Welcome To The Companion Website For
“The Theory And Practice Of Writing Music For Games”!

Chapter Materials


If you’ve purchased The Theory And Practice Of Music For Games, and are looking for the additional study materials, you’ve come to the right place.

On this page you’ll find all materials associated with the book, including images, videos, assignments, and more – all arranged according to chapter and respective subsections.

How To Use This Portal:
Simply scroll down to the accordion section on this page and select the chapter you wish to view. Use the “plus” or “minus” symbols on the right to expand the contents of each specific chapter.

If you have any issues accessing the information, please contact Game Audio Institute at outreach@gameaudioinstitute.com and we will assist you.

Level Up, Music & The Brain

Your Brain On Music


Musicalisch Wurfelspiel – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Concert For Piano And Orchestra By John Cage

Cage Using Chess as a Music/Sound Inspiration

John Cage – Chess Pieces
John Cage – Chess Pieces (Margaret Leng Tan)
Earle Brown Inspired Level In PlayStation Vita Game Sound Shapes
Southland Ensemble: December 1952 By Earle Brown
How Jazz Musicians Improvise Billy Taylor
Anthony Braxton – Creative Orchestra Music (1976) Analysis
Ghost Trance Septet Plays Anthony Braxton (Mini-Documentary)
John Zorn – Cobra (full album)
Super Mario Bros Full OST Piano Sheet
NES Audio: Brief Explanation Of Sound Channels
Diner Dash Gameplay

Will Wright

Lessons In Game Design, Lecture By Will Wright
Where 2012, Will Wright, “Gaming Reality”

The Game Design Document

Grand Theft Auto Game Design Document


How To Make A Game Design Document
Let’s Learn Game Dev | What Is A Game Design Document?
Music Maze Game Lesson

Game Composing Techniques In Action

Behind The Scenes Of The Red Dead Redemption Soundtrack
On The Peril Of Parrots


On The Peril Of Parrots Original Soundtrack By Chase Bethea


Alfred Blatter – Instrumentation And Orchestration
Walter Piston – Orchestration
Samuel Adler – The Study Of Orchestration

Website Resources

There are also a lot of resources for learning the art of orchestration online, also also a great way to go.

Here’s a link to one of our favorite sites:

Philharmonia Orchestra – Instruments Homepage


This site includes live demonstrations of instruments similar to what would happen in a masterclass. The Philharmonia’s players guide you through the intricacies of each instrument. It is a great resource for not only seeing but also hearing  differences in tone, timbre and registration for each instrumental group.

Sample Libraries

Native Instruments(NI) Kontakt: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/samplers/kontakt-7/

Kontakt is a very common standard for sample based instrument libraries. This is partially due to its power, flexibility, and customizability, allowing other developers or individuals to make their own instruments besides NI. There are also two versions of the program available – those composers less interested in making their own instruments can use the free Kontakt Player version and simply purchase their desired instrument from NI or other developers.

  IK Multimedia: https://www.ikmultimedia.com/

Ik Multimedia is also a major player in the sample game. They specialize in the development of software, hardware, and mobile apps for music production, recording, and audio processing. They have a wide range of products, including virtual instruments, effects processors, amplifiers, and recording interfaces, aimed at musicians, producers, and audio engineers.

  East West: https://www.soundsonline.com/composercloud

East West started out originally offering Kontakt based orchestral libraries, but has since transitioned to its own custom and proprietary format, called Play and now more recently a format called Opus. In addition they have also created a subscription-only based service where composers can have access to any of the 42,000 instruments they’ve created.

  Spitfire Audio: https://www.spitfireaudio.com/Although this company started like many others, offering Kontakt based instrument libraries, Spitfire has since struck out on their own with their own design, offering a huge array of instrumental and sonic goodness ranging from free options, like the BBC Discovery Orchestra and the 30+ and growing LABS instruments, all the way up to premium library collections fetching several hundreds. One other amazing resource of note is Pianobook.co.uk, https://www.pianobook.co.uk/ , started by Spitfire co-founder, composer Christian Henson and featuring a growing 900+ instrument collection of sampled instruments, most of these available for free.

Notation Programs


Sibelius is produced by Avid Technologies, the same company that makes ProTools. It is currently the world’s largest selling music notation program. Named after the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, the company was founded in April 1993 by twin brothers Ben and Jonathan Finn, In 2006 it was acquired by Avid. You would think that because they are part of the same company that the integration between the two would be seamless, this however is not the case. Importing a Pro-Tools MIDI file into Sibelius is pretty much the same as all the others. However, it does have a reputation for being a bit more intuitive and user friendly than the others listed here.


Finale produced by MakeMusic, Inc. and has been around the longest of all the notation programs. It was first published in 1988. Finale, like the others listed here is very feature rich, it also has the reputation of having a steep learning curve. Finale offers composers more features that make it possible to produce scores that use extended techniques and unconventional or abstract notation. Finale is the only program here that does not include the playback of synced video along with the score.


Dorico,  released in 2016, is a recent newcomer to scoring apps, and was developed by most of the team that were associated with Sibelius, and who were forced out when they were acquired by Avid in 2012. It is published by Steinberg, makers of Cubase and Nuendo and claims it has a more intuitive workflow, though there are differences of opinion on that.  Although the software is designed to be user-friendly, in actuality, just like Finale and Sibelius,  it has a relatively steep learning curve and logic flow of its own that requires patience to adapt to. Dorico does have its own vision of bringing DAW functionality and notation workflow closer together. Additionally there are several levels of Dorico available – SE is a free version with limited staves, the budget conscious Elements version currently allows up to 24 players/parts, and the top of the line Pro version is unlimited. Dorico also offers a version running on iPad, with subscription or one time payment options to extend functionality in their Premiere version.


Musescore is a bit different from the others, it is free and open-source under the GNU General Public License. Created In 2002, when Werner Schweer, one of the MusE developers, decided to remove notation support from MusE and create a stand-alone notation program from the codebase. It is not as full featured as the others mentioned here and in general is a good starter program but not considered to be fully up to professional standards. However, the most recent version (version 4) has overhauled the entire UI, and provides a sample set that is much improved. And we did mention it was free, so for those on very tight budgets this is a great option.

Sound Editors

Twisted Waves: https://twistedwave.com/

Adobe Audition: https://www.adobe.com/products/audition.html

Wave Lab: https://www.steinberg.net/wavelab/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA37KbBhDgARIsAIzce15HOQhfviC3L98_IcwO_lp-h-yM5nuMOlxgiUlVzgJnZkrVXVUAIZYaApZ7EALw_wcB

Audacity: https://www.audacityteam.org/download/SoundForge Pro: https://www.magix.com/us/music-editing/sound-forge/sound-forge-pro/

Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy VI – Another World Of Beasts

Yoko Shimomura

Kingdom Hearts Music – Hollow Bastion
Odd Time Signatures In Video Game Music


Batman: Arkham Knight Beginning Of The Game Music Only


Richard Wagner’s Ring And The Leitmotif


Legend Of Zelda – Chest Opening And Getting Item
What Makes A GOOD Leitmotif? | Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers Of Time/Darkness/Sky

Steve Kirk

Game Music: Farmville – Theme Song
Farmville Theme Performed by Composer Steve Kirk


Naughty Bear Soundtrack – Episode 1 (Intro)
Naughty Bear Soundtrack – Episode 1 (Peace)


Top 20 Jump Scares In Video Games


What Is Orchestration | Leonard Bernstein
Steve Bartek TV Film Scores, Orchestrator, Composer Part 2
Orchestrating Video Game Music (For Live Orchestra)
Voyeur Medley – Garry Schyman
Hit List Interview With Bioshock Infinite Composer Garry Schyman
Garry Schyman/P. Bateman – BioShock Suite | WDR Funkhausorchester
ABZU Raw Scoring Session Footage
ABZU – To Know, Water – As Noted
ABZU Soundtrack Complete OST – Music By Austin Wintory, With Text Commentary
Destiny 2 Original Soundtrack – Track 06 – Lost Light (Featuring Kronos Quartet)
Destiny 2 Original Soundtrack – Track 08 – Battle Stations

Don’t Forget The Mix

iZotope: Mastering Video Game Music


Mixing And Mastering Tutorial For Beginners

Cinematic traditions in games

Death Stranding – Opening Cutscene (5 minutes)
Days Gone – Opening Cutscene (In Process)
The Sumerian Game (from ‘Arcadology’)
Ms. Pac Man – Cutscenes
The Daedalus Encounter
Cadillacs And Dinosaurs – Opening Cutscene

The Art of Composing to Moving Pictures

Musicians’ Brains On Display (University Of Helsinki)
How Does Music Affect Your Brain? (WIRED)
JAWS; Without Music and With Music
Call Of Champions – Tutorial Cinematic (music by Winifred Phillips
Shattered State – Introduction (music by Winifred Phillips)


The Lost World: Jurassic Park – Walkthrough/Longplay (PS1)

Defining Gameplay Style

NBA 2K22 Gameplay
DOOM Eternal: Super Gore Nest Master Level Ultra Nightmare
14 Minutes Of Monster Hunter World Gameplay Gamescom 2017
Skyrim Gameplay (Music Only)

Transitions Are Hard

Ori And The Blind Forest – Beginning Of The Game – Music Only


Why “No Music” Was The Goal In The Pathless

Game Music Systems

Music Systems Analysis: Persona 5
Persona 5 Royal Gameplay & Walkthrough Part 2 Awaken, Arsene! No Commentary
Music Systems Analysis: The Tetris Effect
10 Minutes Of Tetris Effect Music And Gameplay

More On The Conceptualization And Application Of Audio Middleware

iMUSE Demonstration 2 – Seamless Transitions
ST2 – #15 – LucasArts: iMUSE (w/George Sanger, Clint Barjakian, & Peter McConnell)
Peggle 2: Storytelling Through Adaptive Music

Old And New

Anton Von Webern Symphony Op. 21 (1927-28) Manuscript Score
Anton Von Webern, Explained In 10 Minutes
Serialism & Sonification In Mini Metro (GDC 2018)
Making Infinite Music For No Man’s Sky
The Surprisingly Complex Music Of Wii Play’s Tanks!
Super Mario Galaxy: All Rolling Ball Galaxies
Ape Out – Reactive Music System
FRACT OSC Gameplay Part 1
SimCell Trailer – Educational Biology Game
The Generative Music And Procedural Sound Design Of SimCell
Achievement Guide – Bad Hotel (Part 1)
Trippy VR Game Up For Award At SXSW
Constellation CSound 2017

Where Do I Go From Here: Industry Thoughts And Resources

Recording The Soundtrack To Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Video Game
Interactive Audio Special Interest Group


International Game Develops Association
Game Audio Network Guild
Global Game Jam


Ludum Dare Game Jam


Game Developer’s Conference




Ardennes – Wilbert Roget, II