soundtrack

Sid Meier’s Civilization series is a videogame that serves as a history teacher and strategy simulator, this requires a big a mount of research from the developers in order to deliver the most precise records from the most important events in human history, from the prehistoric age to modern times.

In Civilization VI one of the key aspects of the whole game is the music, not just because of how it helps with the inmersion but the way every nation has its own original soundtrack

Geoff Knorr’s Soundtrack

Civilization VI’s soundtrack is the work of Geoff Knorr, an american composer, orchestrator, mixer engineer and sound designer. He was highly praised by his work in Civilization games since 2014’s Civilization V.

My entry into games is fairly recent. As divine providence would have it, I was interning at a Baltimore recording studio and Firaxis came to that studio looking to record choir for the Civilization IV: Beyond The Sword Expansion Pack. I was able to provide the music transcription and score preparation as well help find singers from the Peabody Institute for the recording session. Afterwards, I kept in contact with Michael Curran and Mark Cromer, two of the audio guys at the time at Firaxis, in case a place opened up for me — which did happen in October of 2008. Civilization V is my first large video game project — most of my prior compositional work has been in concert music. Even today I am trying to stay active in both music for media and music for the concert hall.

Geof Knorr

The way the game works is that you choose one leader, for example, Ghandi from India, and when you start the game you begin your adventure at 4000 BC, this also marks the begining of the music’s evolution throughout history.

Civilization

Every specific soundtrack has 4 versions throughout a single campaign, these 4 versions spread out through 9 eras:

  • Ancient Era (4000 BC)
  • Classical Era (1600 BC)
  • Medieval Era (120 ~ 200 AD)
  • Renaissance Era (1100 ~ 1200)
  • Industrial Era (1625 ~ 1675)
  • Modern Era (1840 ~ 1860)
  • Atomic Era (1920 ~ 1950)
  • Information Era (1960 ~ 2000)
  • Future Era  (2020 ~ 2050)

Another subtle yet impressive feature of Civ VI is its soundtrack…The music reflects the state of the world, mirroring the evolution of your empire as you enter new eras. The CIV VI soundtrack has become one of my favourite video game soundtracks of all time…and excels in making the gameplay more immersive and helping you to feel as if the world really is growing before you.

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There is also an interesting idea which is that there is two different playlists for war and peace, for each of the four regions in order to maintain a grater sense of inmersion and tension when things between nations aren’t at their best.

Great Inspirations

There’s a wide range of big classical compositions that can be found in the game, and this is a trend that has been present in all of the games throughout the series, at least as much as it can be. Nowadays there are bigger budget for videogames and bigger soundtrack possibilities as it is with Civilization 6.

Once again, some great “classical” orchestral music can be found in these playlists — compositions by Copland, Holst, Mahler, Grieg to mention a few — and we wanted to retain this from Civilization IV, as long as it fit the mood we were trying to create. The mood was most important to us — we had a very specific idea of what the soundtrack should sound like, and the leader music was being written to match that vision. In Civilization V, we integrated this leader music into the playlists in a very cool way, and expanded the depth of the playlists in doing so.

Geoff Knorr

It’s a rich game with rich music that surely deserves high praise and wether you enjoy playing the game or not, it’s soundtrack is worth listening to.

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These days, a lot of the entertainment industry is all about movies, TV shows, video games and in between, commercials, ads and much more. The truth is that while the visual side of all these forms of art is essential, what would it all be without music? There is a different approach to music when the final product has to be in sync with the story or message that is being told visually, in this regard, music accentuates, adds or even complicates things to the overall experience.

It’s not hard to think about iconic soundtracks, with some very known and loved in cinema such as Star Wars, 007, Kill Bill, series such as Star Trek, The Twilight Zone and many more. There are also many iconic soundtracks that most people are able to recognize such as Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter.

Of course, the approach is different depending on which type or art or entertainment the music is for, let’s dive into some aspects of each one of them.

Movies

The first movie ever to have a musical score was “Don Juan” which was released  in 1926, a year later with “The Jazz Singer” sound and music became part of what made these films so amazing. From that moment on, films were usually accompanied by music, even before actors spoke lines of dialogues. It was clear that music helped represent the story and deliver a more compelling experience to the viewer and now listener.

These days it’s such an integral part of the industry that awards are given to the best musical score every year and many talented musicians work most of their time giving life to the sound of the stories that movies tell, and sometimes being the story itself, as it is with musicals.

TV

While it’s very similar,TV shows work a little different, and a lot of this has to do with show’s intros and credits scene, because not only does it needs to represent the show and display a very defined identity, but it will also sound every single time the show is on air. This makes music divert a little from the art and more into the business side of things, since it has to be catchy and promote the show itself every time it’s music comes on air and through commercials.

This of course extends to cartoons such as Looney Tunes,and Hanna-Barbera productions, which have very memorable melodies.

Commercials

Commercials’ music or jingles, were all about being catchy and short, while giving a sense of happiness and drawing the viewer in through emotion, while the eyes see the real product.

Video Game Soundtrack

At first, video games featured very simple tunes, as the technology did not allowed a great quality to be included in the game, however as time went by, music in video games began to take a place similar to movies, with the difference of being more dynamic. What this means is that music didn’t just play at certain moments, it played when you made the moments happen. A good early example of this is with Sonic the Hedgehog, a game in which you had the general soundtrack of a level, but if you picked up a speed power up, the music changed to the tone of going faster, or if you started to drown, the music change to a more stress like, soundtrack, as well as more dramatic music when encountering more powerful enemies.

Being a musician actually has many branches,and there is no doubt that working on musical scores and soundtracks has a lot to cover nowadays, you just have to let yourself explore.

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