Dynamic music (also known as Adaptive or Interactive Music) is a concept used in many video games, whereby specific events cause the background music to change.
Its very first use was RBI Baseball where having a runner on base changed the music. After this, its next uses in major video games were Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge and Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. It has since been used in such games as Mushroom Men and Guitar Hero. It is a staple of the role-playing game genre, often being used to change the music when the player is in combat, such as in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
The music in video or computer games and certain films are meant to draw you through a storyline using two distinct techniques. Horizontal re-sequencing and Vertical re-orchestration. Horizontal re-sequencing is the method by which pre-composed segments of music can be re-shuffled according to a player’s choice of where they go in a storyline or environment. Vertical re-orchestration is the technique of changing the mix of separate parts of an ongoing loop of music in relation to a player’s movement within the narrative of a game. Games, such as Halo 2, employ a mixture of these techniques in the creation of their soundtracks. Street Fighter II is an example of a game which changes the music's tempo under certain circumstances.
Dynamic music was used notably in theatre in 2010 in the play 'Dom Duardos' from Gil Vicente, co-produced by Companhia Contigo Teatro and Grupo de Mímica e Teatro Oficina Versus, with music by Pedro Macedo Camacho.
- dnoticias, Newspaper news about Dom Duardos from Gil Vicente, retrieved 2011-01-15
- audiokinetic, Audiokinetic interview with Pedro Macedo Camacho, retrieved 2011-01-15
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