via Midnight Music
The Epic Battle Music Theme project is based on creating a theme which is a repeatable loop of music. The idea here is that the loop has 3 versions (or ‘layers”) and each of the layers is triggered by actions that the player takes in the game.
- Layer 1 is what I refer to as the “Just walking around” layer and it is the least intense (fewer instruments, quieter, less rhythmic intensity). This is the type of music that you might hear in the game when the player is moving through a scene and nothing much is going on
- Layer 2 is what I call the “Oh-oh…something’s gonna happen layer” and it is a little more intense than Layer 1 (more tracks, building rhythmic intensity, medium dynamic level). This version of the loop is heard when the player has triggered some kind of action in the game: they are approaching a scary location, an evil creature is on its way, or there is an impending battle
- Layer 3 is the “Help, I’m in trouble!” layer and it’s the most intense (more instrumental tracks, loudest dynamic level, widest range of pitches, the most rhythmically intense). This is the music that would be heard when the player has triggered the next stage of the game and the actual attack or battle starts.
All 8th grade students at Vernon Center Middle School take a music technology and composition course at our school called Soundtrack Creation. This course uses our class set of iPads and has students explore the role of soundtracks in scary movies, within news broadcasts, and then finally as part of a video game. All of these units are inspired by resources in the Midnight Music Community. This article shows how I use the Video Game Epic Battle Music project in my classroom and provides one example of how to present this idea to students.