Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music

First Advisor

Daniel Beller-McKenna

Second Advisor

Kathryn McCurdy


This paper covers the origins of video game audio and the technical limitations that effected what composers could write. Several audio excerpts have been transcribed with roman numeral analysis. The goal of this project was to determine if musical excerpts from video games could supplement an existing highschool/college theory curriculum. Theory techniques ranging from simple cadences to secondary function chords are present throughout the pieces. The pieces are from a variety of games and composers from 1983 - 2014. Overall, many of the compositions contain excellent examples of theory techniques. These excerpts would best be utilized alongside existing theory material. By providing more recent examples of theory techniques, students may become more interested in learning music theory. With the amount of video game music that exists today, it seems appropriate to include it within the current theory curriculum.