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Computer and video game music

Music Sound

Computer and video game music

Chiptune | Gametrack | Interactive music | Music disk | Music video game | VGM

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Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with an integral soundtrack. Outrun (1986) is an arcade game with an integral soundtrack.

Video game music is any of the musical pieces or soundtracks from computer and video games.


8-bit machines and chip music

Super Mario Bros. (1985) for the NES is widely known for its music. Sample Super Mario Bros. (1985) for the NES is widely known for its music. Sample

Arcade games in the 1970s often contained music of some sort, but it was typically monotonous and so indistinct that it was easily dismissed and parodied. Often this music was simply folk songs which were transcribed by the programmers, who might have known little about music. This trend continued in arcade games well into the 1980s, and in early home consoles and computers until the release of the Commodore 64 and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Previous game systems and home computers had for the most part continued the beeps and boops of early arcade games (except for the Magnavox Odyssey, which was silent). There were some exceptions however, and arcades often generally led the industry in technological innovation. For example some early games played fully sampled soundtracks from tapes, and many games by Exidy featured fully sampled digitized soundtracks.

The capabilities of the Commodore 64 and NES (not to mention numerous other 8-bit gaming computers and consoles of 1980s) were not up to what most people today would ever consider listening to, but the ability to play multiple tones simultaneously (effectively multiple instruments) at higher quality than had usually been possible before allowed composers to be much more creative with their music.

Sanxion (1986) loader music on C64, Thalamusik, is one of Rob Hubbard's many hits. Sanxion (1986) loader music on C64, Thalamusik, is one of Rob Hubbard's many hits.

On the Commodore 64 it was composers such as Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway who started to compose video game music with catchy and profound melodies. Some people consider Hubbard's wildly spirited music for Monty on the Run (1985) as the beginning of profound computer game music. Martin Galway's music for Rambo II (1986) is another early milestone that relies on a strong melody. The C64's SID chip was highly advanced when the computer was released in 1982 and it took years before programmers (such as Hubbard and Galway) learned to fully utilize its capabilities.

Many melodies originally composed for the NES have become classics, notably music from the Super Mario Bros. (1985), Legend of Zelda (1986), Dragon Quest (1986), Castlevania (1986), Mega Man (1987), DuckTales (1989), Fire Emblem (1990) and Final Fantasy (1987). One of the most important NES-composers was Koji Kondo, who wrote themes for Mario and Zelda.

In the field of arcade games that were often played in noisy atmosphere, the quality of music got less attention with some notable exceptions like music by composer Hiroshi Miyauchi who wrote soundtracks for Out Run and Afterburner.

One notable case during this period was Atari's POKEY sound chip, which was used in 8-bit Atari computers such as the Atari 800 since 1979. The chip was highly advanced -excelling in the playback of digital samples in comparison to the SID, but no game composers tried to utilize its potential and the music of 8-bit Atari computers remained of low quality while able composers concentrated on the Commodore 64. The chip remained unused until the 1990s, when amateur composers started to explore the possibilities of the Pokey chip and compose music for it.

16-bit machines and digitized sound

Shadow of the Beast (1989) on the Amiga, famed for its graphics and music. Shadow of the Beast (1989) on the Amiga, famed for its graphics and music.

The Amiga featured digitized sound in 1985 The Amiga featured digitized sound in 1985

The first computer to feature a digital sound processor was the Commodore Amiga released in 1985. Until the appearance of the Amiga, video game music often sounded characteristically "bleepy", (although some home computer sound chips, like the Commodore 64's SID, partly ameliorated this). This was due to the use of basic sine wave synthesis instead of FM Synthesis or digitized sound.

The Amiga's 8364 "Paula" chip featured four independent 8-bit D/A converters. This gave the Paula four mono audio channels, or two stereo channels when two channels are combined. This meant for the first time a computer could play digital samples from memory without heavy CPU usage by using clever software tricks.

This was another evolutionary step in the progress of video game music technology, but a critical one that made it much easier for developers to put music that sounds like "real music" into their games. However, it took some years before Amiga game designers learned to wholly utilize digitized sound effects in music. In the early years of Amiga there was just few games (a notable case being the title music of text adventure game The Pawn, 1986), that used well made digitized instrument samples in their music. Also, by this time computer music had already begun to form its own identity, and thus many music makers intentionally tried to produce music that sounded like what was heard on the Commodore 64, which resulted in the chiptune genre.

The release of a freely distributed 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 "trackers" after Obarski's Sound Tracker. This MOD/tracker -tradition continued with PC computers in 1990s. Good 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 (1992) 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.

The Amiga's arch rival, Atari's own 16-bit computer the Atari ST, utilized the Yamaha YM2149 sound chip. Though many professional musicians used Atari ST as a MIDI device (ST was notable for having built-in midi ports), the computer's own YM2149 chip was not revolutionary. In some respects it was actually less advanced than the C64's SID. Of course, this did not mean that Atari ST music was bad - as many good tunes were composed for the ST. Although the ST's hardware was not designed for digital audio playback, programmers later learned to get digitized sound out of ST, but at the expense of processor time. Digitized sound was seldom heard on ST games. Towards the end of the ST's production, programmers were able to emulate the unique sound of the SID, again by using CPU intervention.

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

Final Fantasy IV on Super Famicom (Japanese SNES) (1990). Final Fantasy IV on Super Famicom (Japanese SNES) (1990).

In the field of game consoles, the Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis was a huge step forward in sound quality from previous game console systems, but still had a limited variety of sounds due to its use of FM-synthesis. The SNK Neo Geo was also a big step forward, but its capabilities were less noticeable because it was primarily an arcade system, the home version of the Neo Geo failing to sell well due to its price. Nintendo's 16-bit console SNES finally brought music used in game consoles to a level of audio fidelity that most people would accept. With its Sony SPC700 chip, the SNES brought digitized sound effects to game consoles, spawning the modern age of this field of applied acoustics as exemplified by games such as the later Final Fantasy titles, Chrono Trigger, Castlevania IV, and ActRaiser. Since the Amiga's popularity was mostly limited to Europe, it was the SNES that brought digitized music for gamers in Japan and the USA. It was the first game console capable of producing sequenced audio which could fool an untrained ear into believing it had been recorded live. As in the case of Amiga, many SNES games did not utilize the potential of machine's sound capabilities very well, and thus many SNES games actually did not have essentially better sounding music than games for competing platforms. The quality of sequenced music on game consoles has also continued to improve on later systems as sound chips and increased storage space allow; the advent of CD-based consoles allowed some titles to include particularly impressive music, such as that found in Final Fantasy VII on the Sony PlayStation, or Panzer Dragoon II on the Sega Saturn.

The arrival of CD-quality sound

From the point of view of game music listeners, digitized music was not entirely worthless. The old machines in 1980s had sound chips that produced personal sounds (see: chiptune) that are not heard anywhere else (the Atari XL is famous for its "metallic" bass-sounds). Despite sounding "bleepy" to gamers' parents, many gamers themselves liked these kinds of sounds. Amiga and SNES, though supporting digitized sound, still did not have CD-quality audio and lacked the large amounts of disk/ROM-space needed to store long pieces of digitized sound. Thus the music of Amiga and SNES still sounded very different compared to "ordinary" commercial music most of the time. But when the CD-ROM era and sound cards supporting 16-bit/44 kHz samples arrived, computer and video game music started to sound more and more like ordinary commercial music. It is a matter of opinion whether this is a good or bad thing, but the nature of video game music changed completely.

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

Video game music can be stored in several ways. The two most common are for it to be sequenced together from stored samples, or from computer-generated tones; or for the music to be prerecorded in either a standard CD format, or some streaming audio format. Sequenced music has been around from the start. Prerecorded music had previously been prohibitively expensive to use in video games, even in arcade games. When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in the arcades, its recorded title screen song seemed amazing. Before that, some Amiga games had already included commercial music converted for Amiga (most notably in Xenon 2 by Bomb the Bass and in Gods by Nation 12) but that music, though sounded almost "real", was made by using long and numerous 8-bit samples in MOD-files.

The first widespread use of genuinely prerecorded music came with the release of the Turbografx 16/PC Engine CD system. This console never really caught on the in the US, but was very long-lived in Japan. Other companies also released CD-based systems, which often had music saved in a standard CD format which one could listen to by putting the discs into any CD player. This Red Book audio format had a disadvantage in that it didn't allow the consoles of the time to access other data while playing music, and it took up a lot of space. Eventually, with the release of the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation, streaming audio formats were introduced (look for the .XA files on a Saturn or PlayStation disc). They use much less disc space and can be accessed much more quickly and randomly, and can contain loops. From early times, and continuing today, much video game music comes in the form of loops, music which repeats continually without interruption. This isn't always the case, and loops saw a particular decline with the popularity of CD-based game systems. Looped music is deemed necessary by many game designers, due to the uncertain time constraints in which a game will be played.

Incidental music in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991). Incidental music in Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (1991).

IBM PC compatible computers became a major format for gamers during the first half of 1990s when Commodore's and Atari's empires started to decline. It took quite a while for average PC computers to have a good support for digitized sound. Originally IBM PC was not made for gaming and it did not have any sound support except an ill-fated beeper gadget called PC speaker. Roland released a very good synthesizer module MT-32 used in PCs already in late 1980s but it was too expensive for the home user. The only affordable alternative available was the AdLib card which produced very acceptable FM synthesis but did not support digital sound. Soon afterwords, Creative's Sound Blaster cards came out, becoming the most popular sound cards during the first half of 1990s. The Sound Blaster had support for Adlib's FM synthesis and support for 8-bit digital audio. Eventually the Sound Blaster 16 came out (1992) which supported 44 kHz/16-bit sound, giving full CD quality. This happened about same time as CD-ROM drives arrived to homes. The gap between video game music and "real music" started to decline quickly - though CD-ROM drives and 16-bit sound cards did not put an immediate stop for using low-quality FM-synthesis of PC's sound cards on PC games (for example, the famous Doom game still used FM-music in 1993). Even though the hardware existed for MOD type songs in games and CD music, many games, especially action games, preferred to use FM synthesis because it did not waste CPU cycles, which at the time were very limited. With an increase in CPU power every year, the eventual change for using CD music on games happened during the second half of 1990s (on Amiga this problem did not appear. Due to different kind of technology, MOD playing did not waste Amiga's CPU time and thus MOD format was widely used in Amiga games despite of computer's 7.14 MHz Motorola processor). The same kind of easy replay was also possible on PC's equipped with the Gravis Ultrasound, which provided hardware sample mixing - despite this, however, very few games supported the GUS, most remarkably those made by Apogee and Epic. Epic later put the module music into good use again with the release of Unreal and Unreal Tournament, thus allowing to have significantly better audio quality than its contemporaries.

Recent years' developments

The storage media and file formats which have allowed the use of pre-recorded music have contributed to a trend towards using the music of well-known artists in video games. An early example would be Way of the Warrior on the 3DO, with music by White Zombie. A more well known example would be Trent Reznor's score for Quake. More recent games, especially sports and racing games produced in the US even more commonly use not only music composed by popular artists, but previously-released popular songs of theirs.

There have been games developed in recent years which actually use the music as a necessary component of the game. The most notable of these is the popular Dance Dance Revolution series, where players step on arrow buttons on a dance pad in time to the music. This genre is known as rhythm games.

Also in recent years, a trend towards combining the two approaches has begun. Games for the PC such as Republic: The Revolution (music composed by James Hannigan) and Command & Conquer: Generals (music composed by William 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. An earlier, more primitive use of this sort of technique (called iMuse) was created at LucasArts and utilised in such games as Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge on PC, Amiga & Macintosh, and X-Wing and TIE Fighter on PC. LucasArts also pioneered a technique in their Dark Forces series which allowed the game to dynamically mix the audio from "dramatic" and "standby" loops, attempting to mimic the musical cues found in movies.

Microsoft's Xbox console provided gamers with the ability to copy music from their own CDs onto the system's hard drive. This feature, called "Custom Soundtrack," allows users to play their stored music on any Xbox videogame which supports it, such as Major League Baseball 2k5 or Tony Hawk's Underground 2. The new Xbox 360 platform also has the Custom Soundtrack feature. Some games on the Xbox 360 and possibly other future consoles will have the ability to stream live internet radio during the game if the console is connected to the internet. This feature will most likely be taken advantage of during racing/driving games under the guise of a car radio.

Game music as a genre

Many of the games made for the Nintendo Entertainment System and other early game systems featured a similar style of music which may come closest to being described as the "video game genre" in terms of musical composition, as opposed to simply "video game music" for being in a video game or being played on a video game console. Some compositional features of this genre continue to influence certain music today, though, game soundtracks currently tend to emulate movie soundtracks more-so than this classic genre. This genre's compositional elements may have developed due to technological restraints. Features of this genre include:

  • Songs almost always have main sections or "verse sections" consisting of chord progressions of four or more chords (similar to much of J-Pop and 1980's Western Pop), as opposed to the two chord progressions found in most Western Pop verses. The "chorus" of the songs also often contain four or more different chords in their chord progressions. Often many songs feature a chord progression which is extremely popular in J-Pop, which (in the key of c) could be given as: F minor, C minor, G major, C minor, with C major quickly inserted before the series repeats again. Overall, there would be generally a higher number of sections of a song than a comparable pop song, as this helps to reduce the repetitive aspect of the music, which was generally played as a continuous loop. This also sets it apart from even J-Pop music or most other forms of popular music.
  • Songs feature a heavy amount of synchronization between instruments, in a way that would be difficult for a human to play. For example, 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 an affected white noise channel used for drums), and although video game music was influenced by rock or pop music at the time, composers would often go out of their way to compose complex and rapid sequences of notes. That has been compared to music composition during the baroque period, where it is believed that composers compensated for instruments such as the harpsichord (which do not allow for musical expression based on the volume of the sound) by focusing more on musical embellishments. Composers were also limited in terms of polyphony, or the amount of notes that can be played at once. Only three notes can be played at once on the Nintendo Entertainment System. A great deal of effort was put into creating the illusion that more notes are playing. As of the late 1990s, musical groups covering these melodies have sprung up. One such group is The Minibosses, who attempt to emulate these melodies as closely as possible using real instruments. Another such group is The NESkimos, who opt to explore these songs artistically, and create entirely new songs out of them.
  • The bassline of a large percentage of tunes during the 8-bit period consisted of notes played in the rhythm of a quarter note followed immediately by two eighth notes on most beats. The particular note played would often be the root of the chord.

Fan culture

The Final Fantasy series, including the Kingdom Hearts series, has some of the most popular music of any modern video game series, especially the pieces that are part of the work of Nobuo Uematsu, and it has been widely recognized for its soundtracks. Japanese game companies routinely make CD soundtracks, called OSTs (Original Soundtrack), for their games as they do with anime, and also make sheet music books for their games. Like animé soundtracks, these soundtracks and sheet music books are 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. There are plenty of such firms, mostly online.

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 Koichi Sugiyama, Dragon Quest Suites I&II were performed. 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 Koichi Sugiyama, Dragon Quest Suites I&II were performed

The Dragon Quest series music has one of the largest following in Japan. Every year there is at least one Dragon Quest Concert, conducted by Koichi Sugiyama. The Dragon Quest music has been performed by various orchestras, including the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, NHK Symphony, and London Philharmonic Orchestra. There are more albums of Dragon Quest music released in Japan than those of any other video game series worldwide.

Some of those firms also offer animé soundtrack imports. Listening to video game music outside gaming, especially Final Fantasy music, along with animé music, is getting more and more popular among non-Japanese gamers. Final Fantasy has, in May 2005, become the first Japanese series to mass market music to the US (some soundtracks have had limited runs in speciality stores), offering its soundtracks on iTunes, and performing a series of live concerts. Video game music is performed by orchestras around the world, such as the London Symphony Orchestra or the FILMharmonic Orchestra in Prague. Final Fantasy music is enjoyed not only by gamers, but also by music lovers. The video game soundtrack market is growing and may extend to overseas markets. Many games, such as Fire Emblem, have a special feature, the Sound Room, where players can listen to unlocked game music.

Video game soundtracks are frequently "ripped" electronically through emulation in formats such as NSF, GBS, SID, HES, VGM, SPC, PSF, and PSF2, and can be played through modern media players like Winamp. Modern video game music is traditionally done in classical orchestra or techno music genres. A number of video game critics are known to prefer digitized recordings of orchestrated music in games as opposed to synthesized music. An example of orchestrated classical music in video games can be heard in Super Smash Bros. Melee, with its score performed by the aptly named Orchestra Melee.

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. Inclusion of video game music on America Online Radio network, iTunes or on other online radio stations may contribute to the increase of realization of video games as a form of media or artwork.

Several video game music concerts have taken place. Five Orchestral Game Concerts were performed in Tokyo, Japan, from 1991 to 1996. In August 20, 2003 the first event of the European Symphonic Game Music Concert series took place at the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig in Germany, performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. This sold-out concert appeared to be the first of its kind ever to occur outside of Japan. The concert was repeated in 2004 and 2005 as part of the Leipzig Games Conference.

A Final Fantasy concert was scheduled for the first time in the United States, and it was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California, on May 10, 2004. The concert was a one-day sell-out: all seats were sold out on a single day. That popularity led the concert, "Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy", to be performed at various cities across the United States. On July 6, 2005, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra also held a "Video Games Live" concert 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.

Also notable is an a capella music group from the University of Wisconsin known as Redefined, who performed (and acted) an a capella medley of songs from popular Nintendo games including Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Mortal Kombat, and The Legend of Zelda. A video clip of the entire performance was widely circulated on the Internet in 2005. [1]

Video game music is so popular that online cultures have been created, dedicated to bring new life to both old and new songs. These scenes vary from people who transcribe video game music to midi along with other scenes who remix video game music and release MP3 files. There are several websites (listed below) which serve this community.

Video game music timeline

  • 1980: Sega releases Carnival, the first game to have continuous background music. Previously, some games used prerecorded cassettes for music.
  • 1983: Exidy releases Crossbow, the first game to feature fully digitized sounds (no music).
  • 1984: The recording company known as "Yen" releases the first album with game music ever. Video Game Music contained music from various Namco games, including Pole Position, Xevious, Pac-Man, New Rally X, amongst others. This compilation of original Namco arcade music was released on LP (YLR-20003) and CT (YLC-20003).
  • 1985: Yen, the world's first company to release a game music album, was discontinued after only two releases. The sequel to Video Game Music was released by Alfa.
  • 1986: Game Music Organization was formed as Yen's successor. Abbreviated to G.M.O., it was the first major label recording company to release only game music. They released many albums for many Japanese developers, almost all with titles along the lines of: [company] Game Music (vol. #). Example: Sega Game Music Vol. 1.
  • 1987: The first video game orchestral concert is taken place at Suntory Hall, Tokyo, Japan. Named Dragon Quest in Concert, it is conducted by composer Koichi Sugiyama and features music from Dragon Quest I and Dragon Quest II.
  • 1989: Game Music Organization is put to an end and Scitron becomes its successor. Scitron was put under Pony Canyon, instead of Alfa, as Game Music Organization was. Scitron didn't keep all the companies Game Music Organization had control over; Falcom and Konami went to King Records, Namco used Victor more and more, and many smaller development houses used King Records instead. Before, the game music industry was centered around Game Music Organization only, but now started to spread out. DATAM, Polystar's label for game music was also established now. KOEI creates the world's first in-house game music recording company.
  • 1991: The first Orchestral Game Concert takes place in Tokyo, Japan, with music performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The concert is repeated in 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1996. The series of concerts features music from games such as Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Chrono Trigger and many more.
  • 1993: Mortal Kombat II is released with the DCS soundsystem, featuring the highest-quality music and sound effects in the arcade environment at the time.
  • 1997: The Lost World: Jurassic Park is released on PlayStation with the first ever fully orchestral soundtrack in a video game. The first Sakura Taisen game featured some orchestra earlier, and Heart of Darkness was developed earlier, but not released until later.
  • 2001: Accomplished Hollywood film composer Harry Gregson-Williams is hired to score Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.
  • 2003: The first Symphonic Game Music Concert outside of Japan takes place in Leipzig, Germany, with music performed by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and conducted by video game composer Andy Brick. The concert is repeated in 2004 and 2005. The series of concerts features music from games such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Mario, Silent Hill, The Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Solid, ActRaiser, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Turrican, Shenmue, Hitman and many more. The concerts feature special performances by Shakespearan actor James Walker, piano virtuoso Seiji Honda, the rock band -123min. and percussionist Rony Barrak. Composers such as Nobuo Uematsu, Yuzo Koshiro, Akira Yamaoka, Jason Hayes, Chris Huelsbeck, Rob Hubbard and many others attend the concerts.
  • 2004: The first major U.S. concert featuring video game music takes place. A Final Fantasy Concert gets presented in Los Angeles, with music performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Master Chorale.
  • 2004: During the 2004 Summer Olympics, the United States synchronized swimming duet of Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova wins the bronze medal whilst using two songs from Final Fantasy VIII in the second half of their routine.
  • 2005: Composers Tommy Tallarico and Jack Wall introduce Video Games Live, the first U.S. Video Game Concert with playing from various games such as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Halo, Metal Gear Solid, Warcraft, Myst, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Medal of Honor, Sonic, Donkey Kong and many more. the L.A. Phillharmonic Chorus and the L.A. Symphony Orchestra play at the concert, and features such guests as Martin Leung (AKA Video Game Pianist), and many more. Most of the announced 24 concerts get cancelled.
  • 2005: The first worldwide videogame concert tour gets announced by the production team behind the Dear Friends - Music from Final Fantasy concerts. The name of the tour is PLAY! A Video Game Symphony (Video Game Symphony).

Related music genres

External links

Articles, essays and news about video game music

Composer-related links

Internet radio featuring game music


Sources of video game music

Dedicated to particular series

  • SquareSound - Contains album listings, composer information, reviews, arrangements, MIDIs, and a Weekly MP3s related to all Square Enix games.
  • Metroid Metal - Metal versions of the songs from Nintendo's Metroid.
  • XOC - SMW - Completely redone soundtrack for Super Mario World, available in MP3 and OGG.
  • Final Fantasy Music Online - Contains information about music from the Final Fantasy series.

Emulator format music

General archives


  • The Video Game Cover Band - A rock band that plays a variety of video game music, old and new.
  • David Hasselhoff Big Band - A Finnish demoscene band covering various video game songs.
  • Megadriver - A Brazilian band, focusing mostly on Mega Drive/Genesis music.
  • Neskimos - A hard rock band that remixes video game music.
  • Nintendo on piano - Recordings and sheet music of video game music played on piano.
  • Press Play On Tape - A Danish band covering Commodore 64 game songs.
  • The OneUps - A band that does remixes to all sorts of video game music. Remixes include hard rock, jazz, piano, Christmas tunes, easy-listening, and everything in between.
  • SID80s - A European band playing rock covers of Commodore 64 game songs. The members are well known either from the Commodore 64 game scene, or the more recent remix scene.
  • Stage 3-1 - A nintendo cover band from Ontario, Canada.
  • Game Music Themes - Videos of performances and sheet music of video game music played on piano.
  • The Advantage - California-based NES cover band.
  • The Video Game Pianist - Classical piano treatment of several classics.
  • vgPiano - Group of individuals who perform video game music on piano.

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.