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The First Video Game Song to Win a Grammy

by Joey Davidson | February 14, 2011February 14, 2011 1:10 pm PDT

The Grammy’s happened last night. And while I’m typically one to read the headlines from the show and move on, this year’s award ceremony brought with it a unique first. A Grammy was given to a song from a video game.

The song in question is “Baba Yetu,” composed by Christopher Tin for Civilization IV. The piece won the Grammy for “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).”

A press release from Video Games Live, a concert series that puts video game music to orchestra, found its way into my inbox this morning. The series and its founder thanked Tin for the special piece and the recognition it brings to the industry. Video Games Live CEO Tommy Tallarico had this to say:

“We’re so proud of Christopher’s Grammy Award victory and what he has accomplished.  This historic moment will continue to bridge the gap between mainsteam music and video games.  It is an honor to perform his music in our show.”

Tin suggests that were it not for Video Games Live performing his piece, it never would have received the recognition it earned.

“The fact that this song has had a life outside of the game is owed almost entirely to Video Games Live.  They were the first to bring this music to concert stages around the world and to places I had never dreamed possible.”

This is a massive win for composers and performers within the video game music arena. Tin’s work is definitely fantastic, but one would have to hope that this award sheds light on the yearly classics that come from the minds within the gaming industry. Hopefully “Baba Yetu” is just the beginning game game fans and music writers.

And with that comes a great point for discussion. What’s you favorite gaming music? I’ve been a known supporter of anything from Banjo-Kazooie and Grant Kirkhope. In particular, the song above from Nuts & Bolts.


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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