Essay on Music In Video Games

Essay on Music In Video Games

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Music In Video Games


     Throughout the history of the video game industry, there has been many
changes concerning music in video games. Music in video games progressed
greatly within the life of the industry from 1972 to the present. These
progressions can be seen as improvements in quality which includes an increase
in the number of output channels, an increase in song length, a great
improvement in the quality of timbres, and also a general shift from non-
programmatic music to programmatic music which fits a game. If one takes a
close look, one can see that all of these improvements are either directly or
indirectly resulting from improvements in the technology which is used to
produce video game music. These improvements in technology include the increase
of the number of bits of a Sound Central Processing, the increase of Audio
Random-Access-Memory, the switch from the use of frequency modulation to digital
sampling, and the use of compact discs for playing music during a game. By
closely examining the contribution of the preceding technological advancements,
one can see that technology has indeed caused great improvements for music in
the video game industry.
The first technological enhancement which greatly enhanced the quality of
music in video games is the number of bits which a sound Central Processing Unit
(CPU) has. The sound CPU is a component in a video game system which controls
every single sound which a system produces. This, then, obviously includes
music. Specifically, the CPU controls what sounds are to be played at what time,
their volume and dynamics, and each sound's length and rhythm. In a sense, the
sound CPU acts as a conductor who has absolute control over every single
instrument in his orchestra. The increase of the number of bits serves to
improve music quality by increasing the number of channels of sound which can be
played at the same time. This will just be like increasing the number of
instruments in an orchestra. As in the romantic period, an increase in the
number of instruments can lead to a richer and more varied blend of sounds which
can be used to cause effects of drama and human emotions during game play. This
increase in emotional portrayal can also be seen as the first step towards the
rise of programmatic music in video games.
Another technological improvement in the industry which imp...


... middle of paper ...


...t endless and unimaginable.
     So, as one can now see, technological advancements were indeed the cause
of most improvements in the field of music in the video game industry. These
technological improvements, which are the increase of the number of bits of a
Sound Central Processing, the increase of Audio Random-Access-Memory, the switch
from the use of frequency modulation to digital sampling, and the use of compact
discs for playing music during a game, have now expanded the horizon of music in
the industry and opened up many new possibilities. Even though the industry
itself might not last as long as the mainstream musical or computer industries,
one can see that it has clearly left a mark in the history of humankind's
development and usage of music. To conclude, the words of Tommy Tallarico,
another video game music composer and programmer, perfectly summarize what is
happening in the video game industry:

When people think of video game music, they have always thought of little bleeps
and blips. But now, the industry has changed so radically over the last couple
of years as far as music is concerned that it has evolved beyond anyone's
expectations.3

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Essay on Music In Video Games

- Music In Video Games Throughout the history of the video game industry, there has been many changes concerning music in video games. Music in video games progressed greatly within the life of the industry from 1972 to the present. These progressions can be seen as improvements in quality which includes an increase in the number of output channels, an increase in song length, a great improvement in the quality of timbres, and also a general shift from non- programmatic music to programmatic music which fits a game....   [tags: essays research papers]

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