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Introduction to Japanese Video Game Music Analysis and Composition

SG $130.00SG $210.00

The Japanese video game music canon is vast and full of iconic titles deserving study, from Super Mario to Final Fantasy, to Touhou. In this crash course, we will examine video game music literature via the three available methods of score study: lead sheets/sheet music, MIDI transcriptions, and form charts. We will break down hits of video game music and understand form, harmony, melody, and arrangement, using concepts specific to VGM. Students will practice essential compositional exercises, including analyses, transcription, and modelling. This foundational course provides the toolkit of all the concepts, analytical skills, and compositional practices essential for any composer wishing to pursue game music composition.

Prerequisites: Ability to read lead sheets, basic DAW skills (any DAW; notation software acceptable but a DAW is recommended)

Eric Ye is a composer, performer, and educator based in San Francisco and a mentor at the International Game Developers Association. In the summer of 2022, he taught the Video Game Music Bootcamp, a first-of-its-kind course on the craft of composing video game music through in-depth analyses of great VGM literature, from chiptunes to Final Fantasy to Touhou. Previously, he taught a semester-long course on Japanese video game music at San Francisco State University and has guest lectured at Berklee College of Music. Promoting the formal classroom study of video game music literature and composition, Eric recently presented his work in game composition pedagogy at GameSoundCon. He is finishing his final semester at SF State as a piano and composition major, where he is active composing for films and games, performing, and running various festivals, workshops, and courses.

Find out more about Eric at

Week 1: Lead Sheets/Sheet Music
Week 2: MIDI Transcriptions
Week 3: Form Charts
Week 4: Final Composition Workshop

Music from composers and titles to be studied include:

  • Akira Yamaoka
  • Junya Nakano
  • Koji Kondo
  • Manabu Namiki
  • Masashi Hamauzu
  • Motoi Sakuraba
  • Nobuo Uematsu
  • Yasunori Mitsuda
  • Yoko Shimomura
  • Yuzo Koshiro
  • Castlevania
  • Kirby
  • Kingdom Hearts
  • Final Fantasy
  • Megaman
  • Persona
  • Pokemon
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Streetfighter
  • Touhou

In addition to interactive discussions of video game music analyses, students will be presenting their own exercises (such as transcriptions and models), culminating in a Final Composition Workshop. Each week, worksheet exercises will be assigned and may be submitted for feedback.


This course is supported under UTAP for 50% course fee support.

National Instructors & Coaches Association (NICA) was formed by the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) to be the collective voice to support freelance coaches and instructors from sports, outdoor learning and adventure, visual and performing arts, fitness and wellness, and enrichment, to strengthen skills, standards and opportunities.

In supporting NICA members with skills deepening programmes such as the courses offered by SEA Music Academy Online, NICA members enjoy lower course fees through the Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) which provides 50% subsidy of the balance unfunded course fee, up to $250 per calendar year. Till 31 December 2025, NICA members aged 40 years and above will enjoy higher funding support up to $500 per calendar year, capped at 50% of unfunded course fee.

If you wish to be part of a bigger voice for coaches and instructors, please sign up to be a NICA member at (Note: to indicate ‘NICA’ under the field for Company Name).

Find out more about NICA at: or

Here are some additional info regarding UTAP eligibility:

Please note that members are required to fulfil the following conditions to be eligible for UTAP reimbursement:

  1. Paid-up union membership before course commencement, throughout whole course duration and at the point of claim
  2. Course by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period
  3. Course must not be funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding
  4. Unfunded course fee must be S$20.00 and above
  5. Member must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application and sat for all prescribed examination(s), if any
  6. UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after course completion

Please refer to the UTAP Application Guide for members to apply UTAP via the U-Portal. Should trainees have queries on the funding scheme, they can email to or call NTUC Membership Hotline at 6213-8008.


Yes, they will be made available for participants until 6 months after the completion of each course.

E-certificates will be issued on course completion to Active Participants.

Active Participants will be involved in class participation: interacting with course instructors, receiving feedback on class assignments/submissions, and they will have playing opportunities in class etc. Observers will be observing these segments of the class.

Active Participants will receive an E-certificate of participation, and Observers will receive a certificate of attendance.

5 days before the course commences.

Yes, simply get your friends together and send us an email to request for a second round of the course! If we receive sufficient signups we will repeat the course.

We do not conduct make-up classes. Learners who miss a session can catch up on the class content by watching the session recording thereafter. If there are any class assignments, learners are to contact the instructor directly.

We at the Academy do our utmost to make courses proceed as planned. However, there are times when unforeseen circumstances force a class to be cancelled. When this happens, we are committed to refunding the total amount, in an efficient manner, including any costs of using third-party payment gateways.

Should a participant need to cancel, we will make efforts to accommodate refunds, though costs of using third-party payment gateways will be borne by the participant.

Late cancellations may not be able to be refunded, as they will have been factored into the confirmation of running the course. We will provide a full refund for cancellations up to 2 weeks before the start of a course, following this a 50% refund with up to 1 week of notice. Notifications of fewer than 7 days will most likely not be eligible for a refund. We thank you for your understanding.