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Classical music is everywhere in video games. Works by composers like Bach and Mozart fill the soundtracks of games ranging from arcade classics, to indie titles, to major franchises like BioShock, Civilization, and Fallout. Children can learn about classical works and their histories from interactive iPad games. World-renowned classical orchestras frequently perform concerts of game music to sold-out audiences. But what do such combinations of art and entertainment reveal about the cultural value we place on these media? Can classical music ever be video game music, and can game music ever be classical? Delving into the shifting and often contradictory cultural definitions that emerge when classical music meets video games, Unlimited Replays offers a new perspective on the possibilities and challenges of trying to distinguish between art and pop culture in contemporary society.
About the Author
William Gibbons is Associate Professor of Musicology at Texas Christian University, where he is also Associate Dean of the College of Fine Arts. He is the author of Building the Operatic Museum: Eighteenth-Century Opera and Fin-de-siècle Paris and co-editor of Music in Video Games: Studying Play.