Sunday, April 21, 2013

Game Music Online: 8-bit Analysis

A few posts ago I mentioned I'd stumbled upon Jason Brame's blog 8-Bit Analysis doing some internet searches.  I've taken some time between now and then to read through it throughly and really enjoyed his postings.  Reading through a blog a few years older than mine definitely gave me a heads up on some of the challenges of maintaining a blog long term.  The hardest thing as I see with many of my favorite blogs are continuing to update regularly.  Also I realized that by linking to YouTube videos, over time my links will become broken and require updating.  I guess that goes with the territory of online blogging!  

If I'm honest with myself somewhere inside, Jason's blog is in some ways what I thought I wanted to make of this blog.  He does some very specific analysis and lots of detail with just a tiny piece of music.  However, as I read through it, I realized that I've definitely got a different audience in mind.  He shows the most impressive transcriptions and musical analyses, but the people who can read that sort of information and process it are few.  His blog is aimed at classically trained musicians.  So, even though I know basically all of the music he's listed (SMB 3 World Map 7 music is a little vague to me because I sucked so much at that level!), the advantage of having transcribed the music in standard notation is that a classically trained musician can look at it and hear it very clearly in the mind regardless of linking somewhere.  That said, some of my favorite posts were where, despite the transcribed versions, the videos he links to make his point perfectly clear with only aural means.  This post where he compares the water music of SMB and the Title Screen theme from SMB 2 is a perfect example.  

He's also got several links up at the bottom of the blog that I want to follow to keep learning more.  We would have overlapped at UNC by a year, but I don't think I knew Jason.  I'm definitely going to give his article "Thematic Unity Across a Video Game Series" a read soon.