Who actually created the music?

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pepak
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Who actually created the music?

Post by pepak »

I wonder whether someone can shed some light on the actual composers of music in 8-bit games. I am specifically interested in the cases where the games from different platforms show different data:

1) The same music, the same composer. Example: Saboteur 2. This is easy, both C64 and Sinclair versions are the same, if we account in the hardware abilities of each machine.

2) Different music, different composers. Example: Savage, Firefly. My guess is that the music was created independently for each machine and can be considered a completely different work, despite the same game title attached to it. Though I wonder just why wasn't the same music used, considering that e.g. graphics and gameplay are pretty much the same.

3) The same music, different composers. Example: Treasure Island Dizzy. This one baffles me. The C64 music is attributed to Matt Gray, the Sinclair music to David Whittaker, but both are pretty much the same. So who did actually create the music? I understand why different musicians would be called upon to implement the music on different machines, but obviously they had to start with the same basic formula. Who created that?

4) "Stolen" music. Example: The Lord of the Rings. Who made the decisions to use a pre-existing music still under copyright? I can understand the use of classical works with expired copyright, or adapting the movie or TV music to a game based on that movie/TV show. But there are numerous examples of completely unrelated music being used in a game, without any apparent attribution to the original authors. Jean Michel Jarre's music was quite often used in this way, presumably because it was very popular at the time, but I have some trouble understanding the use of rather obscure pieces as was the case with the Lord of the Rings game, attributed to Charles Deenen but actually coming from Basil Poledouris' Flesh+Blood. Was it the composer's decision, or was he asked by the publisher to use a particular music?

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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by simonblanc »

interesting topic. but I’m wondering who creates music in modern slot machines? I play and the music is really impressive.

Chris Abbott
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by Chris Abbott »

Most of them... Mark Cooksey! This is true, it's how he's earnt his living for years.
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by Chris Abbott »

That spam question was accidentally interesting, but I removed the link, and will delete Simon if he tries that again.

[edit: rethink - deactivated him instead]
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

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poke16384
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by poke16384 »

In answer to your 'question 4'...

I would guess that 2 copyrights exist...

The copyright for the film music.. belonging to either the composer or the film/production, (depending on how the music was contracted... music bought outright or composer hired to compose)

...and then the intellectual copyright for the 'game version' of the music.. belonging to either the 'game music' composer or the software house, (again depending on their particular arrangement or contract).
It's all about the notes, where you put 'em, what you do with 'em and how long they last

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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by Chris Abbott »

(2) there would be a different story behind each incident

(3) They're just ports: if in doubt, assume that David Whittaker just ported it :)

(4) Sometimes musicians steal, sometimes they're told to steal, sometimes they got a specific licence for a specific tune to be used in a certain way for a certain period of time, in a certain market.... again, as many stories as there are incidents.
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

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LMan
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by LMan »

Holy cow, what a fun fact about Mark Cooksey, Chris!

pepak
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by pepak »

I am rather surprised that DW would be more likely to port than compose. I've always liked his work, so it would be disappointing if it turned out not to be his.

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C64GLeN
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by C64GLeN »

pepak wrote:
<span class="hotdate" style="color:#888;">23/04/2020 - 13:55</span>
I am rather surprised that DW would be more likely to port than compose. I've always liked his work, so it would be disappointing if it turned out not to be his.
He would do what he was asked to do by the developers/publisher.

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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by LaLa »

Chris Abbott wrote:
<span class="hotdate" style="color:#888;">03/04/2020 - 15:10</span>
Most of them... Mark Cooksey! This is true, it's how he's earnt his living for years.
Wow, I did not know that! I wish I knew this back when I was programming slot machine games for a living... (The in-house musicians I worked with were also very talented, but they had no C64 background.)
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by Waz »

I'm more surprised Mark Cooksey didn't get the Ghosts and Goblins drums into a fruit machine somewhere - that would be an iconic "I remember that!" moment for anyone playing said machine.
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Re: Who actually created the music?

Post by Chris Abbott »

lol, he would have had to get that past the producers... ;-)
Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?

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