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.
Many of LucasArts' games used the iMUSE dynamic music system, from Monkey Island 2 onwards and including games like Dark Forces, TIE Fighter, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango. The iMUSE system is notable in that it segues seamlessly between different pieces of music rather than having an abrupt cut.
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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