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Bonus Feature: Bringing Games To Life With The Sung Word

In Gamasutra's latest discipline-targeted bonus feature, veteran soundtrack composer Jesse Harlin argues eloquently for the expanded use of the sung word in game score
Most uses of voice in game soundtracks tend to be, well, rather samey. In Gamasutra's latest discipline-targeted bonus feature, The Power of the Sung Word, veteran soundtrack composer Jesse Harlin argues eloquently for its expanded use. The biggest cliche, warns Harlin, is using Latin choral music to appear epic. "For the most part, this seems to be due to tight deadlines, a Latin-illiterate audience, and a general sense that sounding like "Carmina Burana" will automatically result in an epic score." Why stick to Latin when you can communicate with your audience, Harlin asks -- "Setting meaningful text to your music adds an emotional impact unachievable with any other instrument and holds the potential to captivate listeners and pull them deeper within the game world." To this end, Harlin points out examples of games where voice has been used to communicate, at the least, setting -- in everything from Arabic in Assassin's Creed to synth burbles in Animal Crossing -- and resources where composers can track down sample choral text. You can now read the full Gamasutra feature (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites.

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