The MIT Press Publishes “A Composer’s Guide to Game Music”

New book by the composer of Assassin’s Creed Liberation, The Da Vinci Code and Speed Racer video games

(Cambridge, MA) The MIT Press, one of America’s largest university presses, has published A Composer’s Guide to Game Music ($29.95) by Winifred Phillips. As an award-winning composer of video game music, Phillips provides a comprehensive, practical guide that leads an aspiring video game composer from acquiring the necessary creative skills to understanding the function of music in games to finding work in the field. Among those praising Phillips’s book is celebrated film/game composer Harry Gregson-Williams (Shrek, Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, Metal Gear Solid series), who described A Composer’s Guide to Game Music as “not just compulsory bedside reading for budding games composers, but a fine achievement in itself. Bravo!” Renowned video game director David Jaffe (God of War, the Twisted Metal series) described Phillips’s book as “an important, deep, and rare exploration of video game music by one of the medium’s smartest and most talented voices.” The Boston Globe hailed A Composer’s Guide to Game Music as “the first book designed to help experienced musicians brave the transition to the world of game composing.”

Musicians and composers may be drawn to game music composition because the game industry is a multibillion-dollar, employment-generating economic powerhouse, but, Phillips writes, one of the most important qualifications for a musician who wants to become a game music composer is a love of video games. “It’s very important to have an enduring passion for games,” Phillips writes. “With the right spark of enthusiasm, the process of writing music for games can be positively exhilarating.”

A Composer’s Guide to Game Music from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press offers indispensable guidance for musicians and composers who want to deploy their creativity in a dynamic and growing industry, protect their musical identities while working in a highly technical field, and create great music for a new medium.


“Winifred Phillips’s passion and understanding of this medium comes to life on the page and is a direct result of her vast experience and accomplishment in composing for video games. This is not just compulsory bedside reading for budding games composers, but a fine achievement in itself. Bravo!
—Harry Gregson-Williams, Composer of Shrek, Narnia, Kingdom of Heaven, and the Metal Gear Solid series

“An important, deep, and rare exploration of video game music by one of the medium’s smartest and most talented voices. You may not know the name Winifred Phillips but if you play games, you absolutely know—and love—her creations!
—David Jaffe, Director of God of War and the Twisted Metal series

“When I began writing for games over 20 years ago, I wish there had been a book like this to guide me through the process, art, and business of scoring for games. Winifred Phillips’s book is an excellent combination of practical techniques along with the human touch of a game composer’s real-life experiences.
—Michael Sweet, Artistic Director, Video Game Scoring, Berklee College of Music

“This book accurately illustrates the video game composer’s task, which is to create music that perfectly complements an existing artistic vision. While the video game industry has its unique set of processes, for the aspiring composer, musicianship is the key to success. In the same manner, Winifred Phillips has excelled in this genre thanks to her musical talent.”
—Didier Lord, Head of Music, Ubisoft

Reviews of A Composer’s Guide to Game Music:

“An excellent new book on game music…A Composer’s Guide to Game Music is set to become a touchstone academic achievement that should see many new editions with updates and expansions as Phillips, technology, and the industry itself evolve.”

—Steven Kennedy, Film Score Monthly

“The definitive book on scoring for video games… a thoroughly comprehensive guidebook to the concept, practice, art, and technology of providing music for this growing cinematic medium.”
—Randall Larson,

“A Composer’s Guide to Game Music is without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read on the subject. Not only does Winifred Phillips provide information on everything you would need to know about entering the field of game music, she also shines light on the unique challenges and issues that a composer will face in the game’s industry.”
—Michael Hoffman, Original Sound Version

“If you read between the lines of this book, though, you will learn much more about her than from a Wikipedia article. For hence emerges an image of a person who is consistent in her creations, well educated, and has a subtle sense of humor. A person who loves what she’s doing and wishes to share it…this book might just prove to be a catalyst for a paradigm shift in education concerning composing music for the new media.”
—Krzysztof Binczak,

“This book shouldn’t just be read by aspiring composers… it should be taught in music schools… thorough detail with understandable explanations, evident passion, and quirky, witty comic relief.”
—Nate Combs, Original Music Stop!

“Really recommend her book… Regardless of whether you’re a composer or not, she just has some really great insights, and just shares a very human perspective… Super cool!”
—Damian Kastbauer, Game Audio Podcast

About Winifred Phillips

Winifred Phillips is a composer for video games, television, radio and film. Working with award-winning music producer Winnie Waldron for all her projects, Winifred Phillips’ game scores include Assassin’s Creed Liberation, God of War, The Da Vinci Code, Speed Racer, Shrek the Third, multiple games in the LittleBigPlanet franchise, and many more. She is a two-time winner of the Hollywood Music in Media Award. Her other awards include an Interactive Achievement Award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, a Global Music Award, and multiple Game Audio Network Guild Awards, including Music of the Year. For more information about Winifred Phillips, follow her at, or on Facebook (, or visit

About The MIT Press

The MIT Press, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, is the only university press in the United States whose list is based in science and technology. This does not mean that science and engineering are all we publish, but it does mean that we are committed to the edges and frontiers of the world—to exploring new fields and new modes of inquiry. We publish about 200 new books a year and over 30 journals. We are a major publishing presence in fields as diverse as architecture, social theory, economics, cognitive science, and computational science, and we have a long-term commitment to both design excellence and the efficient and creative use of new technologies. Our goal is to create books and journals that are challenging, creative, attractive, and yet affordable to individual readers. For more information, please visit

A Composer’s Guide to Game Music
The MIT Press
March 2014
288 pages, 6” x 9”
$29.95, ISBN 9780262026642