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A Composer's Guide to Game Music [Hardcover]

Winifred Phillips
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

14 Mar 2014 0262026643 978-0262026642
Music in video games is often a sophisticated, complex composition that serves to engage the player, set the pace of play, and aid interactivity. Composers of video game music must master an array of specialized skills not taught in the conservatory, including the creation of linear loops, music chunks for horizontal resequencing, and compositional fragments for use within a generative framework. In A Composer's Guide to Game Music, Winifred Phillips -- herself an award-winning composer of video game music -- provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field. Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, the most important qualification for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. Phillips offers detailed coverage of essential topics, including musicianship and composition experience; immersion; musical themes; music and game genres; workflow; working with a development team; linear music; interactive music, both rendered and generative; audio technology, from mixers and preamps to software; and running a business. A Composer's Guide to Game Music offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music within the constraints of a new medium.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: MIT Press (14 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262026643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262026642
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A Composer's Guide To Game Music is partly educational and partly inspirational...a great introduction to this specialist art.

Sound on Sound

An excellent guide for a musician or composer...this is a very insightful and engaging book and a very solid read especially for aspiring composers looking to break into the industry.

NY Film Music Examiner

The core of the book is a set of chapters that delve into the actual craft of writing game music in a way that few, if any, other books have ever done... tremendously valuable to composers.

Tracksounds

A Composers Guide to Game Music is hands down a must have for everyone interested in game music.

The Audio Spotlight

Between the real life experiences and the step-by-step walkthroughs of how certain things work, this is essential material for budding musicians looking for their first big break or perhaps veterans looking for fresh inspiration.

Push Square

Extensive and meticulous... (Phillips) writes about her passion for game scores and the future potential of this craft.

Cinema Musica (English translation)

"This book encompasses all major aspects of a composer s professional endeavors, from business to more technical side of things. A valuable position for those who know more about composing music in general than about video games."

Presto Magazine (English translation)

"Phillips provides an excellent introductory look at a complex and evolving artistic field. This is not a music and computer science (CS) degree in 270 pages, but a conversation with a friend who quite logically lays out the field... Anyone connected with gaming will enjoy the result."

Computing Reviews

Endorsements

Winifred Phillips's passion and understanding of this medium comes to life on the page and is a direct result of her vast experience and accomplishment in composing for video games. This is not just compulsory bedside reading for budding games composers, but a fine achievement in itself. Bravo!
Harry Gregson-Williams, Composer of Shrek, Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, and the Metal Gear Solid series

An important, deep, and rare exploration of video game music by one of the medium s smartest and most talented voices. You may not know the name Winifred Phillips but if you play games, you absolutely know and love her creations!
David Jaffe, Director of God of War and the Twisted Metal series

When I began writing for games over 20 years ago, I wish there had been a book like this to guide me through the process, art, and business of scoring for games. Winifred Phillips's book is an excellent combination of practical techniques along with the human touch of a game composer s real-life experiences.
Michael Sweet, Artistic Director, Video Game Scoring, Berklee College of Music

This book accurately illustrates the video game composer s task, which is to create music that perfectly complements an existing artistic vision. While the video game industry has its unique set of processes, for the aspiring composer, musicianship is the key to success. In the same manner, Winifred Phillips has excelled in this genre thanks to her musical talent.

--Didier Lord, Head of Music, Ubisoft

Reviews

A Composer's Guide To Game Music is partly educational and partly inspirational...a great introduction to this specialist art. Sound on Sound

An excellent guide for a musician or composer...this is a very insightful and engaging book and a very solid read especially for aspiring composers looking to break into the industry. NY Film Examiner

The core of the book is a set of chapters that delve into the actual craft of writing game music in a way that few, if any, other books have ever done... tremendously valuable to composers. Tracksounds

A Composers Guide to Game Music is hands down a must have for everyone interested in game music. The Audio Spotlight

Between the real life experiences and the step-by-step walkthroughs of how certain things work, this is essential material for budding musicians looking for their first big break or perhaps veterans looking for fresh inspiration.
---Push Square

About the Author

Winifred Phillips is an award-winning composer who has composed the music for such video games as Assassin's Creed III Liberation, The Da Vinci Code, God of War, Shrek the Third, Spore Hero, and many others.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so good people will steal it! 26 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
Fantastic book by the author who is as friendly in real life as the information presented in this very informative book. A must read for amateurs to professionals interested in the video game composition field. So good in fact, my copy was just stolen by some random.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars its about time 17 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover
This is an interesting but also a very easy to understand read, I love this because i think I am right when I say its quite unique as there are virtually no books that deal with game music, and to have a composer as talented and inventive as Winifred Phillips actually put her thoughts into print is a bonus.Well written and thoughtful which gives us an insight into the ever evolving world of game music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, highly recommendable. 15 Jun 2014
By Marc
Format:Hardcover
I bought the book, read it, and I certainly enjoyed it a lot.

I have to say that, while its study of the different matters is very serious and thorough, the thing I enjoyed most about it is the very personal way in which it was written. I felt all the time like it was just a fellow composer offering me advise, for which I am very grateful. Also, the author's personal enthusiasm for game music actually helped increase my own. I have realized that games and game music will probably be a central piece of my life, more than ever.

I have already used some of the techniques for my newest works, and they have been of great help.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the definitive Game Music Composer guide 15 Jun 2014
By Smaug
Format:Hardcover
Not only a fantastic read for Composers looking to break into the world of Game Music Composition, but an incredibly insightful, thought provoking read for those already on track in the industry, as well as for Concert Composers who are looking for different ideas for their work.

Using direct examples from her own Game Compositions, as well as drawing from other Game Soundtracks, it has given me a much needed boost in confidence in writing my own music, looking in-depth at the nuances in an easy-to-understand fashion whilst also perfectly striking the balance of treating the reader as an intelligent person.

Definitely one of the go-to books for Video Game Composers, and is much needed given the many books now out solely aimed at composition for Film and Television, when the two mediums can be quite different from each other.

Fantastic book from a fantastic composer - essential for a composer's book collection, I heartily recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 18 May 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Working on my PhD proposal and this book covers many aspect that I was looking for.

Book was received soon after ordering and in great condition as described.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy This Book! 2 May 2014
Format:Hardcover
"Buy this book" Said my fellow Game Composer Friend.
I didn't regret a bit, i am actually devouring this book! For those interested in making Video Game Music, this book is for you! Thank you Winifred Phillips, for the amazing book, and for the great music you create!
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