Genshin Impact Wiki
Genshin Impact Wiki
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In “[[Symphony of Boreal Wind]],” I try to learn from Beethoven’s orchestration elements. The elements of breath and pauses in the melody make it sound more determined, sonorous and powerful, which fits the image of the wolf. The piano line is like the combination of the ice element and the wind element. The choir makes the wolf seem more deterrent and gives off a more poetic feeling overall. I love this song very much.
 
In “[[Symphony of Boreal Wind]],” I try to learn from Beethoven’s orchestration elements. The elements of breath and pauses in the melody make it sound more determined, sonorous and powerful, which fits the image of the wolf. The piano line is like the combination of the ice element and the wind element. The choir makes the wolf seem more deterrent and gives off a more poetic feeling overall. I love this song very much.
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[[Category:Developer Insight]]

Revision as of 01:26, 14 January 2022

Background

Behind the Scenes with the Artists

How would you sum up the music in Genshin Impact?

Zoe, Music Director: Genshin Impact is an open-world game. We wanted to create the sense of different styles in different regions. So we chose traditional orchestral music as the base, then we added in elements of world music, creating the sense of different cultures.

Yu-Peng Chen, Composer and Music Producer: We needed a distinct musical language to fit the world of Genshin Impact. After deciding on the main theme, I started working on variations. Basically, I took the orchestral music and added in elements of world music. For example, some Irish tin whistle, some acoustic guitar, and some plucked string instruments — it sounds very Medieval. The music is crucial. When the player enters the game, the first impression of the music should capture the feeling of the game world. One problem I had while composing was how to achieve consistency throughout the music.

Robert Ziegler, Conductor: This is something new for orchestras and for me because in a film there may be a lot of music, but in a video game the music can go on forever because you have the same thing on many different levels. So there's lots of music and Yu-Peng has written a great deal of music for this. But it's very interesting, because with the film you can usually see the film, but with a video game or computer game, you can't see it till you play it.

Nick Wollage, Mix Engineer: The thing that struck me most about this score in particular is Yu-Peng's facility for incorporating some incredibly difficult writing. When you take a step back and de-focus slightly, it sounds incredibly simple but it really isn't. The musicians on this score have really risen to the occasion because it's absolutely phenomenal playing. It's very difficult and we were under a bit of a time pressure. They really pulled out all the stops and it was really quite amazing actually.

Philippe Honoré, Guest Concertmaster: I'm Philippe Honoré. I'm guesting here with the LPO to do these recording sessions for this video game. I think it's really well written, it's really effective. It's like good film music, very atmospheric. All the battle scenes are very exciting. There are also some really really nice tunes, beautiful tunes. It's been a pleasure to work on it.

Graham Wood, Manager, London Philharmonic Orchestra: So we've really enjoyed hearing Yu-Peng's music. It sounds fantastic and covers such a wide variety of different styles. I'm sure it will be very effective in the game.


Yu-Peng Chen, Composer and Music Producer: Because I composed a main melody for Genshin Impact, much of the in-game music, background music, music for different scenarios, different places, was all derived from that one tune. Genshin Impact has a time system: it has daytime, nighttime, and dusk. Three different variations of the same theme are set to play at these different times but they share the same tonality, they convey the same mood. Aside from the main theme, I especially like the battle music. My favorite is probably the Stormterror boss-battle music. For this piece, as well as exercising a degree of restraint, I tried adding some new elements into the mix such as female humming to convey the sorrow of the situation: you want to subdue the dragon, to cleanse it. I also like the rest of the Stormterror battle music, I would say it represents a personal style of mine. It's artistic, it makes use of minor keys. It conveys a certain melancholy But it's calm — calm and gentle. It sets the scene, creates the mood. Music is a language that works like a magic spell. It provokes an emotional response in the player, makes them want to stay a little longer in this world — that is what good game music should aspire to achieve.

Developer Insight

Developer Insight #3 - Behind the Music of Genshin Impact (1)

Music of Genshin Impact

Designing the Music of Genshin Impact — Game and Music Working as One

Players often ask: which came first, the game or the music? We can at least answer this from the perspective of music.

When we were beginning to design the music of Genshin Impact, we were given a single image to refer to: a young Traveler sitting atop a high cliff, gazing out at Mondstadt in the distance. At that time, we only had a basic visual impression of the game, knowing nothing about the theme, story, or emotional elements, which are the starting points for composing music of any kind. We communicated with the development, IP, and visual teams to establish a clearer view of the world of Teyvat, then began working out the creative direction of the music.

We have realized that the production of game music is a long, meticulous process chain, one in which the most onerous part is not the actual creation itself. Creativity cannot solve all the issues that may arise. Rather, we must employ the precise, shrewd attitude of an architect.

Game development is like constructing a tower, in which music is a special kind of wood. Our job as the music production team is not just to prepare this wood, but to put it in the optimal place in the tower.

After composition comes the recording stage, in which we spared no expense to bring our ideas to reality. We sought out the top musicians and most authentic musical expression. For the Mondstadt main theme, for example, we went all the way to England, where we traveled around to explore folk music and culture. We were also honored to have the London Philharmonic Orchestra record for us at AIR Studios, where they not only displayed their world-class talent, but also the musical character we at HOYO-MiX sought to imbue in Mondstadt. We will continue collaborating with top musicians and orchestras around the world as we strive to create music pulsing with culture and diversity.

We have been moved by the importance the entire Genshin Impact team has placed on the game's music, with their support and teamwork empowering us to continually improve the music. Players can rest assured that the musicians and developers are working hand in hand to provide the best possible experience of Genshin Impact.

Genshin Impact Main Theme

Genshin Impact Main Theme - A Clear Direction Down a Bumpy Road

The creative direction of the main theme of Genshin Impact was decided very early on, so there weren't many times where we second-guessed ourselves or went back to the drawing board. When creating theme music unique to each city in Teyvat, we chose instruments and musical elements that most fit the distinctive styles of the locations.

After the main theme started to take shape, questions of particular details arose, such as which area's music should have a rapid tempo, which environments should have music that conveys a more leisurely feeling, and other unforeseen questions that required nuanced adjustments. Production was a continuous process of improvement.

Despite all this fine-tuning, however, the overall essence of the main theme has remained largely unchanged. The melodious, elegant tune borrows the voices of instruments to express the spirit of adventure: freedom, sincerity, and purity. These key elements embody how we have understood and recreated the world of Genshin Impact on the musical plane.

Although our direction was clear, we encountered many bumps on the road of production. Even the demo alone had over 10 versions.

Players might be curious: what was the process of creating this music from the very beginning?


The main theme was actually just a demo performed on piano at first.

This early demo underwent countless changes and polishing to grow into the full-fledged theme music we hear now. Below we can see the development across different versions:

Main Theme Demo Versions / by Yu-Peng Chen
Login BGM (Daytime) Versions:
V0: A solo piano (right hand) performs the main theme melody. In this version I was testing to see: (1) how this melody sounds by itself without any accompanying harmony or instruments, and (2) its potential for developing variations later.
V1: After determining the main melody, I added the harmony (left hand). This piano-only version was the login BGM in the first closed beta, and it was quite popular.
V2: I tried adding some basic string arrangements to the piano-only V1. This version was previously used as the dusk login BGM. (The current dusk login BGM is a newer version.)
V3: Here I tried playing the main theme with an Irish whistle myself.
V4: This is where I began formal composition and production, exploring the possibilities of this theme and expanding its musical depth. I strived to give this composition the narrative-like quality of a grand orchestral movement filled with waves of emotion, bringing to life the vast world of Genshin Impact. I hope when players hear this tune, they will be eager to start the game.
V5: This is the final version, the one performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. I replaced the piano in the prelude with a harp, changed the violin solo to Irish whistle, and added accompanying female vocals.

Login BGM (Night) Versions:
V1: The Genshin Impact main theme with only a woman singing unaccompanied by any instruments. Here I wanted to convey a graceful, ancient voice from a faraway land.
V2: The female singing remains, but this version utilizes acapella harmonies. (I sang most of said accompanying harmonies myself.)
V3: Here I wondered how I could further develop the "ah" singing of the previous versions, so I came up with lyrics that invoke a feeling of religious chanting. They are just different sounds without any specific meaning.
V4: In the end, I decided to do away with the lyrics, as they didn't sound quite right and contained inconsistencies in detail. I tried instead changing "ah" to a more gentle "ooh" in mezzo-soprano. The deeper, steadier sound added a holy air to the gracefulness of previous versions, fitting perfectly with the night login screen visuals.

We always strove to perfect the login screen BGM, as this element serves as a player's first memory of a game, and is often the most unforgettable. Even years after a game from our childhood has been stored away on the shelves of history, when we are reminded of the game's login screen music we still find ourselves unconsciously humming a few lines. One could argue that music is a more pure language than even pictures and writing — it so easily invokes memories of experiences in the distant past, even feelings of those we no longer consciously remember. We hope that the main theme of Genshin Impact will do the same for you.

Login Screen

Time Changes on the Login Screen

The first music everyone should experience when they start up the game is the login screen and its four times of day.

Attentive players already discovered during the beta that the Genshin Impact login screen has four different representations of the time of day: day, dusk, night, and dawn. The music was adapted to match these visual changes.

The music of these four times of day share a segment of the melody, but we changed many of the details to better suit the different times of day. The day music is majestic and grand, while the dawn and dusk music both express a gentle elegance. And once night arrives, so does the mezzo-soprano singing, filling the air with mystery and profundity.

A segment of the main melody embellished with the harp separates the different times of day to further strengthen this sense of change. Yu-Peng Chen personally conducted the performance of the day music to heighten the emotional expression of the piece. We encourage players to take a moment on the login screen to sit back, relax, and appreciate this subtle, exquisite music.

Boss Music

Boss Music: Tunes Led by Emotion

Of all the music, the piece for the fight with Stormterror Dvalin is one of the most memorable. Most boss fights are characterized by frenzied background music, but for this music we instead went for a theme led by emotion, one charged with the tone of Stormterror's story. Thus we created this boss battle music quite differently from the norm.

In fact, emotion serves as the overall compass for all of Genshin Impact's music. We hope that players don't just see the music as a supplement to the game, but rather as an integral part to the world, story, history, and battle. Really feel and resonate with the sounds to enjoy a deeper, more personal experience of the game. Stormterror's battle music, for example, is part fiery intensity and part gentle repose; once players understand this dragon's story, they will relate to the music's emotion and feeling of distant longing.

There are easter eggs hidden in the boss music of Stormterror Dvalin and Andrius, Dominator of Wolves. One is that the chanting includes the vocal accompaniment of Yu-Peng Chen himself — sometimes, when the producer wants to help the music reach its emotional pinnacle, they will do it themselves.

All the methods we attempted had one goal in mind: to create music that can serve as a bond between the player and Genshin Impact, allowing everyone to enjoy the game even more.

Yu-Peng Chen Interview

Yu-Peng Chen Interview: The Music of Genshin Impact

The first big region of Genshin Impact is Mondstadt. It’s where all the adventures begin. The music design in this region is rather simple. The artistic design of Mondstadt has a lot of European elements. The city is a free and uninhibited place where chivalry is greatly advocated. As a result, I tried to make the music more free and relaxed without sacrificing the romance and eloquence of ancient Europe. Mondstadt is also a city that believes in “wind,” and the wind element is the first element that the traveler can use, Therefore, I used a lot of woodwind instruments in battle music hoping to imitate the free-flowing character of the wind. I know how to play the clarinet and the Irish tin whistle, and I’m also a quite adequate piano-player. That’s why I actually improvised a lot of the music in the open world.


In “Caelestinum Finale Termini,” the tension of irregular string rhythm reflects the tension of the overall atmosphere of the battle, and the melody lines are also hidden within the rhythm. The main melody in the woodwind section plays out the uneasiness in the heart of Dvalin, and the humming human voice sublimates the significance of this fight. It shows that the destiny of the traveler is to purify Dvalin.

In “Symphony of Boreal Wind,” I try to learn from Beethoven’s orchestration elements. The elements of breath and pauses in the melody make it sound more determined, sonorous and powerful, which fits the image of the wolf. The piano line is like the combination of the ice element and the wind element. The choir makes the wolf seem more deterrent and gives off a more poetic feeling overall. I love this song very much.