# Orchestra.. getting stale?

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Ive noticed the increasing trend of everyone using orchestral music in their games, especially in rpgs. The "building strings to an epic" has been done countless times. While it sounds alright, im starting to find it overdone. Is there any possibility at all of using electronica at all in games more prominently. Some ambient tracks could really make a change in atmosphere, or some really funked-up industriel for a darker, gotich setting. Why not hip-hop beats either? Without lyrics. It would be interesting to hear some of hip-hops producers do some stuff for a game.. Why not even country/bluegrass? Some of it is really good, a good folk song could fit really well with a lot of the themes in games. Some games do diversify their style a bit, and its those games music which stick most prominently in my mind. I would love to hear different kinds of songs done using the same chrod progression/scales of another genre. Imagine some sort of song, standard celtic song, where the flute is swapped for something else, say slide guitar, or a synth of some kind, with a rhodes sound, or whatever. I mean the possibilities are endless.. Why the fixation on orchestral music? Or am i missing something, or not understand something? Any thoughts?

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I'd say that orchestral tracks fit with the theme of most RPGs. And I wouldn't say that it's the only type of music in games, just the kind you most recognize. Orchestra comes off as much, much better than the regular music in games that you don't recognize, because there has to be something damned big for all the money you'd have to shell out to get it.

Generally, RPGs tend to have epic themes, and with epic themes come epic tragedies. It's a proven fact that music incites emotion, so if you want a character to be hated, cared for, or just to make a battle more epic (look at the opening movie for Final Fantasy 8...which I soooo want to play, right now).

Also, it'd be very, very difficult to rap in Latin.

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Quote:
 Original post by LarocheWhy the fixation on orchestral music?
Because of the people who traditionally make these games: White or Asian heterosexual males. I'll never forgive Andre LaMothe for having written "Heaven forfend a rap game!" in Teach Yourself Game Programming in 21 Days. Racist *censored*.

As for why not this, why not that... no reason. Once someone does it and does it well, everyone'll be doing it.

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Well, orchestra has been around for hundreds of years, as accompanying music to pretty much everything. It might go out of fashion for a while, I guess, but it'll be back soon enough. :)

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Quote:
 Original post by Boku SanAlso, it'd be very, very difficult to rap in Latin.
No, it wouldn't. It's proven to be straightforward to rap in any language, provided the rapper is competent.

I suppose this highlights the truth: rap is a foreign language, still, to most non African Americans. They don't understand what it is or what it's about, so they don't understand how it can be used.

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Quote:
 Original post by OluseyiBecause of the people who traditionally make these games: White or Asian heterosexual males. I'll never forgive Andre LaMothe for having written "Heaven forfend a rap game!" in Teach Yourself Game Programming in 21 Days. Racist *censored*.As for why not this, why not that... no reason. Once someone does it and does it well, everyone'll be doing it.

I don't understand why this is reasoning behind the...question. And as for the rap music, look at Def Jam. It came out great, with rap music, with lyrics.

Why does race or sexuality matter? Do gay people turn out games like Baten Kaitos? (...I'm really sorry for that one, please, God, spare me)

I didn't read the book, what'd he say? It seems like this whole post is a closed-context thing...because you lost me.

Also, since I didn't say it before, grats on getting Staff.

EDIT:
Quote:
 I suppose this highlights the truth: rap is a foreign language, still, to most non African Americans. They don't understand what it is or what it's about, so they don't understand how it can be used.

Also, FYI, AFAIK I am "African American". But hey, let's just use black. Or American. Because I didn't immigrate from Africa, I'd say I am an American. People see color too much after they grow up.

EDIT AGAIN:
I edited myself to not say this, but the poster below me said it, so I guess I will to: you're getting way too sensitive with this color thing. It is, in fact, the intarw3b, and nobody cares if you're black, white, brown, or freaking purple. What you say and what you know is what matters...and also how you sound if you have a microphone.

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Well, as a white or asian heterosexual male, I have to say that I'm beginning to get thoroughly sick of rap. I don't mind rap music in general, but it's beginning to be so ubiquitous that you can't get away from it. Believe me, if you had orchestra (or any other genre) played at you 24/7 you'd hate it just as much.

I'd say LaMothe was being a little insensitive with his comment, but I'd fully agree with a rewording: "Heaven forfend an entire bloody shop full of rap games, because someone decided they were cooler than every other kind of game, and heaven forfend every single damn game I buy having a soundtrack exclusively of rap music because it 'speaks to the people' or some shit". Oh, and disliking rap is not racist. You seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder about that, Oluseyi - trust me, this is the intarweb, we don't care what colour you are.

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Quote:
 Original post by fractoidOh, and disliking rap is not racist.
No, it isn't. Intimating that it is an invalid artform, however, is because of its ties to ethnicity. It's not a chip on my shoulder; I'm just tired of people dismissing it and saying things about it that are ignorant or just plain untrue.

I don't comment about things I don't know. You wanna give analysis? Inform yourself first. That's all I'm asking.

Quote:
 Original post by Boku SanI didn't read the book, what'd he say?
He was talking about musical styles in a game, saying things like it'd be cool to use heavy metal in an industrial setting, etc. He then said, and I quote literally, "heaven forfend a rap game!"

A few years later PaRappa the Rapper was a massive hit. The moron.

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Hmm...interesting. I completely know how you feel about rap-bashing (people that don't listen to it say it sucks...but then again, I haven't heard all of Punk Rock, and I h8z it).

But there's one thing there I don't agree with.

Quote:
 A few years later PaRappa the Rapper was a massive hit. The moron.

That makes a bigger statement about the [potential] possibility of the genre's popularity than it does about the music. I mean...seriously, I don't want PaRappa the Rapper representing the entire genre of rap. Not that it was bad, but that damned last level pissed me off so much that I don't associate it with myself anymore (:P).

Look at Dance Dance Revolution (and the StepMania/Flash Flash Revolution) and their popularity. Cross-genre, in the same button-timing style of PaRappa (and DDR was out first, right?). Look at Um Jammer Lammy, FreQuency, or, to a much, much, much, much, much much much much much lesser extent, American Idol the Crappy Videogame that based itself on a crappy, crappy genre of untalented people trying to get their 5-seconds of fame and jump-start their acting careers by going on television and reducing their abilities to "show" instead of sing.

EDIT: Oh, and yeah, that statement was short-sighted and ignorant (LaMothe's statement about for...fending a rap game).

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
 Original post by fractoidOh, and disliking rap is not racist.
No, it isn't. Intimating that it is an invalid artform, however, is because of its ties to ethnicity. It's not a chip on my shoulder; I'm just tired of people dismissing it and saying things about it that are ignorant or just plain untrue.
I'm sorry, I'm still not quite following how LaMothe's obvious dislike of the genre has anything to do with its ties to ethnicity. I dunno about you, but I would heartily back up "heaven forfend an opera game", and I neither think opera is an invalid artform, nor have anything against Italians. I admit I haven't read the book - is there more background to that quote that you haven't posted, which changes his intent from "I don't like rap" to "I hate black guys, so I never want to see their ethnic music in a game"?
Quote:
 I don't comment about things I don't know. You wanna give analysis? Inform yourself first. That's all I'm asking.
What topic was I 'giving analysis' on? I merely stated how you come across to me, and evidently some others, on this forum. What further information should I have to make this statement, apart from being a forum regular?

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Quote:
Original post by Boku San
But there's one thing there I don't agree with.

Quote:
 A few years later PaRappa the Rapper was a massive hit. The moron.
That makes a bigger statement about the [potential] possibility of the genre's popularity than it does about the music.
Obviously. The point is that it isn't the music that makes or breaks the game/genre, and that LaMothe was wrong in suggesting that rap would taint the potential of a game. Nobody thinks PaRappa is the be all and end all of rap. Hell, nobody thinks a bonafide legend like 2Pac is the be all and end all of rap!

Random trivia: The term "edutainment" was coined by Bronx rapper KRS-One.

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Quote:
 Original post by fractoidWhat topic was I 'giving analysis' on?
I wasn't talking to you, or to any specific individual. Haven't you ever seen the pronoun "you" used generically?

Ugh.

As for the rest of your disagreements, whatever. I feel that there is a tangible connection between rap and the black community, and I feel that dismissive denigration of rap in America is predominantly the result of a dismissive or discriminatory attitude toward the black community in America. YMMV. IDAGF.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by Boku San
But there's one thing there I don't agree with.

Quote:
 A few years later PaRappa the Rapper was a massive hit. The moron.
That makes a bigger statement about the [potential] possibility of the genre's popularity than it does about the music.
Obviously. The point is that it isn't the music that makes or breaks the game/genre, and that LaMothe was wrong in suggesting that rap would taint the potential of a game. Nobody thinks PaRappa is the be all and end all of rap. Hell, nobody thinks a bonafide legend like 2Pac is the be all and end all of rap!

Random trivia: The term "edutainment" was coined by Bronx rapper KRS-One.

On a completely unrelated note, Pac-Man has in fact destroyed the nation...nay, the world. If not for that game, there would not be so many people running around in dark rooms munching on purple pills and listening to techno.

Random trivia: Most people [in the US] have no idea that opera is even linked to Italian. Bet money.

Also, a lot of rap music in recent months seems to be more religious than normal. Actually, I'd say in the past few years (because of 9/11?). The entire gangster rap trend has shifted since 2000...but I guess trends do that. That was how rap got started anyway.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
 Original post by fractoidWhat topic was I 'giving analysis' on?
I wasn't talking to you, or to any specific individual. Haven't you ever seen the pronoun "you" used generically?

Ugh.

As for the rest of your disagreements, whatever. I feel that there is a tangible connection between rap and the black community, and I feel that dismissive denigration of rap in America is predominantly the result of a dismissive or discriminatory attitude toward the black community in America. YMMV. IDAGF.

Oh God...what do the acronyms mean? I understood the entire post up until that period. You know the one.

Ugh.

Actually, I followed until the "YMMV. IDAGF." part. [google]

Edit: Your Mileage may very? And...?

EDIT AGAIN AFTER BELOW POST: ...You spelled it wrong?

I
Don't
A
F bomb
Give ...I totally coulda guessed that one, though.

[Edited by - Boku San on October 14, 2004 11:42:34 PM]

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Uh... "I Dominate Games, Always & Forever"

(Also "I Don't Giva A F---")

I just noticed that you're Australian. Many of my comments about racism will thus be meaningless to you. Race is America, especially in refusing to talk about it openly except in accusative or exculpatory news soundbites. It's a weird country.

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Quote:
 Original post by OluseyiI just noticed that you're Australian. Many of my comments about racism will thus be meaningless to you. Race is America, especially in refusing to talk about it openly except in accusative or exculpatory news soundbites. It's a weird country.
I was actually starting to wonder if I was missing something obvious... seems I've been guilty of an AustralianCulturalAssumption. :P There are still racist pricks in Australia, but they're generally viewed as racist pricks rather than as 'normal'.

I can understand you feeling defensive of rap, if you see it as a symbol of your culture. Hell, I get snippy when people talk about 'cracking down on car hoons'. :P

Back on message, not topic - don't knock orchestral music, at least it's not opera!

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Quote:
Original post by fractoid
Quote:
 Original post by OluseyiI just noticed that you're Australian. Many of my comments about racism will thus be meaningless to you. Race is America, especially in refusing to talk about it openly except in accusative or exculpatory news soundbites. It's a weird country.
I was actually starting to wonder if I was missing something obvious... seems I've been guilty of an AustralianCulturalAssumption. :P There are still racist pricks in Australia, but they're generally viewed as racist pricks rather than as 'normal'.

I can understand you feeling defensive of rap, if you see it as a symbol of your culture. Hell, I get snippy when people talk about 'cracking down on car hoons'. :P

Back on message, not topic - don't knock orchestral music, at least it's not opera!

Opera is so underappreciated. Classical music in general is unappreciated. Because you can't listen to it and be "cool".

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Quote:
 Original post by Boku San"...Eat some more pills, pillhead."Opera is so underappreciated. Classical music in general is unappreciated. Because you can't listen to it and be "cool".
Classical music is good. I can listen to classical music and still be cool.

I can't listen to opera music and still be happy.

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Quote:
Original post by Boku San
Quote:
Original post by fractoid
Quote:
 Original post by OluseyiI just noticed that you're Australian. Many of my comments about racism will thus be meaningless to you. Race is America, especially in refusing to talk about it openly except in accusative or exculpatory news soundbites. It's a weird country.
I was actually starting to wonder if I was missing something obvious... seems I've been guilty of an AustralianCulturalAssumption. :P There are still racist pricks in Australia, but they're generally viewed as racist pricks rather than as 'normal'.

I can understand you feeling defensive of rap, if you see it as a symbol of your culture. Hell, I get snippy when people talk about 'cracking down on car hoons'. :P

Back on message, not topic - don't knock orchestral music, at least it's not opera!

Opera is so underappreciated. Classical music in general is unappreciated. Because you can't listen to it and be "cool".

Convert the masses. We trained our yearlevel at highschool to love classical music by starting off with music like Symphony Metallica, and stuff from movie soundtracks, then starting to slip in genuine classical tracks. People can, in general, be trained to like whatever you want them to, given the correct situation. (The main point of that being that among my friends, it IS cool to listen to classical music).

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Quote:
 Original post by fractoidI would heartily back up "heaven forfend an opera game", and I neither think opera is an invalid artform, nor have anything against Italians.

Man, if there existed a role-playing game that was operatic (recitative instead of spoken parts, huge orchestral score by a prominent composer, decent singers, dramatic storyline, poetic libretto, etc.) I would pick it up in a second.

Those who think orchestral music and opera are getting stale just haven’t heard anything they’ve liked yet.

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I think that orchestral music will never get "old", since most of the instruments used in the orchestra are incredible and can always be used for new and more interesting purposes. However, I think that vocal music, acoustic music, or electronic music can do the job equally well, depending on the situation. I write orchestral music myself, but my forte is electronica - so for soundtrack work I have done, you will hear electronic elements, either from synthesizers, digital effects, or synthetic drums. And it mostly works out. But at the same time, I don't think that hybrid style would work too well for a quiet town theme, so for that type of stuff, I will use only acoustic and orchestral instruments.

This is the philosophy a lot of film composers and directors are using also. Look at the Matrix. There are orchestral cues, but a lot of the action scenes incorporate electronic elements (thanks to Juno Reactor and Rob Dougan, to some extent). It worked perfectly. Steven Chang (sp?), the composer for most of Steven King's movies and TV series, is also a big fan of hybrid electronica and traditional elements in his work. Again, though, it's all about context. I don't think a driving dance beat with acid synths would work well for a Civil War-era battle scene, though it might fit in an urban combat scene in modern times.

Would rap, or other genres work? Sure, maybe. Again, it's all about context. Remember the DK rap? That worked, kind of. I've heard hillbilly-style country music (w/o lyrics) fit quite well in several soundtracks for some of the more lighthearted tracks. And Latin-salsa music can have a place too. I think the bottom line, though, is that it's all about the artistic vision of both the composer and the producer of the game/movie in question. It just happens to be the case that for RPGs, that vision doesn't often allow for non-orchestral stuff.

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I dont understand WHY anything other then orchestrated music can't be epic in its own right. Cant any kind of music evoke any kind of mood? Ive found myself being immeresed in all kinds of stuff I used to hate (folk/rap/electronica), and have found epic songs, sad songs, happy songs, etc. in each genre.

Wouldnt any of those kid of songs fit in well for RPG`s? Lets take an example: The civil-war era battle scene music could be something like an upbeat folk song, some bluegrass or something, to reflect the music of the era fairly well.

Im not saying we should STOP making orchestra music, far from it. I just want to hear more styles of music being expressed through the gaming medium.

I mean, we have computers at our disposals, with all sorts of nifty things like Soft Synths, VST Plugins, Sequencers, etc. Im sure SOMETHING other then loading string samples and flute samples into some sampler with some cheesy drumming in the back can be done.

I for one am going to incorporate some dj-shadow, amon-tobin (even though im not as good as either) kind of music into my game, which is a medieval-fantasy standard action game. There will also be some hip-hop there. And folk. And detuned Latin music for dungeon scenes.

There will also be some strings+brass.

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Couple of quick things...

Firstly, orchestral music and classical music are often radically different things, and if you think the sounds of symphonic instruments are going stale than you've been listening to crappy composers, or you don't know how to hear it and need to study more.

Secondly, there is nothing intrinsically black about rap, there is only something intrinsically rhythmic and melodic about rap, like all other forms of vocal music. If you choose to see it some other way than you are simply insisting on an ignorance of the fact that music is music regardless of the performer or composer. One might as well call someone rascist for disliking Jazz, or opera, or any other genre of music...this is ego-centric, arrogant thinking with no logic to support it.

Thirdly, opera is not intrinsically Italian, Opera's popularity originated in Italy true, but this is more because(Bach aside) the roots of the entire common practice period of music originated from Italy. There's a reason why most of our musical terms are Italian, that's where the music schools started during the renaissance. However, there is very little that is particularly Italian about Die Walkure, with the exception of the fact that a proper classical German accent has been mildly influenced by the Italian singing style.

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Quote:
 Original post by Anonymous PosterSecondly, there is nothing intrinsically black about rap...
Who invented it? Who performed it? Who performs it? Who continues to expand it? Who defines it?

Stating something doesn't make it true. I can provide a litany of evidentiary support for my claim; can you? Yes, non-black peoples have adopted and adapted rap to their own situations and expressive modes, and we respect that. But you can't deny our claim to it the way you did rock n' roll and jazz before it.

[Disclaimer: I use "you", again, in the generic form, indicating a disembodied discursive counterpart.]

Quote:
 If you choose to see it some other way than you are simply insisting on an ignorance of the fact that music is music regardless of the performer or composer.
Rubbish.

On a certain level, music is music. On another level entirely, music is the expression of a collective emotion, and is birthed from that community and that feeling. It may later be recognized, adopted and adapted by others, but that is not grounds for discrediting its origins.

You know why contemporary punk rock has been scorned by the majority of critics for a good while? Because the anger of the expressive form was divorced from a bonafide target for that anger, resulting in the "teen angst" epidemic of recent years. With the changing political climate (in the US), punk rock is actually finding a broadly recognizable subject, and seeing a mini-resurgence - that is, outside of MTV and other such conduits where they've been popular all along.

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what??? I think ambient is being way overdone if anything... maybe just the RPGs I play...

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