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Hardcover | $29.95 Trade | £20.95 | ISBN: 9780262026642 | 288 pp. | 6x9 in | 42 b&w illus.| March 2014

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A Composer's Guide to Game Music


Music in video games is often a sophisticated, complex composition that serves to engage the player, set the pace of play, and aid interactivity. Composers of video game music must master an array of specialized skills not taught in the conservatory, including the creation of linear loops, music chunks for horizontal resequencing, and compositional fragments for use within a generative framework. In A Composer’s Guide to Game Music, Winifred Phillips—herself an award-winning composer of video game music—provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field. 
Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, the most important qualification for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. Phillips offers detailed coverage of essential topics, including musicianship and composition experience; immersion; musical themes; music and game genres; workflow; working with a development team; linear music; interactive music, both rendered and generative; audio technology, from mixers and preamps to software; and running a business. 
A Composer’s Guide to Game Music offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music within the constraints of a new medium.

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. 


“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 knowand loveher 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