For September, we take you on a whistlestop tour of compositions for video games, through the ages... Some music is intrinsically linked to the gameplay itself, other tracks are simply to compliment the stunning visuals of each game, but are no less meaningful to the gameplay. And this year (2023), the very first Grammy award was given out for the most outstanding video game music, which shows how important the genre is becoming.

We start with, quite possibly, one of the most famous video game themes in existence today, but with a twist... did you know you can play music with Van De Graaf generators?!

We continue with one of our Comms person, Beka's favourite games from childhood, Auf Wiedersehen Monty (she's a game nerd and proud of it). Made for the Commodore 64, and with only a limited number of sounds, buzzers and effects to play with, composers Rob Hubbard and Ben Dalglish created this catchy masterpiece:

The following is also a very famous composition by Hirokazu Tanaka for the 1989 game, Tetris (but again, with a twist... this time in the form of a full orchestra):

Moving through game development into the early 90s, this music for Doom, by Mick Gordon, reflects the themes and nature of the (often violent) gameplay. But the game was an innovative first-person perspective shoot 'em up and had a marked influence on the gaming industry as a whole:

Something a little gentler to represent the indie gaming scene now... and this full soundtrack to Machinarium (a delightful, more friendly, puzzle solving adventure) is a fascinating exploration of musical themes and genres. Composed by Tomas Dvorak for Amanita:

One brilliantly and gorgeously composed suggestion for a more recent gaming score (well... the musical kind) comes from the knowledgeable son (in both music and gaming) of our esteemed Director, Gail (thank you to him and to Gail for asking!). This hauntingly beautiful music is from composer, Jeremy Soul for The Elder Scrolls:

And this equally glorious composition (which won the first Grammy award for music composition in games, as mentioned earlier!) comes from Sarah Schachner, Jesper Kyd and Einar Selvik for Assassin's Creed: Valhalla:

Finally, to end... interwoven into the interaction necessary to complete each level in the Monument Valley series, composer Todd Baker, has created music and sounds that are generated by turning cranks and shifting blocks in the gaming environment to solve each puzzle, with the remit of creating a relaxing, zen-like vibe (Beka is also a fan of this lovely game from ustwo):