Thursday, March 23, 2006

RPG article: Recommended Ambient Music
by Tobie Abad
(written way back March 14, 2001)

Here are some of the highly recommended music CDs that I use in my games. I have arranged them to be organized by "time period." Some of them are pretty obscure titles, while others are a bit more familiar.

Scores can be used as mere background music that builds the mood instead of the scene. In other words, the music is meant for the PLAYERS to hear, not the characters. On occasion, it can be fun to incorporate the music as something meant for the player characters as well. (For example, when meeting a person of authority, play Pachebel's Canon as the characters enter the room and describe the music as something the characters hear from the main office. Then scream and cut the music abruptly. The players can have a better idea what happened.)

It takes practice to use music. And more so to familiarize yourself with each track to find the right one to use at a key moment, but trust me, using music effectively can be a huge addition to establishing immersive games.

Hope you find this useful!

*Note though when SCORE and not Soundtrack is used. And if an artist is given by name, it normally means any CD by the artist is pretty much safe to explore.

1.) Il Postino Soundtrack
2.) Medieval babes
3.) Enya
4.) Classical Music, especially those by Verdi, Strauss, Orff and Pachebel
5.) Princess Mononoke Soundtrack
6.) Final Fantasy V Score
7.) Tracks from Diablo
8.) Tracks from Vampire: the Redemption
9.) Final Fantasy VII Soundtrack(not much though, just a few)
10.) Loreena McKennit
11.) Story of the Rose Soundtrack
12.) Landscapes collections (these go for a $1 each)
13.) Joan of Arc: The Messenger soundtrack
14.) Gladiator Score
15.) Era
16.) Interview with a Vampire
17.) Bram's Stoker's Dracula
18.) Nausicaa Score
19.) Insider Soundtrack
20.) Dead Can Dance
21.) The Red Violin
22.) First Knight Soundtrack
23.) La Cite Des Enfants perdus Soundtrack
24.) Last of the Mohicans Soundtrack

1.) Devil's Advocate Soundtrack
2.) Le Femme Nikita Soundtrack
3.) Stigmata Soundtrack
4.) Se7en Soundtrack
5.) Romeo and Juliet Score
6.) Silence of the Lambs Score
7.) Fifth Element Soundtrack
8.) Matrix Score
9.) Enemy of the State Soundtrack
10.) Ghost in the Shell Score
11.) Akira Soundtrack
12.) Evangelion Score
13.) Silent Hill Score
14.) Dark City Soundtrack
15.) Enigma
16.) The Crow Score
17.) The Red Shoe Diaries Soundtracks
18.) Twin Peaks: Walk the Fire with Me
19.) Almost any techno/drum and bass music
20.) Anthony Way
21.) X Files Mike Snow Score
22.) City of Angels Score
23.) Terminator 2 Score
24.) Mission Impossible 1 Score

And for more experienced Storytellers, try mixing music from either list for any setting. Even gospel chants by Benedictine Monks can sound disturbingly appropriate if used in a Modern Setting.

Have fun!

Nikki Alfar
Tobie Abad
Gabby Lee
Andre Mischa Cleofe
Cathy delos Santos

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