Namorbia

Any demand for full VGM scores, particularly for ActRaiser?

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I have a friend in Japan, who is a conductor and leads a professional game music ensemble. His dream is to preserve VGM in full musical scores. Not piano arrangements, orchestral arrangements, or any other kind of arrangements. Simply sheet music that shows all the instruments in the original music.

He is working with Yuzo Koshiro and wants start with ActRaiser. He would like to do a Kickstarter project, but isn't sure how much demand there is in the West.

What do you guys think? Would you buy the full score to ActRaiser? Is there any demand for full VGM scores generally?

He told me he needs to sell 1000 to be profitable (I don't know what they would cost). Seems high to me, and I told him I'm skeptical, but promised to ask what others think.

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Actraiser's pretty obscure these days.  Considering a full orchestral arrangement for it exists, I'm not sure how much demand there would be for sheet music of the 16-bit instrumentation.  Fan-made MIDIs do for most people for most purposes.

Koshiro already has the data, presumably, so it's not an issue of transcribing by ear or anything.  (And if he doesn't have the original data and is re-transcribing it by ear and memory, it's not much better than a fan MIDI.)  Putting it down in sheet music notation shouldn't take more than a few hours of work.  I suppose it depends on how much they plan on selling it for.  The big overhead component would be setting up a distribution system.

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I agree that Actraiser is really not something I'd start with to gain popularity. And I don't think you'd find 1000 people to buy this. I'm into composition and arrangement myself and I wouldn't to be honest - because I don't know what to do with it. As MindWanderer said - Midis do exactly what this would do for people who want to arrange stuff.

That being said - I'd love complete collections of Midis from various games since there's often songs I can't find good transcriptions of. So maybe he's onto something here. But I bet the licensing fees will be astronomically high for more well-known stuff.

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The academic community would love official sheet music scores for more games.  It's a very tiny market though, haha.

As others have pointed out, however, without the scores coming directly from the official data, a transcription is ultimately going to be subjective -- and therefore, not really desirable.  

On 5/30/2016 at 2:13 PM, MindWanderer said:

Koshiro already has the data, presumably, so it's not an issue of transcribing by ear or anything.  (And if he doesn't have the original data and is re-transcribing it by ear and memory, it's not much better than a fan MIDI.)  Putting it down in sheet music notation shouldn't take more than a few hours of work.  I suppose it depends on how much they plan on selling it for.  The big overhead component would be setting up a distribution system.

As someone who just finished doing a bunch of transcriptions for his dissertation, let me caution that many fan MIDIs are awful, and will actually hinder rather than help if you use them as a starting point.  Not saying they're all bad, but there is value in having a good enough ear to tell the difference, or to straight up do your own transcription work.

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... I'd buy them, but I loved ActRaiser and Soul Blazer. I'm also a fan of original scores for songs, especially in sheet music - to me, it gives the ultimate freedom of interpretation. 

Beck released his Song Reader album (2012) to complete sheet music; not much of a market and obviously not for non-musicians, but the idea of 'interpret the song and play it yourself' was a powerful one to me.

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