Stardew Valley: A Musicologist’s View

Stardew Valley

A beautiful and relaxing game, Stardew Valley takes Harvest Moon to the PC and offers a full, content-driven experience. The player takes the role of a farmer who inherits a farm from their grandfather and moves to Stardew Valley after working for a corporate establishment (JoJa Mart). From this beginning, the player becomes self-sufficient through farming crops, animals, fishing, mining, and a variety of other tasks. The music works well as a background to this day to day farming, occurring infrequently enough to not become boring and too repetitive for a player, ranging from environmental rural music to quaint town melodies.

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The winter music for this game is particularly interesting and stands out the most. During winter, especially in the early game, there is little to grow, and the landscape is a soft white and blue colour. The Wind Can Be Still is a particular favourite piece of music which plays infrequently during this season and captivates the environment perfectly out of all the winter tracks. A pure melancholy is produced by this soft synthesised melody, accompanied by soft minor drones which symbolise the blanket white environment we get from the game. Rarely the music is triggered to the player actions (apart from moving into new areas), yet the soundtrack identifies to each environment and season where this fills the game with enough musical value to give a well-rounded experience for the player.

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