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From NPR/music, Nico Muhly on Finding One’s Way into Serious Music Through Games

Nico Muhly: Gaming One’s Way Into Classical Music

“I want to offer a slightly more obscure but, I think, much more popular (in terms of numbers) counterexample. Although my parents had classical music on LP’s in the house, the childhood music I remember the most vividly is fragments from either live performances or, strangely, video games at my friends’ houses.

For me, living in the country, playing a video game was sort of like music minus one: The actions of my hands informed, in a strange way, the things I heard. Collect a coin, and a delighted glockenspiel sounds. Move from navigating a level above ground to one below ground, and the eager French chromaticism of the score changes to a spare, beat-driven minimal texture. Hit a star, and suddenly the score does a metric modulation. All of these things come to bear in a later musical education; I’m positive I understand how augmented chords change an emotional texture because of Nintendo music.

These are private musical revelations that happened in the manic, parched late-night of a sleepover, but then came to bear later in the context of actual chamber music.”

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See the full article here.

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