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The last half-decade has seen the rapid and expansive development of video game music studies. As with any new area of study, this significant sub-discipline is still tackling fundamental questions concerning how video game music should be approached. In this volume, experts in game music provide their responses to these issues. This book suggests a variety of new approaches to the study of game music. In the course of developing ways of conceptualizing and analyzing game music it explicitly considers other critical issues including the distinction between game play and music play, how notions of diegesis are complicated by video game interactivity, the importance of cinema aesthetics in game music, the technicalities of game music production and the relationships between game music and art music traditions. This collection is accessible, yet theoretically substantial and complex. It draws upon a diverse array of perspectives and presents new research which will have a significant impact upon the way that game music is studied. The volume represents a major development in game musicology and will be indispensable for both academic researchers and students of game music.

Published: Jul 1, 2016


Section Chapter Authors
Chapter 1
Introduction Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney
Chapter 2
Analyzing Video Game Music: Sources, Methods and a Case Study Tim Summers
Chapter 3
Analyzing Game Musical Immersion: The ALI Model Isabella van Elferen
Chapter 4
Modularity in Video Game Music Elizabeth Medina-Gray
Chapter 5
Suture and Peritexts: Music Beyond Gameplay and Diegesis Michiel Kamp
Chapter 6
“It’s a me, Mario!” – Playing With Video Game Music Melanie Fritsch
Chapter 7
Game and Play in Music Video Games Anahid Kassabian, Freya Jarman
Chapter 8
"Listening" through Digital Interaction in Björk’s 'Biophilia' Samantha Blickhan
Chapter 9
Palimpsest, Pragmatism and the Aesthetics of Genre Transformation: Composing the Hybrid Score to Electronic Arts’ 'Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed' Stephen Baysted
Chapter 10
Isaac’s Silence: Purposive Aesthetics in 'Dead Space' Mark Sweeney
Chapter 11
Remixed Metaphors: Manipulating Classical Music and Its Meanings in Video Games William Gibbons
End Matter
Index Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney


What my rapid review of these remarkable articles reveals is that music is crucial for games and not merely a trivial and minor aspect. It is modular, dynamic, interactive, narrative, historic, avant-garde, popular, creative, educational and many more things. If you would like further to explore these multiple directions, I recommend both of these inspiring volumes.
Popular Music
(review of this book and another on a similar subject)

By underlining key issues, grappling with pertinent terms, outlining specific methodological tools, and contemplating core critical issues, this publication represents an admirable attempt to highlight not just the necessity of video game music studies as a field of scholarly enquiry, but so too the surprising level of maturity that it has already achieved in its relatively short lifetime.
IASPM Journal