Video game music...

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Tsui
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Video game music...

Post by Tsui » Sat Aug 20, 2016 6:47 am

...is real music. Yes, even short loops. I will fight you on this
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But seriously, it still takes creativity and effort to compose literally anything, no matter how short or simplistic. I'm an artsy person and I've tried to do short BGM loops for my games and it takes more trial and error and brain effort than my artwork, and even the same melody over and over takes probably the same amount of time my artwork does. Even longer if I'm working with Deflemask instead of FL Studio (though I like the former more for chiptune because of its supposed accuracy). But that's all just my experience with it as a non-serious thing, I can't imagine what the workflow is for a person who has music as their career.
And really, claiming that game BGM isn't real music is ridiculous, in my opinion. Is digital artwork not real artwork because we don't use physical pens and paintbrushes? Or because art materials are probably more expensive in the long run?
Just because game music doesn't work the same as a song on the radio doesn't mean it's not "real music".

...But that's just my opinion on the subject.
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Chaos the Light Chao » Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:49 am

Does anyone refute this? It's a silly notion that the media a song is intended to be played in is a determining factor in whether or not it's real music. And that's just the media the songs are originally played in -- the tracks are often sold as OSTs, completely independent from the games, meant to be enjoyed purely for their musical value.

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Re: Video game music...

Post by Crazo3077 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:38 pm

I think it is definitely an older notion that the medium determines the value of music. Similar to how electronic music was disregarded for many years. I think the true challenge is arguing if video game music has improved, or is in some way superior to other platforms of music. Not in the sense that people should like certain types of music more than others, but that the status of the medium or genre is stronger within video games than outside of video games. I think it is holding up better than pop music, but I'm not passionate enough about music to have a strong argument for it.
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Sable » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:18 pm

in light of a recent disagreement i had in another thread i appreciate this
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Re: Video game music...

Post by wic. » Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:14 am

Is it "real music"? Yes.

Do I hold it in as high esteem as music that's not created for games? No, with few exceptions.

My problem with video game music/movie music/television music is that it's sole purpose is to enhance a separate greater art form. With a whole lot of pieces of media, the music is merely a companion to the other media and highlights it, and with most video game music it's kind of painfully obvious. Whereas an album is supposed to stand up on it's own merit, it IS the product, and that's why I really evaluate them on separate levels.

There's only one exception, to me, where the soundtrack is able to capture the spirit of the source material but also truly stand on it's own merit of being interesting, well composed, and genuinely fantastic. For me that exception is the Twin Peaks soundtrack. I think that even without the television series, the album itself is beautiful and fantastic. I haven't been able to find a video game OST that can do that for me yet, maybe TWEWY, but that's pushing it.

Also the effort that someone put into something really doesn't matter, someone can pour their heart and soul into something but if it's mediocre then it's just mediocre.


So yeah, it's real music, but I hardly listen to video games OSTs because it's just really unrewarding for me, and I can't bring myself to hold the TWEWY soundtrack in as high of esteem as most of the music I listen to in my free time. A lot of the music is great, but the sole reason for the creation of that music wasn't to make art, it was to make something to go along with another piece of media. And for some reason I can't seem to get over that.

edit:
Crazo3077 wrote:I think it is holding up better than pop music
Slight pet peeve of mine, pop music =/= music that is popular. It's a common misconception

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Re: Video game music...

Post by Crazo3077 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:14 pm

^
I will clarify that when I say "pop music" I do not mean the genre of pop, I mean the Hot 100 as posted on Billboard, which is arguably the strongest source for how well music is currently doing in the United States. This does say something about what music is popular, even if it is closely tied to release dates.

We don't really have a parallel with video game music because it isn't released in the same way. Even if you look at the Billboard 200, which covers albums instead of singles, we don't see video game soundtracks reach that list like movie soundtracks. This is why we'd have to look toward professional opinions, and why it is hard to comfortably agree who is the best at giving an unbiased opinion.

Though I mainly invoked pop music because it is a place where electronic music was initially discouraged and has now become the standard. Which is a strong parallel to why people discredit video game music.
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Lamby » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:39 pm

sure, it's real

comparable? nah

when i edited an art magazine how much heart and soul that went into it earned you nothing. if it couldn't stand when i applied academic criteria to it, it simply wasn't good enough. the like idea because something took work ethic it is from the onset equal to a david bowie or a dinah cancer is silly, and comes from misconstrued DIY pride, not academic critique

otherwise i defer to and agree with wic uwu <3333, bc i don't really empathize with video game music or its creators whatsoever when it comes to this topic and he's always more intelligent about music than me especially when we're talking alone
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Crazo3077 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:23 pm

Okay hold up I found something super funny here. Not haha funny but like weird funny.
Lamby wrote:if it couldn't stand when i applied academic criteria to it, it simply wasn't good enough. the like idea because something took work ethic it is from the onset equal to a david bowie or a dinah cancer is silly, and comes from misconstrued DIY pride, not academic critique
Why are we considering academia the standard here? What about academia suggests it is the best judge of music? Music is a form of art and while there are academic approaches, there's nothing academic that makes video game music inferior to any other form. Video game music can be equally complex or simple as any other platform for music. It entirely depends on the composer.

Your invocation of David Bowie and Dinah Cancer are flimsy parallels. You're comparing a vocal-focused version of music to a non-vocal version. This is again why I brought up electronic music. You'd sooner have a stronger argument comparing the music to classical or jazz: genres where the "voice" is from an instrument, not a person. Or are those genres to be disregarded the same way as video game music? Does "designed for the background" mean it never deserves to be in the foreground?

I'm not saying this to suggest all video game music is inherently good, but that there are a much more lucid language than what is being used. Yes, effort does not always result in quality, but detail does. Mindful detail is what creates a difference between Daft Punk and the "DIY" armature. It is the difference from inviting a specific composer to work on a game's soundtrack and just doing the music yourself because you can't be damned to pay someone else. And it can be the difference between making music and just making noise.
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Lamby » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:21 am

i didn't say anything about vocals, that isn't a measure of anything, the fact that those two artists sing is just incidental and wasn't what i was demonstrating, plus video game music could have vocals and i'd still have that opinion

also edm has been extremely relevant as far back as it's forefather disco at minimum and it's spawned subgenres and influence that has shaped music for decades, so unless you literally mean electronic as "using modern production tools" or fl studio quality chiprock, or mediocre j-pop masquerading as happy hardcore, i don't really understand the comparison. electronic has hardly been discouraged ever in my recent memory and i've followed the scene for years now. also i wouldn't use daft punk as a marker of mindful detail; electronic for beginners maybe

vg music hasn't accomplished much in the grand scheme of things because it's only an element, the same way color is, of the full piece (the game) to me and it surprises me OSTs actually sell

that's all this girl's got, never really empathized with fans of vgm and it's unlikely i'll take the argument it's comparable seriously
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Re: Video game music...

Post by Jeffery Mewtamer » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:18 pm

Lamby's opinion is sounding a bit too elitist for my liking, not to mention the descent into discussions of sub-genres when I stopped caring about top level genres years ago.

For me, the most important criteria when listening to music is whether or not I enjoy it, and I've long held the impression that I have, if not truly eclectic tastes, than wider than a lot of people(I've never understood the animosity sometimes seen between fans of Rock, Metal, Rap, Country, Pop, and classical to name a few broad genres that all have music I enjoy under their respective umbrellas).

Speaking at the broader, cultural context, I'd argue things such as the Super Mario Bros. Theme and the Star Wars theme(to name a non-Video Game example of a song that, as far as I know, was composed as part of a larger work) are, if not at the same level, at least in the same zip code as Ode to Joy for being iconic, instantly recognizable melodies even if the listener can't place the source, and Tetris probably single handedly elevated Korobeiniki to the most recognized Russian Folksong in the world, if not the most recognized Russian song period.

That said, before I went blind and was in the habit of always having music playing in the background, it was rare that I'd choose a Game soundtrack for that purpose, and nearly all of the game OSTs I own were bundled with the game rather than being a separate purchase, and even for games with enjoyable music, it wasn't uncommon for me to have the game muted and the television playing in the background(though admittedly, this usually coincided with grinding and farming activities rather than parts of games deserving of my full attention). Then again, its always been a rare occasion when I listen to music for it's own sake, and I don't think I've ever done this for Video Game soundtracks except for some of the Sonic the Hedgehog vocal Albums.

As for television soundtracks, while I'll agree many of them, especially opening theme songs, seem to exist for the sole purpose of promoting the show(or in the case of expository themes, giving viewers of episodic shows enough context they don't need to have seen the pilot to enjoy the show), I get the impression many opening and ending themes of anime(and possibly Japanese television in general) are the other way around with musicians using anime as an avenue of promoting their own music careers. At the very least, most of the J-pop and J-Rock Albums are from acts I was introduced to via anime, but the majority of their music is unrelated to any specific anime.
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