Computer and video game music

Everybody is probably aware of how important music is in movies. Names like John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) and Ennio Morricone (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Mission) are well-known far beyond the world of cineasts. But in many ways, the same is true for computer game music, and has been since at least the mid-80s. The arguments raged in school yards across the country: who is better, Rob Hubbard or Martin Galway? Or maybe even Ben Daglish or Chris Hülsbeck? The Commodore 64, in many way, revolutionised computer game music. Computer and arcade games had music before, of course, but the sound chip of the C64 and the musicians who utilised it changed things. Suddenly, kids who played the games became aware of who had created the awesome music in their favourite games.

The music in those early computer games were more than just game soundtracks: they became selling points in and of themselves. The music of the Commodore 64 then kept evolving, and is still alive today, in the form of the “chip tunes” music scene, which it’s directly responsible for. Nowadays, music is an integral part of all computer and video games, and a lot of people listen to their favourite game music even when not playing. Just like people listen to music from movies they might not even like or have even seen. The names of video game musicians are still not as well-known as those of movie musicians, and you’re generally regarded as a bit odd for listening to game music. But this is bound to change, and change fast.