Stop what you’re doing to listen game music going very wrong and very polytonal

2021 needs an anthem, and clearly, it’s bitonal Nintendo Switch paused game racing music in chaotic dissonance. “Nothing’s gonna stop me now.”

Yeah, eat your heart out, Charles Ives. Got this on repeat, as does everyone else, judging by retweets. Oh yeah, also to Mr. Ives, the WSJ in 2004 is trashing you.)

(I think the game is Future Aero Racing S Ultra, if I’m not mistaken – which amusingly another reviewer says has an “upbeat soundtrack” as a “pro.”) Hey, remember how there was that whole debate over equal temperament in recent weeks? There are enough dissonant keys overlapped here that I can’t even say for sure if it’s “out of tune” (as in competing tuning systems), but I can certainly say this counts as polytonality.

How does something like this happen? Well, there’s a lot of, you know, code in games. Music is often late in the pipeline. And so just as graphics can glitch, yeah, you could have dynamically-rendered musical assets that are not lining up.

Chiming in on that thread, something went a bit amiss on the PlayStation RPG Ancient Roman, too, it seems. Now this I rather love. Not black MIDI, maybe… purple MIDI. Keep it going to the end for that drum fill. Honestly, soundtrack, I feel you.

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Oh, my. Things are not right on this farm.

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Okay, okay, to the composer, I’m really sorry. (Follow that thread for more on this side tangent.)

But to anyone who says music theory isn’t useful?

Wellllll… without music theory, who will do a full analysis of what happened here? Who, I ask you?

Journalist Chris Scullion adds:

I think we should compose a compilation of made-up wrong game music, and call it Known, But Shipping. Who’s in?

(Thanks to my sister for this one.)