8 episodes

Video game music is more than just bleeps and bloops: players expect game music to significantly contribute to their immersion and enjoyment of the game experience. In this podcast, the Game Music at Queen’s research team discusses how music effectively communicates narrative and other elements of gameplay, featuring music from your favourite game series.

Game Music 101 – CFRC Podcast Network CFRC.ca Podcast Network

    • Arts

Video game music is more than just bleeps and bloops: players expect game music to significantly contribute to their immersion and enjoyment of the game experience. In this podcast, the Game Music at Queen’s research team discusses how music effectively communicates narrative and other elements of gameplay, featuring music from your favourite game series.

    And All That Jazz

    And All That Jazz

    Jazz is a distinct genre that is often overlooked when we think of music in video games.  For this episode, we uncover and dissect the world of jazz in video game music – from ‘live’ music to creating historical authenticity to establishing the genre of ‘film noire’ through its connection with jazz.  Each member looked at a specific game that featured Jazz music including L.A. Noire, Grim Fandango, Diggs Nightcrawler, and even the first Sims game. From discussions of nostalgia to new age jazz, this podcast takes you through a variety of video games that feature their own distinct jazz sound.







    Music used, in order that it appears in the podcast:







    * The Sims Soundtrack: Building Mode 4, by Jerry Martin and Marc Russo* Grim Fandango OST – 12 – Manny’s Office, By Peter McConnell* Grim Fandango OST – 02 – Swanky Maximino, By Peter McConnell* LA Noire OST – 01 – Main Theme, By Andrew HaleandSimon Hale* LA Noire OST – 24 – (I Always Kill) The Things I Love, Produced and written by Stephen Coates (of The Real Tuesday Weld) and featuring the guest vocals of Claudia Brucken (of Propaganda) * Grim Fandango OST – 06 – Hi-Tone Fandango, By Peter McConnell* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Prologue, By Jim Fowler* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Hood and Seek, By Jim Fowler* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – The Nightcrawler is In, By Jim Fowler* LA Noire OST – 05 – Minor 9th, By Andrew HaleandSimon Hale* Grim Fandango OST – 03 – Smooth Hector, By Peter McConnell* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Eggs in the City, By Jim Fowler* The Sims Soundtrack: Building Mode 5, by Jerry Martin and Marc Russo* LA Noire OST – 08 – Noire Clarinet, By Andrew HaleandSimon Hale* The Sims Soundtrack: Building Mode 2, by Jerry Martin and Marc Russo* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Diggs and the Pigs, By Jim Fowler* Grim Fandango OST – 04 – Mr Frustration Man, By Peter McConnell* LA Noire OST – 11 – Temptation, Part 3, By Andrew HaleandSimon Hale* Psycho (theme), By Bernard Herman* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Welcome to Library City, By Jim Fowler* LA Noire OST – 25 – Guilty, Produced and written by Stephen Coates (of The Real Tuesday Weld) and featuring the guest vocals of Claudia Brucken (of Propaganda)* Grim Fandango OST – 01 – Casino Calavera, By Peter McConnell* The Sims Soundtrack: Building Mode 1, by Jerry Martin and Marc Russo* Diggs Nightcrawler OST – Table Top Jump, By Jim Fowler

    • 50 min
    Women Behind the Sound

    Women Behind the Sound

    Women have been composing music for video games since their inception and yet their stories can often be forgotten amongst a male-dominated industry. Today’s episode looks to focus in on a selection of women who are behind the sound we hear in video games, both past and present. From Yoko Shimomura’s iconic Street Fighter II soundtrack to the sound design by up-and-comer Em Halberstadt for the award-winning Night In The Woods, the Game Music team is looking at some of their favourite women, their influences, and the versatility of their talents. The team also poses the question, “What sort of social conditioning have these composers and designers experienced as women and have we experienced as listeners?” 







    Track TitleVideo GameComposer







    Calling From Heaven(Stage 6)Castlevania: Bloodlines Michiru Yamane Foretellers CaseKingdom Hearts 3Yoko ShimomuraVictoria’s LabLittleBigPlanet 2 SoundtrackWinifred PhillipsPrayerCastlevania: Symphony of the Night OSTMichiru YamaneLeft Bank TwoLittleBigPlanet OSTWinifred PhillipsDeep DiveKingdom HeartsYoko ShimomuraThe WildernessLittleBigPlanet SoundtrackWinifred PhillipsLiberation Main ThemeAssassin’s Creed 3: LiberationWinifred PhillipsHikari (Instrumental)Kingdom HeartsYoko ShimomuraRyu StageSuper Smash Bros. Ultimate SNESYoko ShimomuraClear BreezeSkull GirlsMichiru YamanePandora’s BoxGod of War SoundtrackWinifred PhillipsPink ShoelacesLittleBigPlanet 3 SoundtrackWinifred Phillips Astral TrainNight in the WoodsAlec HolowkaRyu vs. GuileStreet Fighter IIYoko ShimomuraIn Just A Moment’s TimeSkullgirlsMichiru YamaneSinger: Geila ZilkhaMonk chants, 1 through 5HaloMichael SalvatoriThe Wolven Storm (Priscilla’s Song)The Witcher 3: Wild HuntPercival (polish folk band)Voyage of Promise (A Galleon Named Minerva)Bloodstained OSTMichiru Yamane

    • 46 min
    Mental Health in Video Games

    Mental Health in Video Games

    Mental Health awareness has become a global topic of discussion – and the video game industry has been getting in on the conversation. In this episode, the research team explores the impact and role that music plays in video games recognized as part of the mental health conversation. From The Last of Us to Gris to Hellblade to Celeste, the Game Music 101 team looks to unpack the portrayal of mental health in these games and how – if at all – the music and sounds we hear bring us to a better understanding of this very important topic.







    Music Tracks:  







    Gustavo Santaolalla – Main Theme, The Last Of Us soundtrack







    David García Díaz, “Druth”, HellBlade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack







    David Garcia/Andy LaPlegua, “Fight Theme”, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack







    Berlinist, “Mae”, Gris soundtrack







    Berlinist, “Pt 1 + Pt 2”, Gris soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “My Dearest Friends”, Celeste soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “Spirit of Hospitality”, Celeste soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “First Steps”, Celeste soundtrack







    Berlinist, “In Your Hands”, Gris soundtrack







    David Garcia/Andy LaPlegua, “Dillion”, HellBlade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack







    Gustavo Santaolalla, “All Gone (Seasons)”, The Last of Us soundtrack







    Toby “Radiation” Fox with FL Studio, “Megalovania”, Undertale soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “Resurrections”, Celeste soundtrack







    Berlinist, “Comparison”, Gris soundtrack







    Berlinist, “Perseverance”, Gris soundtrack







    David Garcia/Andy LaPlegua, “Fight Theme 2”, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack







    Gustavo Santaolalla, “The Quarantine Zone (20 Years Later)”, The Last of Us soundtrack







    David Garcia/Andy LaPlegua, “Psych”, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “In the Mirror”, Celeste soundtrack







    Lena Raine, “Scattered and Lost”, Celeste soundtrack







    Gustavo Santaolalla, “All Gone (No Escape)”, The Last of Us soundtrack







    David Garcia/Andy LaPlegua, “Just Like Sleep”, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice soundtrack

    • 47 min
    Old MacDonald Had a Farm

    Old MacDonald Had a Farm

    From Stardew Valley to Animal Crossing to Harvest Moon, the game genre commonly known as the “Farming Sim” often features calm, relaxing music.  Farming Sims music often makes explicit reference to musical elements associated with rural environments, such as Country and Folk music styles, but also incorporate subtler elements rooted in the concept of the “pastoral”:  a trope with a surprisingly long musical history!  The podcast hosts will present their favourite examples of Farming Sim music, and will discuss how these songs are structured to keep the listener engaged – but not too engaged – and relaxed – but not too relaxed!







    Music Tracks:







    ·       “1AM” Animal Crossing New Leaf Music: (12:07-12:20)







    ·       “10AM” Animal Crossing New Leaf Music: (26:22-26:41)







    ·       “5PM” Animal Crossing Original GameCube Soundtrack: (11:54-12:07)







    ·       Goat Simulator “8-bit Super Happy Version”: (21:29-21:49)







    ·       Goat Simulator “Main Theme”: (2:38-3:05), (17:36-18:02), (26:57-27:21)







    ·       Deadmau5 “Petting Zoo”: (21:53-22:09)







    ·       Harvest Moon Back to Nature “Spring”: (6:47-7:11)







    ·       Harvest Moon “A Wonderful Life: Breeze”: (19:48-20:14)







    ·       Harvest Moon “Animal Parade: Summer”: (25:41-25:53)







    ·       Harvest Moon Back to Nature “Title Theme”: (5:01-5:21)







    ·       Harvest Moon Back to Nature “Town Theme”: (5:21-6:11), (25:55-26:18)







    ·       Harvest Moon “Dance”: (23:35-23:59)







    ·       Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony: (13:57-15:31)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Distant Banjo”: (23:27-23:33)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Fall”: (17:03-17:34)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Spring”: (9:11-9:53), (18:38-19:13), (24:48-25:33)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Overture”: (8:00-8:21), (16:01-16:40)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Summer”: (8:21-9:11), (28:02-25:05)







    ·       Stardew Valley “Winter”: (9:53-10:46)







    ·       Story of Seasons “Spring Theme”: (4:35-4:57)

    • 30 min
    Episode 4: Identity in DragonAge: Inquisition

    Episode 4: Identity in DragonAge: Inquisition

    This bonus episode focuses on composer Trevor Morris’s work on DragonAge: Inquisition.  Research assistants Brooke and Andrew tackle a variety of questions ranging from the controversy about switching composers mid-series, what harmonic factors distinguish the music, and how the music does (or does not) reflect Morris’s Canadian-ness.







    Music Tracks (all from DragonAge: Inquisition)







    ·      

    The Lost Temple: 0:29-7:32







    ·      

    Dragon Age Inquisition Theme: 7:37-10:50, 14:05-17:39







    ·      

    Journey to Skyhold: 10:54-11:33







    ·      

    Orlais Theme: 11:39-14:03







    ·      

    In Hushed Whispers: 17:39-19:22, 20:54-23:48







    ·      

    Aquatic Ambience: 19:22-20:54







    ·      

    The Wrath of Heaven: 23:48-25:51







    ·      

    Take Me Home 25:51-26:17

    • 26 min
    Episode 3: “Geoculture”

    Episode 3: “Geoculture”

    Video games often take influences from real-world cultures, sometimes to reflect particular eras and locations in historically-based games, but in other cases as a ‘shortcut’ for suggesting particular cultural norms.  From Nordic influences in Skyrim to Middle-Eastern instrumentation in Assassin’s Creed and The Legend of Zelda, this episode will present a number of examples.  The podcasts hosts will discuss how such borrowing can give game designers a quick method to generate a rich game world, but how in the process cultural appropriation becomes a major issue.







    Musical examples:







    1:58:  New Donk City, Super Mario Odyssey







    2:31:  Main Theme, Battlefield 1 







    3:16:  City of Jerusalem, Assassin’s Creed 1







    4:01:  Main Theme, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild







    4:46:  Woman’s Battalion of Death, Battlefield 1: In The Name of the Tsar DLC







    5:30:  Cimbalom sample, Hammered Dulcimer Family, Tim Manning Music Magic (Bohak) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFaXcvHpJwU&list=PLfxFd1oEv69SNsbTPN4qBCbf0HMv26NRL&index=5 (1:50)









    6:05:  Dean Shostak Plays Cristal Baschet, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVHzwdnYdEc







    6:57:  Tibet: Tibetan Monks – Playing Long Horn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1_C3TLXRlI







    9:18:  Tostarena Ruins, Super Mario Odyssey







    10:37:  Polonaise, op. 53, Frederic Chopin







    11:30:  Nocturne in E-Flat Major, op. 9 no. 2, Frederic Chopin







    12:15:  Volvo Queen of the Night Commercial https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRnXONCj45Q







    12:44:  Queen of the Night aria (“Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen”), from

    The Magic Flute, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart







    14:45:  (Best Service) Voice Spectral Vol. 1 “Track 76” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U34MFcJdGCo (12:03)







    16:00:  City of Jerusalem, Assassin’s Creed 1









    17:16:  Darkness Falls in Florence,

    Assassin’s Creed 2







    17:02:  Access the Animus, Assassin’s Creed 1







    17:50:  Phoibe the Orphan, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey







    18:20:  Gerudo Town (Night), The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild







    24:12:  Tostarena: Town, Super Mario Odyssey







    25:33:  Las Alazanas, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klVe7_2UEQ8







    27:28:  Chaharmezrab Nava, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95amB7kUu-k







    29:12:  Dawn of a New Time, Battlefield 1







    29:39:  Zajdi, Zadji, https://www.youtube.com/watch?

    • 37 min

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