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A Composer's Guide to Game Music (MIT Press) by [Phillips, Winifred]
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A Composer's Guide to Game Music (MIT Press) Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Length: 285 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2580 KB
  • Print Length: 285 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; Reprint edition (14 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IROZKVK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,175 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is such a must-have for anyone looking to get into the industry. It's what started my journey as a video game composer, and is also what i use for reference with each project I work on. I have no qualifications with music, yet this book helped me get my first job in music. Cannot recommend it enough.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Firstly, I am a long time fan of Winifred Phillips. I've been listening to her work for years and it was really exciting to hear she had decided to write a book about the art and industry of VGM.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her for my Podcast The Note Show and also on Primary Trigger

Winfred is one of the most in depth and comprehensive composers in games today and there's always an incredible amount of thought and detail in her works so it's interesting to hear about her processes and mindset when approaching a project and how she thinks about the task of scoring a game. If you're just dipping your toes in the water you couldn't be in better hands.

As someone who dreamed of scoring video games and movies as a teenager and young adult it's also really nice to hear how she first 'discovered' game music as a potential avenue of work and then made her transition into the field... and if you know anything about her, you know just how well that went.

She has a talk that I found really helpful about her score for Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation available on Youtube.

I genuinely think that this book is open to anyone, even if you're not 'musically inclined' (I really don't like that expression) and just happen to enjoy VGM, Film Scores, Electronic Music, or are a gamer interested in one of the most important aspects of the experience. I spoke to someone who just got this book and devoured it after getting an Inon Zur piece stuck in his head and is now fascinated by the whole area; he knew nothing about music past being a casual listener before and I think that's the important takeaway. It's not esoteric or some clandestine tome filled with confusing terminology, it's accessible.
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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've come across all forms of literature relating to composing, and specifically for video game music. And I can see where some people may not seem to understand terminology and process because of it.
Listening to Winifred's music lead me to this book and what can I say? It removes all language barriers that a fresh new composer may encounter.
As a composer myself, even after working in the industry, this book should become part of a staple diet for anyone interested in making music for video games, or even sound design for that matter.

Winifred's words are cemented with confidence to the reader as her experience emenates through the chapters. And removed is and pretentiousness that some longer established composers seem to offer.
This book is a bare-bones honest account of her experiences, mistakes and knowledge learned along the way to becoming one of the most respected composers in the video game industry.

Key information like working alongside middleware to aid yourself composing both ambient, situational and interactive audio are more than present and detailed.
The inspiration that she gives as well as the huge amount of interactivity with her readers via social media is something that many an isolated studio composer would hugely benefit from, initiate or experienced.
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