, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 482–497 | Cite as

Medievalism and emotions in video game music

  • Karen M. CookEmail author


Unlike film, the study of medievalist music within video games remains a nascent field, with recent contributions being made by scholars such as James Cook. To paraphrase Helen Deeming, this article examines what the employment of medieval(ist) music within video games reveals about contemporary notions of the medieval, and what emotional connotations are embedded within such musical choices. I analyze the use of three ubiquitous medievalist musical tropes – the Gothic organ, the church bell, and the wordless voice – to create a set of ‘opposite’ emotional states: a sense of peace, tranquility, or sanctuary on the one hand, and danger, violence, the supernatural, and death on the other, connecting these emotional and musical stereotypes to those of the medieval era itself.



I wish to acknowledge the digital database and express gratitude for the helpful commentary given by James Cook, Julianne Grasso, Dana Plank, Ryan Thompson, and the anonymous reviewer of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Music History, Hartt SchoolUniversity of HartfordConnecticutUSA

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