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Introduction to Japanese Video Game Music Analysis and Composition (Recording)

SG $130.00SG $170.00

Note: The live version of this course has recently concluded. You are purchasing recordings of the sessions.

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


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.