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Music Evolution in Games

Video computer games are audio-visual media, and as the name suggests, the games combine both the image and the music, plus the sound effects play an essential role. The sound recordings of video games have evolved enormously.

Continuously renewing experiments and increased understanding of the potential of the sound world as a core part of gameplay has led to the fact that the music from video games is now experiences its golden moments. Music from video games is everywhere.

In the early years of video games, developers prioritized silent protagonists, or silent heroes, just like in the first movies. Video games used the same technology as in cartoons, by adding background music and/or sound effects to various functions. For example, through the Super Mario series, we probably all know what kind of sounds indicate jumping or growing; even though at least in my own case, I have not spent a lot of time playing the game, the sounds are still familiar.

Simplicity created memorability

We do not only remember the music of early video games so vividly, because they relate so strongly to the memories of our childhood, but also because of the constraints of early sound circuits forced the composers of video games to find strong tunes that were easy to remember and followed by simple chords. Like many pop music tracks, it’s almost impossible to forget a great video game music theme.

Without being able to use singer voices, limited by early sound circuit boards that were not designed for it, created a certain creative freedom. The Secret of Manan soundtrack and its recent re-release are a great example. In its original form and version, it adopted the synthesizer sounds, although much of the music heard did not come from any player. Replacing these completely computer-generated sounds with genuine instruments now seems unnatural and has led to some unusual musical choices.

Most of Nintendo’s and Super Nintendo’s composers had never received any formal musical education, and yet classical music often played a significant role in the leading theme of the music performed in video games. Main themes are recognizable melodies that repeat in many tracks of the video game and give it a red wire. One of the famous composers is Nobuo Uematsu, who was responsible for the music of the Final Fantasy series games up to Final Fantasy 10.

For example, in Final Fantasy 8, you can hear Uematsu’s “Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec” several times on the soundtrack, but it’s always in a different musical context. Every time the song is played, it reflects the character of Edea. All music that is created as a leading theme is not always necessarily limited to one game. Several melodies of Zelda games were reused in later games to suggest Link’s previous adventures.

Since today’s audiences and musicians are growing up with video game music, it has begun to break the general prejudices of 8-bit beeps. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has released two albums of video game music. Such soundtracks have access to multiple song lists and have a solid listener and composer base. Video game concerts have even been arranged at the Royal Albert Hall. Music styles and techniques are still largely inadmissible, but video game music continues to develop with its worth in a way that blindly avoids any and all musical trends.