Conductors with Controllers: OSU’s Unique Musical Classroom | Entertainment


Classes will resume soon. For some, this can be an exciting opportunity to learn new concepts. For others, it’s an obstacle in their schedule that blocks their time to have fun.

No matter which side people can land on, Oklahoma State offers plenty of courses.

One of the more unique courses students can take at OSU is MUSI 3593, Video Game Music. Video Game Music, as the name of the course suggests, is a class dedicated to video game music and sound design. The class is taught by Igor Karača, and the origin of the class began with a desire to get more students to think critically about music.

“A video game soundtrack is a unique art form, an aural experience that engages people through musical immersion,” Karača said. “We thought having a video game music course would be a great way to engage students of all majors and get them listening, analyzing and thinking about music.”

The course is still relatively new, as Karača began teaching it in the spring semester of 2022. Although it is one of the shortest permanent courses on campus, students have enjoyed the materials .

“I personally enjoyed the course and found the homework fun and entertaining,” said one student. “The manual could be applied to our work and helped me learn a lot about music and information about game creators.”

Video games have so many different sounds to make them work cohesively. Whether it’s the old school sound of Mario jumping down a pipe in Super Mario Bros, the sound of footsteps used in shooters like Call of Duty, or the booming awe-inspiring soundtrack while slaying enemies in action games like God of War, there are a lot of moving parts that go into making a video game. Luckily for students looking to take video game music lessons in Oklahoma State, Karača’s course is organized into specific key points.

“Video game soundtracks have come a long way, from the bleeps and bloops of yesteryear to the orchestral mixes and vaporwave beats of today,” Karača said. “When we talk about how effective a game is at what it’s trying to do, music often plays a key role.”

“Skyrim’s epic chanting urges you to battle a dragon, Breath of the Wild’s lonely piano mix helps sell Hyrule’s quiet seclusion, and The Witcher 3’s folksy instrumentals make you feel at home on the One of the key concepts of the class is that with the rapid advances in technology accompanying video games, soundtracks have changed dramatically and have become an important part of the storytelling process.”

Video games can be a fun time with friends or a great quest for an individual, but with the music removed from the player, it can leave a hollow experience.

“Music is a powerful tool that can control emotion and can set the tone of the story being told,” Karača said. “In film, many fans look to the soundtrack as a basis for setting the scene. It’s no different in the video game industry. The nature of video games allows for an even more immersive experience than film. You control a character’s actions rather than watching them happen, so for a video game developer it’s essential that you have a soundtrack that can create an atmosphere that truly captivates the player.

Whether a student needs another course credit or is just interested in learning more about video game music, MUSI 3193 is a class that does it all. Video Game Music is a unique course that exposes a plethora of other special classroom experiences at Oklahoma State.

“As video games have become more mainstream, soundtracks have become bigger and much more impressive,” Karača said. “This trend can only continue in the years to come, which is a good sign for both the video game industry and the music industry in general. If you want to learn more about this subject, take our course : Video game music, MUSI 3593.”


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