Nietzsche once said, "Without music, life would be a mistake."
Imaginary philosopher Richard Riemenschneider once said, "People who begin articles with Nietzsche quotes are the worst."
Let's agree to meet somewhere in the middle. And with that, let's look back at the best of Kotaku Melodic this year.
The idea of doing discrete Kotaku "Programming Blocks" was an interesting one: By focusing on specific areas of expertise, individual writers could build up blocks of content that stood apart from the general flow of stories on our site. It worked for some beats more than others, but on the whole I've been really happy with how Kotaku Melodic came together.
From critical essays to retrospectives to features to interviews to Carly Rae Jepson fan-mail, we shared all sorts of writing about the worlds of music, video games, and beyond. I hope you had as much fun as we did.
Here now, the best of Kotaku Melodic, 2012.
Let's start with our look back at the best video game music of 2012. There was a lot. It was great. Give it all a listen. More »
The first and last thing I've had to say about the gameplay vs. story debate. This is an idea I'd been chewing on for a long time, and one I was very happy to finally articulate. More »
Owen looks at the silly practice of censoring sports-game soundtracks. More »
Up close and personal with one of the most amazing credits anthems of all time. More »
Sure, we write about music. But some games are better without it. More »
Hidden in the background of Mass Effect 3 lay a small, wonderful love-letter to series fans. More »
I Don't Usually Like 'Guy With Instruments Playing Video Game Music' Videos, But This Shit Is Amazing
Of all of the "check out this video" posts we ran this year, this one might be my favorite. Sick. More »
Of course, not all 'guy in his room with instruments' videos need to demonstrate chops like that last one. They can be wonderful in other ways. Luke shows us how. More »
An attempt at discerning the entire plot of Halo 4 using only the track-listing from the soundtrack. Not entirely accurate, but surprisingly so. More »
Sure, video games have music. But in a lot of ways, they are music. What the heck am I talking about? Let's explore. More »
Believe it or not, the bundled CDs that came with CGW had some fabulous original music. More »
Jason has an important message for the makers of Rock Band. More »
The legendary designer Warren Spector dreams of making a video game musical. Hopefully, one day he will. More »
A look at a hilarious musical easter egg that turned up in an unlikely place. More »
Chiptunes are great, but some amazing video game sounds have been made using only the human voice. More »
The Zelda medley heard 'round the world, literally. More »
As our coverage this year has borne out, we're at an exciting time for musical games. Here's a rundown of the latest trends. More »
Sources gave us all sorts of info on the now-cancelled Guitar Hero 7, which sounds like it was a real disaster. More »
The first of our "menu music" features took a look (and listen) at/to the boring-ass music that played in the Vita's menus. More »
As a follow-up, we also took a look at the (much better!) music that plays in the 3DS' menus. More »
Suddenly it hit me. Morrowind really had the best soundtrack. More »
Jason looks back at the amazing music of the Final Fantasy games. More »
We all want to be Epic Sax Guy. Pippin Barr's game let us understand what that would be like. More »
Patricia took a look at backpack rap, and the various ways gaming and hip-hop are and have collided. More »
Drama! Hurt Feelings! Twitter! More »
It's important to choose JRPG victory music for the triumphant moments in your life. So, we did. More »
A game can work like a symphony, and Jonathan Blow's upcoming The Witness feels more symphonic than most. More »
We ran a lot of short pieces about various writers' favorite video game music, but this one by Leigh Alexander is still my favorite. More »
Another favorite among the "Here, listen to this" posts. I still listen to this track. More »
Worth keeping in mind. More »
Chris put together a fantastic video assembling the many musical echoes in the Earthbound soundtrack. More »
A look at how video games offer a fantastic new way to make a living composing music. More »
Non Game-Related Stuff
In addition to video game music, we also covered a fair bit of non-game-related music. When there was something that needed to be said, sometimes it got said here. And when there were harp-playing blonde twins that needed to be recognized, that happened too.
Sometimes the headline says it all. More »
Other times, the headline still says it all. More »
Yet other times, the headline continues to say it all. More »
I was happy to share the wonderful music of bassist Avishai Cohen with a few new listeners. More »
Ditto A.C. Jobim, a composer everyone should know. More »
I love TV, and this was a good excuse to write about opening credits themes, reminisce about Veronica Mars, and piss off West Wing fans. More »
I continue to be in lesbians with Metric. More »
Everybody loves Miles, but Miles hardly loves anything. More »
An interesting look at the many challenges plaguing professional instrumentalists today, and how an innocuous request can go off the rails. More »
Canyon.mid! Canyon.mid! More »
Another of the standout "Here's a thing" posts, this was just too good not to re-share. More »
Sometimes you just have to geek out about "Flamenco Sketches" and modal jazz. More »
Jazz is in trouble. What's to be done? More »
A worthy list, if ever there was one. Incomplete, of course, but there is some great stuff on here. More »
And at last, we come to the end, where I'd like to recognize what I've come to think of as, just for me personally, the Coolest Musical Thing That Happened All Year: the TV series Kids on the Slope.
Here are two articles; one about the show, and one about the music.
I loved this show so much. More »
I loved the music on this show even more. More »
And that's that. Thanks for reading, and for bearing with us as we explored the wild and wonderful world of music. I hope you'll stick around next year, and if there's some musical something or other you'd like to see us talk about more, shoot me an email with "Melodic" in the subject or let me know in the comments.
I'll leave you with a final thought from Mr. Albus Dumbledore:
"Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic far beyond all we do here! And now, bedtime. Off you trot!"