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evanofsky

Recommend some classical music?

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I've been thinking about using classical music for my game, which is a standard futuristic third person shooter with some strategic elements. I don't know much about classical music, so I have a few questions: 1) What classical music, if any, would sound good in a shooter? I'm thinking dark and slow, but anything's possible. I'm also looking for music for the main menu. 2) What legal issues are there if I release the game for profit? What if I release it for free? This is a pretty small-scale indie game, so licensing and whatnot is out of the question.

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1) What classical music, if any, would sound good in a shooter? I'm thinking dark and slow, but anything's possible. I'm also looking for music for the main menu.


This really depends on your taste and the look and feel of the game. Since we don't know any of that, it is hard to give recommendations. There are many classical pieces that are dark and/or slow but I think the best way to get good references for music is to post videos and pictures of your project.

Quote:
2) What legal issues are there if I release the game for profit? What if I release it for free? This is a pretty small-scale indie game, so licensing and whatnot is out of the question.


First off it doesn't matter if your release a game for free or for profit. If you're using content that you don't own or don't have permission to use, then you're still in violation of copyright. Does this mean you'll be slammed with a cease and desist letter and/or lawsuit? Not sure. Depends on the exposure of the game and the owner(s) of the copyright.

But you do have some options! Before I go into the options let me stress the importance of seeking legal counsel before acting. I'm not a lawyer and may or may not be correct on all aspects of copyright. I have read alot about it though and do some some things. First option is public domain. Anything written in 1923 or earlier is public domain. To quote wikipedia:


Copyrights are more complex than patents; generally, in current[update] law, the copyright in a published work expires in all countries (except Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Samoa, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) when either of the following conditions are satisfied:[6]

* The work was created and first published before January 1, 1924, or at least 95 years before January 1 of the current year, whichever is later; or
* The last surviving author died at least 70 years before January 1 of the current year

but only provided that both of the following also hold:

* No Berne Convention signatory has passed a perpetual copyright on the work; and
* Neither the United States nor the European Union has passed a copyright term extension since these conditions were last updated. (This must be a condition because the exact numbers in the other conditions depend on the state of the law at any given moment.)

These conditions are based on the intersection of United States and European Union copyright law, which most other Berne Convention signatories recognize. Note that copyright term extension under U.S. tradition usually does not restore copyright to public domain works (hence the 1923 date), but European tradition does because the EU harmonization was based on the copyright term in Germany, which had already been extended to life plus 70.


So you could find a piece that was written 1923 or earlier and then see if you can use it. Just because the piece is public domain doesn't mean the recording of the piece is. You'll need to check on this.

You could also commission a composer to get original pieces in the style(s) that you need. I don't know what your budget is, but I'm sure that you could find a composer that can fit your budget and needs.

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Original post by nsmadsen
There are many classical pieces that are dark and/or slow but I think the best way to get good references for music is to post videos and pictures of your project.

It's still in planning stages, but this demo screenshot is pretty representative of the game's look and feel:
Screenshot
It's sort of a "digital" artistic style, with pretty simple geometry, maybe a couple normal maps. And a decent amount of bloom.
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Original post by nsmadsen
First option is public domain. Anything written in 1923 or earlier is public domain.

So it sounds like my best (lowest cost, most legal) option might be to have a composer make a "cover" of some classical music in the public domain?

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I am a composer/sound designer, and I would be willing to supply some classical recordings for you. I have a BA in piano from the University of Kentucky and could record myself playing some dark and slow piano pieces. I am using the virtual instrument "Ivory Grand Pianos" to record all of my piano performances, which has an amazingly realistic sound. Click the link below to hear an example of me performing "Moonlight Sonata" by Beethoven using Ivory:

http://www.stevekaetzel.com/music/moonlight.mp3

I can also supply orchestral recordings if you are interested, but they will be more time consuming and consequently more expensive. I think piano is your best bet. Just in case, here is a recording of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" that I engineered:

http://www.stevekaetzel.com/music/Sugar_Plum.mp3

Please contact me at steve@stevekaetzel.com to discuss in greater detail what services I can provide for you.

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Name: Liam Tarpey
Website: www.liamtarpey.com
Expected compensation: Open for discussion with developer
Contact: info@liamtarpey.com
Previous projects: Various PC games, lots of other media. Check website for samples of work.

Hi there, I'm a composer and sound designer, do you need me to compose any music for your game?

I can compose any style of music, of any length, and to very high audio quality.

Please take a look at my website www.liamtarpey.com for samples of my work and contact me for any information.

Thanks,
Liam
info@liamtarpey.com

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Quote:

So it sounds like my best (lowest cost, most legal) option might be to have a composer make a "cover" of some classical music in the public domain?


With your visual style it might be cool to do some Wendy-Carlos-style "covers."

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