1, I can believe some no-life made this, but it's AWESOME) moderation option. :)

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30815132)

Eh, if we're going to do "videogame" "music", the crazy stuff [youtube.com] the Japanese do with Automatic Mario [youtube.com] should get credit [youtube.com] .

Re:Finally (2, Interesting)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815894)

"They say Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil / I can beat Through the Fire and Flames on Expert level" ...

"Beating Mario Paint doesn't mean you have perspective."

MC Lars, Guitar Hero Hero
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7V7BaRAy0k [youtube.com]

Re:Finally (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816076)

Why oh why did I have my mod points have to expire? MC Lars pimping is always worth a +1.

Re:Finally (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816604)

Ah, another fan.
On the advice of a cousin who's a fan, I did a bit of YouTubing, I torrented The Graduate (his 2006 album), and I was promptly hooked - this lead to me buying his other albums and going to a concert once he showed up locally.
That sounds pretty much like the process Slashdotters often describe when discussing BitTorrent, and it actually happened in my case. Lars speaks of this phenomenon himself, with "Download this Song": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBkuiChImb8 [youtube.com]

(You can't really beat Mario Paint - should have checked the lyrics and typed 'playing' there.)

About Time!!! (2)

King InuYasha (1159129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813680)

It is about time video game music gets the recognition it deserves!!! You have to be creative to make good music for video games, although nowadays that is lessening due to the increasing capabilities of video game consoles....

Re:About Time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813996)

Agree. The more we're able to digitize game "music" the more it starts to sound more and more like the same stuff you hear on the radio, or in movie trailers, or in movies themselves. It kinda takes away from the fact that it's video game music when it's just instrumental recorded in a studio. There is a new sub-genre of sorts that I admire as an aspiring composer and that is the sample library musician. Get the music made without having to spend millions in studio fees and performer royalties. Orchestras are hella expensive to record.

You're all fags and niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813682)

You're all fags and niggers.

Has the music gotten better? (3, Interesting)

Andy Jensen (1723474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813686)

Honestly, I'm not to surprised. The music in video games have increased in complexity and quality on an exponential scale. Now full orchestras are making music with real instruments versus the previous 8-bit simple tunes. But I still prefer the classic themes. Maybe I'm just overly nostalgic instead of knowing my music...

mostly disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813832)

there's lots of great games out that have no memorable musical score. Fallout3, COD4MW2, etc.

Re:mostly disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813892)

So?

Re:mostly disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813894)

The FO3 score is a pretty good fit for the game IMO, though it is more or less background music.

Galaxy News Radio on the other hand... awesome.

Re:mostly disagree (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813934)

That was their downfall (if you'd call it that) when it came to the music in Fallout 3. The actually composed music was background music, mostly because they expected you to be listening to a radio station, which played non-originals so you can't really attribute them to the Video Game.

Re:mostly disagree (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816724)

I never played Fallout3, but MW2 has possibly some of the best music I've heard in an FPS. I think it's written by Hans Zimmer, no less. If you want to make a list of great games who had lousy music, I think that Half-Life should be near the top.

huh? (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818204)

fallout3 has no music composed for the game. It contains a pretty good selection of existing oldies.

I miss the old midi music in games Brian Schmidt d (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813906)

I miss the old midi music in games Brian Schmidt did some real good music in the old pinball / video games in the late 80's and 90's also Chris Granner did good work as well.

battletoads arcade is very good as well.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (3, Interesting)

musicalmicah (1532521) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813914)

The old Mario themes were actually pretty complex and really pushed the envelope with what you could do with limited polyphony. Their reggae-inspired rhythms let the composer work around the problem of only being able to play a few notes at a time by using staggered rhythms. Sometimes a limitation can be an inspiration!

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814058)

It's a different aesthetic, and to some extent I find the older stuff more interesting as "videogame music", precisely because it has clear technical constraints that gives it some identifiable qualities and drives particular kinds of creativity. Modern games often have interesting music, but it's more or less soundtrack music, like films. It can be well done, but it's not really its own separate kind of music.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

Andy Jensen (1723474) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814374)

I agree. When I think of music for games, I don't think of epic, orchestral, blaring overtures. I think more of video games with those familiar 8 or 16-bit sounds.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

flabordec (984984) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814084)

I actually like the remakes from 8-bit classics. Have you heard the music in Mario Galaxy? It has amazing nostalgia value and it just sounds great.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

theheadlessrabbit (1022587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814164)

Honestly, I'm not to surprised. The music in video games have increased in complexity and quality on an exponential scale. Now full orchestras are making music with real instruments versus the previous 8-bit simple tunes. But I still prefer the classic themes. Maybe I'm just overly nostalgic instead of knowing my music...

I don't think it's just nostalgia that causes the old 8-bit classics to remain special to us. old video game music has 2 things going for it. One is editing. Over time, the mediocre music is forgotten, while the very best (and some of the embarrassingly terrible) live on. For every Zelda tune we remember, there are dozens, if not hundreds that are forgotten.

The second factor is timber. I'm a fan of the sounds you can get from low-fi electronics. But even I must admit that most of these sounds are awful. When you can't rely on your instrument to give results that sound great, you need strong, well-composed melodies. Being limited to simple bleeps and hisses, classic video game music had to be very memorable, something you can whistle in the shower. The melodies are just really damn good.

Compare this to more recent video game music. Some of them use soundscapes. Take any sample, any sample at all. pitch bend it down to make it nice and bassy, then run it through granular synthesis, throw on some reverb, and chances are you've got a great sounding sonic texture. do this with several different samples, mix them together so they fade in and out. There you go. Instant backing sounds for a game. But you can't whistle it, you can't hum it, and you can't easily remember it.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing necessarily, it can set the tone for a game and enhance the atmosphere in ways a good tune can't, it just isn't memorable when you put the controller down.

Mario and Zelda are consistently great in the music department. They still have the same great hooks, with the improved sound design made possible by better technology.

Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (4, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814196)

Jeehun Hwang's soundtrack to that Activision 1995 Game of the Year stunned me when I first heard it. Each track was an mp3 on the game disc, and I played it like CD for years in my car. It transformed a giant robot game into Wagner.

Re:Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (1)

Evil.Bonsai (1205202) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814396)

I agree. I have MW2, MW2: Ghost Bear's Legacy and MW2:Mercanaries all ripped to computer that I regularly play on my MP3 player. Half Life 2 is another that I regularly listen to as well.

Re:Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818684)

The Heavy Gear and Interstate '76 redbook tracks were also awesome.

Re:Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (1)

tylernt (581794) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815070)

Activision 1995 Game of the Year stunned me when I first heard it. Each track was an mp3 on the game disc, and I played it like CD

Same for me and Descent 2, except it actually had redbook audio right on the game CD. I listened to it more than I played, and I played D2 way more than was healthy.

D3 also had some fantastic soundtracks: Level 7, Ceres, was so good I actually stopped playing and just listened to the music.

Most of D1's soundtrack was also quite good and even had a different track for each of the 22 levels. Apparently the Mac version of D1 had redbook CD audio too, and was rendered somewhat better than what your common soundcard could do with MIDI.

Re:Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (1)

CyberSaint (1376273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815542)

I played it like CD for years in my car. It transformed a giant robot game into Wagner.

For some reason I read that as "It transformed my car in to a giant robot."... which also would have been cool.

Re:Mechwarrior II: The Trend Begins (1)

greensasquatch (854800) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815830)

Exactly what I was thinking when I read the article. I remember writing Activision back in the day (when I was 12) asking who composed the music and where I could buy the sound track. I did get a very dismissive response stating that there was no soundtrack and that they would not release any such information to me. Game designers have such great social skills.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

Mystra_x64 (1108487) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814226)

I'd say they are not mutually exclusive. They are some gems in new games too. I'm listening music from (say) Mario / Kyattou Ninden Teyande / Chrono Trigger / Ar tonelico alongside quite often.

--
This post should be in English. If it's not... it's night here right now.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814238)

The Unreal games have always had excellent music that retains some of that old-school flavour to it. Maybe because it is a mod tracker based music system and reminds me of the old Amiga days of protracker and screamtracker.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814822)

They do play those old school tunes (e.g., Gauntlet, Tetris, Frogger, Super Mario Bros.), but with real music instruments to sound a lot better.

Re:Has the music gotten better? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818802)

More sounds != better music.

I saw Video Games Live (4, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813722)

I was thoroughly impressed. I don't know how to describe it fully, but it was a great mix of Nostalgia, awe inspiring, evocative, cultured, and fun all mixed into one. The guy who started it and organizes it knows how to make everyone feel like they are doing more than just sitting and listening to music, he gets the crowd into it. There are even a few times where there will be crowd interaction. He knows how to play the guitar and is usually part of the Halo Theme song, since he loves to rock out.

All in all, I'd recommnd seeing it at least once. I don't know if I'd go again unless they add more music to the show that I'm familiar with, but it was still a good time.

Plus any opportunity a geek can get out and actually enjoy his or herself is like a winning lottery ticket.

Re:I saw Video Games Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814184)

If you're lucky enough to live in Canada, check out The Runaway Five if you get the chance. They were recently in my city, doing jazz renditions of video game music. Great stuff. You can find some video of their live performances on YouTube.

Ditto! (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814862)

My friend and I went to it too back in October 2007. I have a writeup and photographs/photos. about it: http://aqfl.net/?q=node/5439 [aqfl.net] ... :)

Re:I saw Video Games Live (1)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817988)

I completely agree. I saw it last year and I only knew about it because I was listening to the radio one day and all the sudden I heard the Halo 3 theme song. Talk about your WTF moments.

The best part of the show was near the end and the person hosting it what song he should play last. No where else in the world will you hear a few hundred people chant "One Winged Angel".

Re:I saw Video Games Live (1)

VickiM (920888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818610)

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I saw Video Games Live during GenCon a few years ago. The music was great, but the host was a complete jerk. He called a young woman up on the stage for the crowd interaction and was all over her, pausing for a brief moment mid-rub to confirm she was 18. He trash-talked traditional classical music and those who enjoyed it. I guess some "hard-core" players would connect with his cocky attitude and general disregard for anyone who wasn't him, but I felt ostracized despite knowing all the games. Maybe they've changed hosts, but I couldn't call my particular evening there "cultured." I really prefered the Dear Friends concert.

Long time coming (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813746)

As one who attened the Dear Friends concert in LA (The first concert of video game music in the US) a number of years back I'd say this has been due. Nobuo Uematsu is a great composer/musician and can be well appreciated outside of the video game medium.

Re:Long time coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813978)

Heh, I can still play some of those old FF tunes on the piano. Good times.

Didn't he do the score for Chrono Trigger too? That was quality, especially the future music.

Re:Long time coming (4, Informative)

Green Monkey (152750) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814002)

Uematsu did a little bit of the Chrono Trigger score, but the majority of it was by Yasunori Mitsuda [wikipedia.org]

Re:Long time coming (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814000)

I'm still a little peeved that they apparently didn't think to record that concert. The "Dear Friends Concert CD" they ended up selling later was actually just the original tracks of the pieces that were played at the concert. I'm glad that they at least corrected that for the "More Friends" concert the next year. (In a neat bit of synchronicity, i just found the "More Friends" t-shirt i bought at the concert while digging through some old boxes yesterday.)

And here's hoping the Distant Worlds [wikipedia.org] concert makes it to LA later this year! :)

Re:Long time coming (3, Informative)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814718)

Speaking of Japanese game music composers, I have to mention Akira Yamaoka. His music fits the games very well, and music from Silent Hill 2 can also be appreciated outside of the game, it's among the tracks I really like listening to. One great track by him [youtube.com] and another here [youtube.com]

Re:Long time coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30816652)

Speaking of Japanese game music composers, I have to mention Akira Yamaoka. His music fits the games very well, and music from Silent Hill 2 can also be appreciated outside of the game, it's among the tracks I really like listening to.

One great track by him [youtube.com] and another here [youtube.com]

Castlevania! (2, Informative)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30813750)

Start with Vampire Killer [joystiq.com] and go from there.

Re:Castlevania! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813862)

The Arcanum soundtrack, by Ben Houge, is also quite good.

Mod parent up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814440)

The Arcanum soundtrack was superb. A couple of example tracks:

Main Theme [youtube.com]
Towns [youtube.com]

The entire thing is available on the artist's website free of charge (losslessly compressed!) here [benhouge.com] , although it's some self-extracting windows executable.

Gustaberg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30813976)

If you need a calm background tune that still has a tempo, listen to the Gustaberg tune from Final Fantasy XI. There's also an orchestrated version, in case you find the original one too blend.

A breath of relief... (2, Insightful)

not-too-smatr (1659369) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814028)

As a music student, I can't wait for the day when I can quote Koji Kondo's music without my teachers saying, "Who?"

Now they're soundtracks, not "video game music" (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814032)

Given that video games have their own soundtracks with "real" instruments now, this seems like a natural evolution. There are plenty of movies, for example, that have unremarkable soundtracks that would never get considered for an award. On the other hand, I think quite a few people would agree that the soundtrack for Halo 3: ODST is probably one of the best soundtracks for a game or movie recently in that it totally sets the mood for the environment and is just as important as the imagery.

This is a triumph (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814044)

I'm putting a note here, huge success!

Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classical (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814050)

Fewer and fewer people are appreciating classical music these days (which is more or less required to be seen "live". It seems that the trend is reversing because modern movie scores (score music, not source/pop), games and other orchestral music are gaining in popularity, probably due to classical's "stuffy" atmosphere.

There was a concert held a few months back here (Vancouver, BC) where they intermixed the traditional classical with the modern - moving from Halo, Star Wars, Final Fantasy and such and doing a seamless segue into a traditional classical piece. The trick is to do it such that the known transitions seamlessly as if the classical piece, written hundreds of years ago, gets "fresh" and "modern". It was a sold out show, too - the younger audience getting huge insights, and the older generation seeing that not all of today's music is noise.

I just wish the likes of Nobuo Uematsu, Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, James Horner and the like would release the scores. I'd learn to play an instrument if I could recreate my favorite movie and game scores.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814276)

In the meantime, those of us who have been following what serious music have been doing for the past 80 or so years don't really treat program music (including game or film soundtracks) very seriously. I mean, I appreciate them for what they are - I think Nobuo Uematsu does a great job, is a very capable composer, etc - but ultimately, it's schmaltzy, cliche-ridden, and sentimental. It sort of has to be to do its work: I don't blame it for being what it is.

But the inferiority complex about it being "taken seriously" is really sad - it's still, generally, re-using classical music (high-romantic, to be specific) tropes from Wagner through Shostakovich, with an occasional nod to Holst thrown in. It's a hodge-podge of borrowed goods, and not done better than what came before. Videogame fans only get excited about it because they don't know very much about music.

In any case, my favorite game music is Jonathon Colton's "Still Alive" for Portal - it's just the end-credit song, but it actually works so well with the black humor of the game, is so fresh and surprising - it stands out completely.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814526)

those of us who have been following what serious music have been doing for the past 80 or so years

Christ, and I thought *I* was old...!

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815992)

I thought I told you to get off my lawn.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30816142)

WTF are you talking about? Uematsu's Dancing Mad is nuts in the way it successfully mixes so many styles into one piece that nicely reflects the character it's supposed to. There is no inferiority complex about this music. Classical music used to be church music. Worship was pretty much all it was for and it was highly regulated. Later things got more entertaining and music became the backdrop for opera and ballet to tell a story. My point is that music has always been purposed for many things, but things really got muddled when people started to realize 'Hey, I don't need a church commission in order to go make my own music' and they did. Besides all that you cannot write music without being influenced by someone. "experts" such as yourself mght say that it's being borrowed, or stolen, or copied, but in reality there is homage, education by mimicry, and the simple fact that the human brain cannot help but repeat musical patterns it has been exposed to.

I do not like VG's LIVE or a lot of the ways that video game music is going now because I feel that it is attempting to exploit nostalgia and replant some really good music in a completely different environment than it was intended. Not saying VG's LIVE or newer VG music in general is bad, just that I personally don't like it. I agree with you in some way at that level, I suppose. But I do say that video game music does deserve more recognition for what it is, especially given the appraise that Operatic, theater and film scores are treated with. They are not much different and those few differences are becoming fewer every day as VG's advance(?). But just saying that VG music is cliche and un-noteworthy simply because it bears much resemblance to music of the past is a little short-sighted and unfair.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816212)

If I only know four games, and all of them are just the most accessible, well-known casual games in the world - let's say, "Farmville" - and I go around praising Farmville because it's so engaging and original, aren't you going to say "you don't know what you're talking about - you just know about these games because you're on Facebook. I'm glad you enjoy Farmville, but it's neither deep nor innovative,"?

Well, you're being that guy, but for music.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814478)

Not all game soundtracks are classically themed. I LOVE my final fantasy soundtracks, but the best melding of music and game I've seen in years was Persona 4. That soundtrack was all over the place... orchestral, pop, jazz... the most aesthetically fresh approach to a soundtrack in a game I've heard in a long time.

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814800)

I just wish the likes of Nobuo Uematsu, Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, James Horner and the like would release the scores

Sheet music exists [cdjapan.co.jp] (at least for piano), you just have to find it [vgmworld.com] before it goes out of print.

(note: I use cdjapan a lot and they're fairly decent, but I've never ordered from vgmworld, so I don't know how good of a store they are)

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30816266)

Square routinely releases a piano score of the Final Fantasy music

Re:Game/Orchestral/Movie Scores are the new Classi (1)

nmb3000 (741169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816494)

I just wish the likes of Nobuo Uematsu, Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori, James Horner and the like would release the scores. I'd learn to play an instrument if I could recreate my favorite movie and game scores.

I can't agree more. It usually isn't too hard to find sheet music for popular movie scores, but up until recently video game music has been harder to find. I know that as far as the Halo series goes, fans have worked to re-create a lot of the score as sheet music, much of which is available on Rampancy [rampancy.net] and Google [google.com] . I think that Marty may have even released a couple of pieces which you can buy/download from various places as well.

Disappointing, overall (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814096)

I had high hopes for video game music, expecting it to be a perfect chance to break out of the conventions of mainstream movie music. It didn't work out that way, though.

In fact, it seems that the music in most big games is even less likely to be very interesting today than it was a few years ago. It's like every top selling game out there sounds like the music was written by a bored John Williams, who even at his best, is pedestrian. Even worse is the trend toward just stringing together a bunch of pop and rock hits, just like in the movies.

I see that a lot of the commenters above thought Final Fantasy schlag and Mario Brothers tunes are the height of game music quality. Nostalgia can be a good thing, but it's not a great recipe for interesting art. And with the current "retro" movement infecting contemporary games, I don't have high hopes for the future of the genre of game music.

Even with the amount of creative energy going on in the Indie games world, the forces of corporate hegemony and consolidation are going to be just too strong. There's no reason to believe that the future of creativity in gaming is going to be much different than the future of movies: More big, bland blockbusters sucking all the air out of the room for creativity.

Re:Disappointing, overall (3, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814324)

Pope Ratzo, I am with you, but I must warn you: our elitism and snobbery is a long and lonely road.

Re:Disappointing, overall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814470)

You are laboring under the delusion that your tastes are somehow objectively correct, and that "creative" and "interesting" exclusively mean "what I, PopeRatzo, personally like".

Re:Disappointing, overall (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816018)

There are informed and uninformed tastes, and educated and uneducated tastes. When someone is exposed to more and learns how to recognize the elements in different types of music (or art, literature, etc.) they will probably gravitate away from one taste and toward another. Perhaps "interesting" isn't the right word, but "creative" is certainly somewhat objective (i.e., if I produce a Tetris clone, I'm certainly a less creative game designer than if I produced something as novel as Braid is.)

Funny how no one who has listened to music for 40 years still finds "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" interesting, which suggests that there is a certain objectivity there, too.

So, you, anonymous coward, are laboring under the delusion that all tastes are created equal, and arbitrary. They are not.

Re:Disappointing, overall (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814942)

This should not be surprising since Hollywood has taken over most of the video game industry.

Slightly Tangent (2, Insightful)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814132)

It seems to me that sooner or later, every sound or piece of music will be a repeat of an older piece.

What are we going to do when every possible piece of music (words excluded) exists? Sure hope the copyright overlords don't get their hands on all the tunes.

Oh, slightly OT, but a few days ago I was watching a rerun of Psych when I recognized one of the Stargate Atlantis gate sounds. I can't count the number of times I've heard Starcraft noises in TV shows.

Re:Slightly Tangent (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814270)

The historical answer to this problem has been to make new instruments, new sounds, new rhythms and break all the old rules.

Video games were successfully doing this until the Compact Disc became the delivery media of choice, allowing room for bland theatrical scores to dominate.

Re:Slightly Tangent (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815104)

"Video games were successfully doing this until the Compact Disc became the delivery media of choice, allowing room for bland theatrical scores to dominate."

I completely agree, who thought distorted/electornic synth could be musical?

With all the power of modern sound editing software one can practically create new instruments out of any sound by merely sampling any kind of sounds in the real world.

Re:Slightly Tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30819098)

Case in point: the Stupid Statement Dance Mix [tvtropes.org]

Re:Slightly Tangent (1)

Wyzard (110714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815120)

I can't count the number of times I've heard Starcraft noises in TV shows.

Hey, I heard the Sonic the Hedgehog ring-pickup sound at a convenience store two days ago, as the sound that the barcode scanner makes when it scans an item.

Re:Slightly Tangent (2, Interesting)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815680)

"What are we going to do when every possible piece of music (words excluded) exists?"

We become melancholy elephants [baen.com] .

Re:Slightly Tangent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30816118)

What about Doom noises? Can't even count how many times I've heard either one of the death sounds or a snarl.

Heavy Metal anyone? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814236)

If any of you remember playing MUSHA (Aleste), Herzog Zwei or Lords of Thunder, you know what I'm talking about. Best music I've heard on both the Sega Genesis and TG16 systems.

I love video game music... sometimes (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814248)

Funnily enough, the topic of video game music came up in conversation the other day. The right music can put a great finishing touch to round of a game. I'm sure everyone is familiar with Braid, but Hardw[a]r [wikipedia.org] had some pretty decent music to go with the setting of the future on Titan.

Additionally, if a game is good it creates a pleasurable association with the music present. Sounds obvious, but I still listen to the music from the original GTA because it reminds me of the fun I had. That and some of the songs were hilarious - listen to The Ballad Of Chapped Lips Calquhoun [youtube.com] *, or 4 Letter Love by 'Stikki Fingers' [youtube.com] ). I loved playing Total Annihilation too, and thought the orchestral compositions by Jeremy Soule were great. For 10 years I had no idea they were synthesized! Doesn't detract from them, of course, I just assumed that because they sounded so *good* they must be recorded from real instruments.

Lastly, to this day I have a certain fondness for ragtime music (of all things!) that stems from days spent playing Virtual Pool [mobygames.com] .

/nostalgia

* If you remember the lyric "the menfolk found their women scary, 'cause they were so big and hairy", this is the song. If you don't, well, that lyric sets the tone.

Re:I love video game music... sometimes (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814322)

A pox on me for not checking my links. The "4 Letter Love" link is horribly sped up. Sadly, it seems to have the best quality of encoding. The next best I could find was this one [youtube.com] , but it sounds like ass in places.

Re:I love video game music... sometimes (1)

BertieBaggio (944287) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814348)

If replying to your own post is bad form, replying to it twice must be, I dunno... punishable by death. I'm an arse because I forgot to mention that you can get the original source of the music from GTA 1 along with the *entire game* (as well as Wild Metal and GTA2) as a free download from Rockstar Classic [rockstargames.com] . Kudos to them.

I'll shut up now.

Re:I love video game music... sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814770)

a nondescript black van has been dispatched to your domicile.

"Fully Orchestrated" misleading, still a good show (1)

Leviathant (558659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814258)

My wife got me tickets to Video Games Live a couple of years ago, and we drove to Buffalo (the closest venue at the time) from Philadelphia for the show. While it was pretty cool to see, I was actually kind of disappointed that the performance was amplified and overused backing tracks (I'm not against prerecorded stuff, but use it sparingly please), and really didn't like when that guy came out on stage to wank off on his guitar in front of the orchestra during the final piece.

I guess I was expecting something sonically closer to the "Orchestral Game Music Concerts" performed in Japan in the 90s.

Still, it was quite a spectacle, and it's probably the only chance I'll have of seeing some of my favorite childhood music performed by an orchestra, even if what came out of the speakers was manipulated and pumped up beyond my taste. If you're into video game music, it's definitely something you should go see.

RIchard Jacques on the BBC (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814298)

Those in the UK can listen to the lovely Richard Jacques - the man behind lots of classic Sega soundtracks and Video Games Live concerts - on Simon Mayo's BBC Radio 2 programme earlier today.

I guess it'll be up for another week or so:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pyqx5#synopsis [bbc.co.uk]

W to Z? (3, Funny)

Vyse of Arcadia (1220278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814424)

Not a lot of variety. Howsabout "Asteroids to Zelda?"

Re:W to Z? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30815352)

Not a lot of variety.

What do you mean, they have covered everything from MMORPGs to RPGs.... oh wait nevermind.

No Video games in Grammy's? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30814704)

Huh...I thought there would be, though it's not surprising,if there isn't.

I remember the 7th guest having a terrific soundrack, and I expect other games do as well.

Is the music sometimes being ignored? (3, Interesting)

John3 (85454) | more than 4 years ago | (#30814720)

My daughter (16 yr old) plays a lot of video games and about 50% of the time she plays music from her iTunes collection rather than listening to the game soundtrack. For example, she plays World or Warcraft and rarely has the music or sound effects from the game playing. Even while in raids she'll listen to a mix of vent dialog and iTunes music. On Xbox 360, she uses the game soundtrack only when necessary (i.e. Rock Band), but at other times uses her own CD's or iTunes shared library.

This probably has less to do with the music soundtrack of the game and more to do with the multi-tasking that teens are doing. While playing Warcraft she has iTunes playing, AOL IM running with a dozen friends online, vent running with raid members, and her cell phone handy. When I play Warcraft I listen to the soundtrack and effects, but it's probably because if I had iTunes playing as well I'd get distracted. :)

Re:Is the music sometimes being ignored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30815044)

The WoW example used has its own reasons though. Raids can last for up to 4 hours and often within the same area. Often that area will only have one or two soundtracks. Having that soundtrack looping for hours will become too much, so most people have it switched on by default. In addition, many switch it off simply to hear the game sounds and voice chat better and use regular music for the more quiet moments (its easier to just manage it with an external app).

Re:Is the music sometimes being ignored? (1)

physburn (1095481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815402)

Shes probably sensible to play something other than the game soundtrack, the game soundtrack is likely threatening, and written for boys. WoW doesn't have a very good soundtrack anyway, i also find it distracting, and its also much to repeative.

---

MUD Games [feeddistiller.com] Feed @ Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

Re:Is the music sometimes being ignored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30815852)

She probably just gets sick of the music after listen to it for hours on end. Even good music gets old after a 5 level grind.

Civilization II (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815940)

Relatively oldschool, but had some simple-but-interesting instrumental themes. Even so, I turned its sound effects off and let my media player do its usual thing.

Re:Is the music sometimes being ignored? (1)

TOGSolid (1412915) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816090)

To be fair though, it's not like WoW's soundtrack is all that memorable. There are some certain themes here and there that are definitely great, but for the most part that game's music definitely falls under the "forgettable background music" category, and when you're playing a game as repetitive in nature as WoW it's better to have music that'll help keep you amped. The only reason I have the soundtracks for WoW is soley just cause of a small handful of songs. The rest of them really aren't worth the electrons it takes to store them.

Re:Is the music sometimes being ignored? (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816844)

I listen to other music as well. Some games (EVE online, Warcraft 3, Xenosaga/Xenogears, chrono-trigger) have good music, so I've ripped the good tracks and put them into the rotation. I find it's very rare for the music to be truly integral to the feeling of a game these days.

When playing fast games at LANs I actually tend to listen to Gregorian chants and such. It's far easier to win when relaxed than when nervous.

Video Games Live trailer (1)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30815566)

For anyone who watched the Video Games Live [videogameslive.com] trailer on their website and are curious: The first song is from Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, was composed my Tim Larkin, and is called Gallery Theme. The second song is from Myst IV: Revelation, was composed by Jack Wall, and is called Main Theme. The third song is from Myst III: Exile, was composed by Jack Wall, and is called Main Theme.

I've played all the Myst games a few times, and I have each of those songs on my MP3 player.

Brings back memories for some reason. (1)

Morham (751664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816556)

I think the first time I actually took the mp3's out of a game and burned them to a CD was the Tribes 2 soundtrack. I remember those awesome nights running around as a Juggernaut for hours and hours. Honestly my favorite FPS of all time. And when I was in the "zone" killing everything in site I would find myself jamming to the soundtrack.

Good times! Good times indeed.

I might just have to catch the special on PBS.

Still one of the best. (1)

Hidyman (225308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816606)

I hope this means that the ThunderForce II soundtrack will get it's just deserts.
I just love that Technosoft sound.

Yeah but... (1)

StackedCrooked (1204878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30816928)

anime music beats video game music any day.

Why has nobody mentioned Hubbard? (3, Insightful)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30817606)

The best era for 'computer music' was the 80's. Fact. Rob Hubbard, David Whittiker (sp?) to mention just two.

I also love the chip tune music that is sometimes still to be found today on 'cracktros'. Great, simple melodies that tend to loop indefinatly, sometimes making it very difficult to switch off.
  I still have an serial-gen (windows) exe for Nero that has an amazing chip-tune.

THIS is what computer music is.

Oh and also don't forget the 8bit sound / pop crossover that has sort of happened with the likes of Max Tundra.

All this new stuff on your Xbox's and you Playstations is NOT computer music in my opinion...

BG2 - Shadows of Amn (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 4 years ago | (#30818112)

To all the people who quarrel about which game had better music, just listen to this. Seriously, just listen to it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U88zyFLzIXQ [youtube.com]

The opening for that game set a standard I have yet to hear another game beat, though NWN 2 gets close:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGT7IY91jIE [youtube.com]

Xenon II Megablast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30818846)

... Was the first video game music to really stick with me. Released for Amiga and Atari ST, featuring Bomb the Bass' "Megablast" as the title track (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgjNb-6EOYw)

- R

Musical Awesomeness (1)

Aklyon (1398879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30819246)

Anyone who doesn't think Okami had AWESOME music is deaf.

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