Do you consider video game music a genre of its own?

Shaissa

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So I was asked recently what type of music I listen to, and I basically named a bunch of game music I listen to because mainly when I go on pandora I just listen to video game music. I got told that it wasn't music and I argued it should be its own genre of music. I wonder if others feel that way or if it just depends on the type of video game music you listen to that depends on the genre it is in?
 

ZaXo Ken'Ichi

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I don't think video game music is its own genre. I think specifically Chiptune is its own genre in terms of sounds/instruments used, but a lot of what was on the SNES and the 32-bit consoles and beyond emulate real instruments more than they sound like chiptunes. So I would restrict chiptune to everything 16-bit (minus much of the stuff on the SNES) and before... as well as stuff trying to mimic it obviously, like Shovel Knight. But video game music itself already emulates other existing genres. For example, a lot of what is in the first three MegaMan X titles mimics Power Metal and Speed Metal.


Something like Lurking in the Darkness from FFVII emulates jazz and lounge music.


That being said, it is of course music in every sense of the word, and deserves the same recognition as any other form of music. I just feel that music genres are created through a mix between unique instruments (or sounds made by those instruments) and the way the music is written. Video game music outside of chiptunes almost entirely emulates the way existing genres are written, and as such only has one of the two halves of a unique genre. I still absolutely adore music from a lot of games though, and the musicians are real musicians. Some of them like Uematsu are on my top 10 favorite artists list, and their music has changed my life.
 

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If it isn't music, what else is it?

In my opinion it is no different to listening to film soundtracks or the music from stageshows and musicals.

Video games are still struggling with being considered as a lower form of art, but I think that many people are sensibly changing their opinions on gaming as it is becoming more and more obvious that games have actually advanced tremendously since Pong and Pac-Man... Critics and non-gamers often judge video games differently because they don't understand that world.

We do.

Video game music is music. You can listen to it and have soundtracks on your ipod or computer if you wish, just like many people might listen to the soundtrack of their favourite films.

Not all video game music is just beeps and techno dialing noises these days. Video game music is just as diverse, and sometimes just as well-composed as any other music.
 

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I don't think it's own genre per-say but it is music at least. Most video game music itself seems to be instrumental so maybe classified as a form of orchestra music, I dunno? A decent amount of these soundtracks do find themselves making it to CD format, and as Dan pointed out I see no difference between a video game sound track or a movie sound track that you can purchase. Really the only difference is movie soundtracks have songs that were already made and written but are just thrown into a film. So it largely seems the huge difference comes from their origin since most video games soundtracks are composed for that game. Also since there are some that are getting vocals let's look at some of the Shadow Heart's songs ,and from Final Fantasy, I think it's hard just to label it solely as video game music based on where it comes from. We also have music from Suikoden which is tons of instrumental pieces so maybe the best way to label it might be Orchestra, again I dunno.
 

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I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one listing to video game music when I'm not playing my video games. My friend thinks I'm nuts.

I'm familiar with the music from FF XII, XIII, and XV since those are the ones I have played but I have a list of the Chocobo songs for those and other FF games. I love to listen to all of it but I think the Chocobo songs are just such happy songs (yes that sounds nuts). When I need to get some work done I put my list on and start bouncing around getting the job done and my cats look at me sideways line "Yep, mom's gone nuts again."

By the way does anyone know where to get, I'm looking for the Final Fantasy XV time quest music? The song they use for when you check where the next time quest is at and the one that played during the fishing time quest and I think it's the same used for all the other fights but I was too busy in the fight to remember the music.
 
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