Functions of Chromatic Mediants in Video Game Music

Jesse Forgione, Baylor University

This paper examines the use of chromatic mediants in video game music, adding to the growing body of research that examines chromatic mediants in various musical genres. Using three modes of analysis—syntax and phrase design, root motion, and voice leading—I explore chromatic mediant usage in eight video game soundtracks. To explain the syntax of chromatic mediants and their relationship to phrase design, I propose three functional categories of chromatic mediants—cadential, shuttle, and phrase-gap. Looking at the root motion of chromatic mediants, I draw on the work of David Kopp (2002) and Scott Murphy (2013) to help categorize and understand their usage. Finally, I explore the associations between three different approaches to voice leading with chromatic mediants (planed, parsimonious, and bass shift) and certain in- game and narrative contexts.