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  • Writer's pictureJoey Baek

Genre Mixing and Music Composition

I never call myself a person who understands sound design. I could never create music by myself, but I am a hobbyist of music I understand the genres that are expressed throughout generations and the different paths it has taken. This is merely a piece about my love for hearing these designs that may be underappreciated.

Music has always been defined in specific genres. Classical music has been defined as for the rich and refined. Pop portrayed as the teenager spirit including rock and electronic. With rock and heavy metal be for the most rebellious groups of society. They also have defined instruments, each genre has its staples of instruments. (Classical - cello, piano, violins Pop - vocals, bass, electric guitars Electronic - sound pads, mixers)

Many different worlds with different perspectives and people. The clashes of reality and perception. However, what happens when you combine them.

It is difficult to incorporate such clashing genres together, however, if done well it produces a masterpiece one of unity yet the music battling each other creates tension and climaxes.

This Keiki Kobayashi is the composer of the Ace Combat 7 soundtrack. Most composers like him are underappreciated but his works I believe are revolutionary to the whole scheme of music genres. It breaks all limitations about boundaries and standards set for each genre. Ace Combat Orchestra composition is unconventional. Producing instruments that are normally seen but adding instruments and vocals such as electric guitar, drums, bass, electronic sound design, and choir.

Jumping from classical to electronic to funk then straight to Latin choirs. The versatility that it provides allows the soundtrack to be fresh in every design. An unpredictable song composition that can adapt to its needs as seen fit. When I found this niche genre it exploded my views of genres. It could no longer be contained in specific regulations and pieces it was rather that person's music. Instead of a classical piece, it was a Kobayashi piece. Their pieces can be rather melodic such as Journey Home (0:42:59) to an electric guitar solo in Magic Spear 1 (1:07:00). They then explode in force with Daredevil ( these combinations of opposite forces create such a unity that creates a build-up that one genre could not produce on its own. The opportunity for innovation in this field is much more expansive than any other.

This is Yu Peng Chen the composer for Genshin Impact. His composition concepts derive similarly to Keiki Kobayashi. However, his music style comes from his own music design. Orchestrating multiple different genres and mixing them together like a chef. While Kobayashi's art provides versatility and flexibility, Yu Peng Chen offers continuity, unity, and trueness to the environment.

Genshin Impact environments are very close to reality. Mondstadt is modeled after Germany, Liyue is China, and Inazuma is Japan-oriented. Yu Peng uses these tools that are already given to him to create his own pieces based on that. He stays true to his environment, modeling his music around you grabbing your attention into the piece, mesmerizing you with it, immersing yourself with it.

His battle themes consist of an intro, phase one, and phase two. The intro sets the tone for the entire set. Big brass and trumpets overlay the first piece to set a deep tone. With strings and choir accompanying that bass with correlating minor chords to set that mood. He likes to change the flexibility of traditional music in his own path. Phase one consists of many different Japanese instruments however one difference in their usage is they are being distorted electronically. Throughout the series, he makes very similar music to each other with different twists. Compare the stark contrasts that Phase two of this song and the universal theme ( This theme is heard all around Inazuma, every time you play the game you would hear the same rhythm. That same rhythm is used in the final climax of the story, yet instead of it being the melodic piece you knew to remember it is added on to it with many different elements adding a level of complexity to it. Not only does Chen achieve different genres to work together he makes all his music pieces work together to create the most immersive environment for the player. The base rhythm of most of these songs can be all around the game, the familiarity toys with the player adding even memories or nostalgia to the piece. However, there are downsides that might not sound fresh after many times, but its design and amount of effort put into the grand scheme of things are a masterpiece in itself.

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Brian Baek
Brian Baek
Jan 03, 2022

This is really analytical approach. Good job Joey!!

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