Introduction to the Study of Video Game Music (eBook and Paperback available here (retail on Amazon, B&N, etc coming soon).
This text is intended to serve as an introduction to the study of video game music. It was initially conceived as a companion to an introductory video game music course that takes a multi-faceted survey approach to the material. Therefore, this text can be used in accompaniment with an academic setting. It can also be useful for anyone that is generally interested in learning about video game music, but does not have a very solid musical or technical foundation. As it was intended to accompany a course in which non-music majors could freely enrol, the text is accessible to nearly everyone, and covers the topic of video game music very generally.
Note: the entire version of this text is available freely online; if you teach a course please feel free to use it.
First and foremost, I would like to thank Nathan Baker for offering the course that would inspire all of my research into this subject at the University of Oregon in 2008. I would also like to thank him for encouraging me to also teach a course on video game music. I would like to thank Dr. Jack Boss and Dr. Joelle Welling for allowing me to teach video game music at the University of Oregon and the University of Calgary, respectively. This text would not have been possible without the support of all of these people.
I would also like to thank my partner, Martin Ritter, for helping me make it through the completion of this text by offering emotional support and editing.
Chapter One: Introduction and Methodology Overview
Chapter Two: Technology and Sound Basics
Section I: Historical Survey of Video Game Music
Chapter Three: Early History, From the Arcade to the Living Room
Chapter Four: Widespread Streaming Audio and the Move to Optical Discs
Chapter Five: The HD Generation and Beyond
Section II: The Theory of Video Game Music
Chapter Six: Terminology and Concepts in Music for Interactive Media
Chapter Seven: Form and Function of Game Music
Chapter Eight: Characterization and Storytelling Using Themes
Concluding and Supplementary Material
Chapter Nine: Conclusion