Video Game Music

Annotated Bibliography


Cerrati, Michael. “Video Game Music: Where It Came From, How It Is Being Used Today, and Where It Is Heading Tomorrow.” Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Vol. 8 No. 2 (2006): 293 – 334.

An article addressing the many aspects of the video game industry – how it has developed, how the music is obtained, why the recognition of the music is important, and where this field of video game music is headed.


Cheng, William. Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

A discussion of the many diverse roles that music and sound effects play in video games, ranging from how music reflects certain scenes and effects players psychologically, to social and political issues, such as the harassment of women in the gaming industry.


Collins, Karen. Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design. Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2008.

Using a broad scope of sources, including composers, industry conferences, sound designers, etc., this book is an exploration of the missing component in the study of video games – the use of music and sound effects throughout gameplay.


Donnelly, K.J., William Gibbons, and Neil Lerner, eds. Music in Video Games: Studying Play. New York: Routledge, 2014.

A collection of scholarly essays that use concepts from game studies, music theory, and musicology to examine the development of the history and function of music in video games.


Kamp, Michiel. “Musical Ecologies In Video Games.” Philosophy & Technology, Vol. 27 No. 2 (2014): 235 – 249.

An article showing, through many case studies, how non-diegetic music plays a role in and beyond the gaming environment


Medina-Gray, Elizabeth. “Modular Structure and Function In Early 21st Century Video Game Music.” PhD diss., Yale University, 2014.

A dissertation that focuses on the modular structure – the different dynamics (changing of scenes in gameplay) – and how it effect the approach to the study of video game music, as it is different from the study of other multimedia music, such as film music.


Newcomb, David Lawrence. “The Fundamentals of the Video Game Music Genre.” Thesis, James Madison University, 2012.

A doctoral thesis discussing the development of video game music as its own distinct genre and how it has compositionally grown to a full orchestral sound.









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