The managing director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra believes that video games are a great way to get kids interested in classical music.
For almost all of us, video games played a massive part of our childhood. Whether it be Sonic, Mario, Spyro, Crash, or otherwise, the majority of us have fond memories of gaming as we grew up. Quite a few things remind us of those memories too, one of the main things being when we hear the music from those iconic games.
Whether it's the catchy theme tune to Emerald Hill Zone, the way the music changes when Mario descends down into the dungeon, or the tune that would play when you entered into a battle on Pokemon Red and Blue, there are some scores that almost all gamers just instantly recognize. Even though that seems to be a thing of the past in many ways, it would seem that the video game music of today is influencing young gamers in another way.
James Williams, the managing director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, believes that video game music is a great jumping off point to get children interested in classical music. "This is a very big industry now, all the major gaming companies commission their own music and they often have their own in-house composers," he explained to The Daily Telegraph.
The RPO commissioned a poll to find out exactly how those between the ages of six and sixteen encounter classical music. Only 11% answered via going to concerts while 15% revealed that they experience it while playing video games. The orchestra even worked with PlayStation earlier this year to put on a concert that showcased some famous gaming scores like they had never been heard before, and Mr. Williams was extremely happy with the range of age groups in attendance.
While the survey unsurprisingly discovered that most kids encounter classical music on TV and in movies, the worrying statistic revealed only a third of them had heard or learned about it at school. Clearly, if the genre wants to be kept alive heading into future generations then new avenues such as video games need to be opened. It may take quite a bit of convincing when it comes to traditionalists in both spheres, however.