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Music Games Entertainment

Video Game Music Recognition Gets a Boost 112

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the still-no-historical-category-for-8-bit-glory dept.
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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Video Game Music Recognition Gets a Boost

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  • by not-too-smatr (1659369) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:10PM (#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?"
  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:17PM (#30814096) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • Slightly Tangent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BikeHelmet (1437881) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:20PM (#30814132) Journal

    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.

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:35PM (#30814276) Homepage

    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.

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Monday January 18, 2010 @07:40PM (#30814324) Homepage

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

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:58AM (#30816212) Homepage

    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.

  • by mooterSkooter (1132489) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:34AM (#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...

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