I’m a music lover and I absolutely adore most of the music in World of Warcraft. We owe it to great composers like Russell Brower, Jason Hayes, Tracy W. Bush, Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford and Neal Acree.
Some people will argue that computer game soundtrack isn’t art and that the only real quality music was written over a century ago. I, obviously, disagree and I hate music snobs…
What people think of as ‘Classical’ music has always been the soundtrack of entertainement, although the official classical period only spans less than a century from 1750 to 1820. Starting around the 9th century, sacred medieval music was played during Christian and Jewish lithurgies and while we don’t have much traces of it, secular music of the time was probably played at courts to entertain local rulers. This is the case all the way until the 18-19th centuries when operas were the blockbusters of the time.
Today, since Mass and operas aren’t so popular anymore, ‘classical’ music is found in soundtracks. Wether it’s to accompany movies, games or TV series, composers still help us get away from our daily lives. They transport us in different places and times just with sound!
One day, I’m sure, the soundtracks of World of Warcraft will be what people think of as ‘classical’ music. Orchestras will play them at wedddings and celebrations. Some already do like the Symphonic Game Music Concerts in Germany, the Orchestral Game Music Concerts in Japan and PLAY! A Videogame Symphony in the US.
I’ve actually bought some WoW music on iTunes like Seasons of War or Lament of the Highborn. Take that last one. Sylvanas Windrunner sings it when you turn in the quest Journey to Undercity . You can start that mini quest chain by looting a Lady’s Necklace on Fallen Ranger or Deatholme Acolytes in Ghostlands. This song, composed by Derek Duke and Russell Brower, is a tribute to the elves who fought and died during the Fall of Quel’thalas and the War of the Ancients. Don’t tell me that’s not classical music!
If you didn’t get the quest or just don’t feel like going to Ghostlands you can copy and paste
in a chat window in game and you’ll hear Sylvanas singing no matter where you are.
Besides that awesome song, my favorite ambiance music is probably in Grizzly Hills. Although some people think it sounds a little too much like the theme of Deliverance, I love that fiddle/violin music and I don’t care if I have to put my pet on aggressive so that Gnoll hillbillies don’t sneak up behind me… Plus, the serene and relaxing atmosphere really helps while you’re fishing for that damn Sea Turtle…
One last note, thanks to the console commands in World of Warcraft, not only can you tweak many audio/video settings, you can also use them to listen to any song/sound file from the game. Whether you want to hear Illidan commenting on your preparedness or Prince saying how he’s not alone and that he will kick your butt with the help of the legions he commands. Here you can download a text list of all the soundfiles links including the new ones from Wrath of the Lich King. Some of my favorites:
Thorim: In the mountain
Illidan: You are not prepared
Ingvar the Plunderer : I will paint my face with your blood
Prince Malchezaar: You face not Malchezaar alone…
Archimonde: No, it cannot be…
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do. It always brings back such good memories to hear those bosses’ quotes. Especially when you spent week after week wiping on them and those quotes were slowly driving you and your raidmates mad…