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SWE3tMadness avatar 6:06 PM on 04.11.2010
A Critical Ear: Analyzing Music In Video Games

My article on Final Fantasy VI’s “Dancing Mad” got a lot more attention than what I was expecting, and it seemed like a lot of the readers in the comments wanted to see me write more on the subject of video game soundtracks. So I finally decided to start a regular, monthly series here in my blog doing just that. In this column, called A Critical Ear, I plan on analyzing specific soundtracks and songs in games that are particularly memorable or well-crafted, and explain why they stick with the player even after the game has been finished.

Like any audio-visual medium, video games rely on music to build a specific atmosphere, mood, or impression that the player can understand and respond to emotionally. By having a better understanding of the music underlying the main action of the narrative or gameplay, one can arrive at a deeper understanding of characterization, general mood, or even foreshadowing that may not be readily apparent otherwise. Through this series, I hope that I can give you all a new way to enjoy playing through games, and better illustrate how the background music fits into that experience as a whole.

The (official) first episode of the series should be up later this week. I just wanted to provide a quick introduction here to explain the purpose of this series before jumping straight in.

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