Video games are programming a love for classical music

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The Future. Classical music has historically been viewed as a rarified art form that’s the domain of elite society. Well, video games are saying “game over” to that notion, as the genre has become a staple in some of the biggest titles out there, including Starfield and Assassin’s Creed. Considering today’s teens are playing more games than previous generations, don’t be surprised if we start to see a major uptick in composition majors in the coming years.

Open worlds and orchestras
J. Aaron Hardwick, an Orchestra Director and Assistant Professor of Music at Wake Forest University, argues video games are re-igniting a love of classical music in wider culture.

  • Before the hyped release of the game Starfield, the London Symphony Orchestra performed a “Starfield Suite” concert at the world-renowned Alexandra Palace Theatre — it sold out.
  • That comes on the heels of video game music being included in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer series last year and popular video game-inspired symphony series like GameOn! and Distant Worlds.
  • The Grammys even introduced a Best Video Game Soundtrack award this year, which was given to Stephanie Economou for her work on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarök.

According to a poll conducted by the Royal Philharmonic, “more young people are exposed to classical music through video games than through attending live performances.”

Video game composer and conductor Eimear Noone takes it a step further, saying “more young people listen to orchestral music through their game consoles today than have ever listened to orchestral music in the history of music.” 

Who knew the contemporary medium would be the savior of one of the oldest.


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