Into the Score

I owe a lot to video game music (or rather “music from video games,” if we’re going to be politically correct).

My musical life began with two huge pillars – High School Band and VGM.  If either of those were absent in my life, I would be in a very different place.

VGM would connect the stories that I grew up with and my understanding of melody, harmony and the interrelation of the arts.  VGM doesn’t live in isolation, it is in constant synergy with the visuals, the storytelling and the game mechanics and that’s how I still think about music now – where does it fit in the story? Where does the story fit in it? What image does it evoke? What does the environment look like? What does it feel like?

Anyway, I have too many thoughts to write in this short synopsis.  However, if you’re interested, check out my short essay on the topic from the “Into the Score” website.

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Wait? “Into the Score?” What’s that?

“Into the Score” was my podcast that was devoted to the in-depth study of music from video games.  It ran from 2006 to 2010 and there are 29 episodes with each episode covering one game (unless otherwise said).

Each episode looked at the world when the game-of-the-show came out, where gaming was, the composer’s bio, why the score is important and a teachable concept.  After all of that is in place, we tear into the machinery of the score and see what makes it tick.

Below is every individual episode, but if you want to download the whole bundle, just click here.  To download file, click the episode’s picture.

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Episode 1 – The Sound of Silence to the Symphony
From the Console to the Concert Hall


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Episode 2 – Get Equipped
Mega Man 2


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Episode 3 – Metroid, Third Movement
Super Metroid


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Episode 4 – To Far Away Times
Chrono Trigger


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Episode 5 – Serge and Kid: Duet That Transcends Time
Chrono Cross


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Episode 6 – The Epoch’s Skies and the Plains of Time
Musical Consistency in the Chrono Series


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Episode 7 – Revealing the Secret
The Secret of Monkey Island


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Episode 8 – The Kingdom Key is Eb Major
Kingdom Hearts


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Episode 9 – Into Uncharted Waters…
Uncharted Waters: New Horizons


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Episode 10 – Sending a Song Into the Universe
Final Fantasy VII


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Episode 11 – Of Megas and Men
Mega Man 3


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Episode 12 – A Night at the Museum
Shivers


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Episode 13 – Voices of the Lifestream
Final Fantasy VII Tribute Album from OverClocked ReMix


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Episode 14 – Beautiful Sky with Clouds and White Moon
Cloud


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Episode 15 – Arias and Laments; Rondos and Symphonies
The Castlevania Series


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Episode 16 – Masters of the Craft
StarCraft


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Episode 17 – Street Fighter, Second Movement
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior


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Episode 18 – The Quick and the Megas
Interview with “The Megas”


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Episode 19 – Arias of Balance and Ruin
Final Fantasy VI


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Episode 20 – Music of the Mushroom Kingdom
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars


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Episode 21 – Professor Layton and the Musical Podcast
Professor Layton and the Curious Village


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Episode 22 – Symphony of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus


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Episode 23 – Symphonia Ivalice
Final Fantasy Tactics


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Episode 24 – Live From the Chaos Theatre!
EarthBound / Mother 2


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Episode 25 – The God of War and the God of Triangles
God of War


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Episode 26 – All’s Fair in Strife and Crisis
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII


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Episode 27 – Journey of the Classical Podcast
Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King


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Episode 28 – Into Aquarian Waters…
Aquaria


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Episode 29 – Fandango? Fandango!
Grim Fandango