Publication Date



Su Zheng




English (United States)


This work sets out to establish that video game music has many unique properties and has cultural significance as a distinct and influential form of modern music. To this end I have constructed a consistent lexicon of terminology and theory, examined a considerable number of interviews of influential video game composers and designers, read over previous research in the field, and done some original fieldwork on internet sites and directly with games whose music I feel to be a quintessential example of the unusual and interesting characteristics of video game music. In questioning what qualities of video game music are unlike those of other music and the reasons for these unique attributes, this examination uncovers several explanations for certain trends in video game music’s aesthetic and structure and finds reasons for its growing cultural relevance. These properties imbue video game music an interesting aesthetic and structure and lend it singular capabilities.

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