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Minecraft - Volume Alpha
Studio album by

Daniel Rosenfeld

Released

March 4, 2011[1]

Genre

Ambient

Length

58:50

Available as

LP, CD, digital download

Discogs

[1]

Link

Minecraft - Volume Alpha is the first Minecraft soundtrack album by C418, first released on Bandcamp on March 4, 2011. It features all 14 of the tracks that have been in the game since Alpha, plus 10 bonus tracks, for a total of 24 tracks and a length of nearly an hour. The second soundtrack album, Minecraft - Volume Beta, was released on November 9, 2013.

Track listing[]

Tracks by C418 have been shortened to 30 seconds on this wiki, due to an agreement with the composer. "11" is exempt from this.
No. Title Filename in Minecraft Length Track preview "Description" on Bandcamp Description
1. "Key" nuance1.ogg 1:05 opens A quiet, distant, sparse melody played on an echoing piano, ending on a single, more heavily echoed note, which leads into the next track.
2. "Door" 1:51 Welcome! A bright remix of "Minecraft" played on multiple instruments, including a flute.
3. "Subwoofer Lullaby" hal1.ogg 3:28 Imagine a forest with a subwoofer on overdrive... A mid-tempo, calm, almost melancholy tune played on distant, soft synths layered with a reverbed organ and accompanied by plucked strings. The tune suddenly stops with a single note that rings out and a glitchy ambient noise in the background, beginning a quieter, less rhythmic section with more tense, drawn out chords being played by space-y ambient synths and the lead synth and organ, along with some quiet strings. A muffled, echoed piano and a harp play a pensive melody over the string chords, which get a bit louder and layered with higher octaves as the chords slowly resolve, before the piece finally settles on a soft repetition of three piano notes over a single, low-octave string chord, pausing between repetitions as it gets quieter.
4. "Death" 0:41 Totally worth it though A piano softly plays a playful tune in the background as the sounds of a player sneaking up on and killing a chicken and gathering its meat can be heard.
5. "Living Mice" hal2.ogg 2:57 Yes, I mean you. An inquisitive tune that begins with a looping 4-note pattern being played on an electric piano that can be heard throughout the track. The electric piano and some warm synths play a melody over this pattern.

The piece later intensifies, with a harp, grand string chords, a piano, and a glockenspiel playing a more emotional section before the track ends by fading out with the same 4-note pattern, but with the addition of the harp and the glockenspiel.

6. "Moog City" 2:40 Imagine that! A looping, ascending melody being played on a synth, accompanied by synth voices, plucked strings, and a glockenspiel.
7. "Haggstrom" hal3.ogg 3:24 MHG MHG MHG A cheerful, bright, hopeful-sounding melody being played on a kalimba (perhaps with some other chime instruments as well, such as a celesta or a glockenspiel), with a plucked bass and occasional string chords. The melody rises in intensity and the string chords become more drawn out and layered as a piano and a harp are layered with the kalimba and some quiet woodwinds join in to harmonize with the chords. After the chords stop, the piano, layered with a muffled glockenspiel, quietly plays some more of the melody before stopping.

Warm, plucky, echoing synths (or possibly a muffled harp sound) quietly fade in, playing mechanically staccato chords. A harp begins to softly play over them and the plucked bass continues quietly as what sounds like a trumpet distantly echoes in the background, before a louder glockenspiel begins playing a sparse melody, with reverse chimes echoing the melody and echoing synths in the background playing light staccato chords. These sounds become surrounded by grand, sweeping synths and strings playing chords as a harp plays an accompaniment. The chords stop and all of the instruments slowly fade out, leaving just the plucky synths as the track ends.

8. "Minecraft" calm1.ogg 4:14 The very first and last song. The Minecraft theme. Consists of a chiming sound playing a calm melody that begins to loop and is later joined by melancholy string chords, strummed or plucked strings (possibly a harp or a guitar) and a glockenspiel, as well as some ambient synth sounds in the background.
9. "Oxygène" nuance2.ogg 1:05 Accidental reference obviously. A very short ambient piece consisting of distant, windy, chiptune-style synths and an echoed piano playing a mysterious musical flourish.
10. "Équinoxe" 1:54 No reference in here!
11. "Mice on Venus" piano3.ogg 4:41 Or mars. A bittersweet track that begins with rising and falling synths playing an ambient intro, before a piano joins in and plays some more chords with them. The synth chords stop as a synth bass joins the piano, which plays part of a sparse melody before the synth chords come back in, with strings this time, to harmonize with the melody. An echoing celesta pattern can be heard in the background before all sounds but the piano stop and the piano continues the melody. The piano slows down and hangs on a high chord before descending to a resolving chord and then a second chord with the synth bass. While the chord rings out, an echoing violin playing a variation on the previous celesta pattern can be heard. Suddenly, some synths and plucked strings begin playing a happier, bouncing rhythm and woodwinds play a musical flourish and strings begin to play chords. A glockenspiel or a celesta plays a bouncing, descending melody.
12. "Dry Hands" piano1.ogg 1:08 Yep! A solo piano piece with a mildly gloomy tone. It begins with distant, loose chords and then fades into a clearer sound as the piece gains more structure.
13. "Wet Hands" piano2.ogg 1:30 And cold too. A simple, calm piano piece consisting mostly of floaty arpeggios. During one part, a very muffled triangle can be heard.
14. "Clark" calm2.ogg 3:11 <3 Opens with some quiet, sad string chords, which are joined by a piano, a synth bass, and a celesta, which play a pensive melody. Ends with a resonant, warm synth playing chords and then somewhat abruptly stopping and ringing out.
15. "Chris" 1:27 He likes it. Essentially an extension of "Clark". It begins with the same synth sound that "Clark" ends with, playing chords in the same key. The synth chords are joined by the synth bass playing an accompaniment before it becomes a more upbeat, though bittersweet piece with a whistling synth and some light percussion.
16. "Thirteen" 13.ogg 2:56 No human was harmed in the making of this recording. An ominous ambient track that mostly consists of echoing, discordant synths and features many ambient sounds related to the game's caves in the background. It is very sonically similar to a lot of the ambient cave noises.
17. "Excuse" 2:04 ... A sparse, somewhat eerie track that consists of a piano playing a sad piece with slightly discordant chords that echo as if in a cave (sometimes with a vibrato effect applied).
18. "Sweden" calm3.ogg 3:35 Wonderful country A very calm track that mainly consists of soft, somber piano chords that loop and are joined by strings later, which somewhat abruptly stop after a while, leaving the piano alone. After a brief pause, pizzicato strings quietly play the melody before the piano comes back and finishes the song with a glockenspiel and harp accompaniment.
19. "Cat" cat.ogg 3:06 You know what they say - curiosity killed the cat. An inquisitive, playful tune played on warm, bubbly synths, which are later joined by chiptune-like synths and soft synth percussion. The piece is very upbeat and hopeful compared to other tracks, but it has a wistful undertone.
20. "Dog" 2:25 I don't know about dogs though... A sort of "sequel" to "Cat", featuring a variation of the melody, as well as many of the same sounds.
21. "Danny" hal4.ogg 4:14 All his fault A muffled piano quietly plays a pensive melody before a synth suddenly starts playing a somewhat sad melody and is joined by other chiptune-like synths.

The second half of the track has a happier, more hopeful tone and features heavy trickling, dripping sounds and a percussive, rhythmic, chiptune-like sound effect that plays in the background. The track ends with the piano, layered with a muffled celesta, playing a calm arpeggiated chord a few times and getting quieter.

22. "Beginning" 1:42 All his fault
23. "Droopy likes ricochet" 1:36 Featured in the video on minecraft.net Muffled, reverbed synth drums begin playing a mid-tempo beat before fading into a fuller sound, beginning a calm, cruising synth piece with an echoing "meow" sound and chopped up samples of a robotic voice.
24. "Droopy likes your face" 1:56 Not featured in the video on minecraft.net but nontheless [sic] completes the song An extension of "Droopy likes ricochet". Unlike the previous track, it contains more drums and a wind instrument. Around 0:39, there are samples of the voice storybook "Droopy the Dragon". The voice probably says "Droopy looks in a cave, No one is there, Droopy looks under a tree, Droopy is enormous."

Trivia[]

  • Some of the track titles are references to music artists who inspired C418.[2]
    • The title "Living Mice" is a reference to deadmau5.
    • The title "Mice on Venus" is a reference to Mouse on Mars.
    • The titles "Oxygène" and "Équinoxe" are references to the albums of the same names by Jean-Michel Jarre.
  • The game's soundtrack subtly uses repeated motifs.
    • For example, part of "Key" (at 0:08) appears to share a melody - in particular, a phrase that varies between 5 and 6 notes - with "Subwoofer Lullaby" (at 0:28 and 0:31), "Living Mice" (the 5-note pattern that repeats throughout the track, starting at the beginning, as well as the main melody of the track), "Danny" (at 0:03, 2:30 and 2:41, and 3:15), and most subtly, "Dry Hands" (It appears between 0:10 to 0:17, and it is really subtle, but those few notes are there, and they're also at 0:28, 0:37, and 0:45).
    • At 0:26 of "Oxygené", a distant piano plays four notes, which can also be heard near the end of "Haggstrom" (during the part with the echoing reverse chimes, at about 2:21).
    • The bouncing, descending melody being played by the chime instrument in the second half of "Mice on Venus" (at about 2:49) is also in the ending of "Haggstrom" (during the part with the echoing reverse chimes, at about 2:18).
    • At 0:55 of "Dry Hands", there is a 5-note phrase that "Mice on Venus" also has (first appearing at 1:06).
    • At 1:46 of "Cat", what sounds like an interpolation of part of the melody from the track "Minecraft" plays. The main melody throughout "Cat" also sounds like "Key".
    • These are only a few examples of the likely many uses of motifs throughout Minecraft's soundtrack.
    • The use of reoccurring musical ideas is a very common concept in musical composition. As with any soundtrack that uses reoccurring musical ideas, it's unknown how many of these apparent instances of motifs are intentional, because some of them are so subtle that they can't be discerned from coincidental uses of the same notes.
    • Tracks from Minecraft - Volume Beta also use musical ideas from this album.
  • The versions of the game's background music tracks that are on this album are actually slightly different from the original, in-game versions.
    • Multiple tracks have been given transitions between them, such as the one between "Living Mice" and "Moog City", and the one between "Clark" and "Chris".
      • The first three tracks are connected together, and so are tracks 5 and 6, 9 and 10, 14 through 18, and 19 through 21.
    • All of the in-game tracks were apparently remastered for this album, as certain instruments and sounds are louder or quieter or different in timbre than they were before and the overall sound has a lot more clarity.
      • The music disc tracks are in stereo, as opposed to their in-game versions, which are in mono. It is likely that the in-game versions are in mono so as to make it seem as if the sound is coming from one single source (a jukebox) instead of from all around the listener.
        • It is equally possible that either the stereo versions or the mono versions of the music disc tracks were created first. The soundtrack versions are either the original tracks from before they were mixed down to mono for the game, or remasters of the original mono tracks that intended to provide a more "complete" listening experience outside of the game. Which version came first could also vary from track to track.
    • "Key" has an added note at the end that wasn't in the original as a way to transition into Door (the original version simply looped the last few notes as it faded out).
    • "Subwoofer Lullaby" has less reverb, resulting in a noticeably more staccato sound, and a glitchy ambient noise in the background at 1:03 is much louder in the album version.
    • "Dry Hands" begins the same way as the original and then fades into a new version that uses a noticeably different, much less reverbed piano sound.
    • "Haggstrom" is missing an ambient background sound that it originally had at 2:03, and it also has a slightly longer fade-out.
    • "Oxygène" has an added echoing, whistling sound at 0:26 that wasn't there before.
  • Despite its name, "Moog City" wasn't created using a Moog synthesizer, but was inspired by it.[3]
  • The track "Minecraft" was the first track created for the game and was used as the stylistic basis for the rest of the game's soundtrack.[4]
  • "Mice on Venus" was originally a shorter piano solo that ended before the "silly" part.[5]
  • The title "Thirteen" is possibly a reference to the 13 cave ambience sounds that existed when the disc was added. Similar sounds be heard throughout the track.
    • It could also just simply be a reference to the superstition that the number 13 is an "unlucky number", which has been referenced in a lot of media, particularly horror.
    • Because "Thirteen" was created in 2010, it actually uses older sound effects from earlier versions of the game for bow firing, arrow impacts, explosions, and water splashing, which have since been replaced.
    • C418 initially wanted the music disc to be found deep underground in a cave in-game, being played by some device.[6]
  • "Excuse" was originally supposed to play in the Nether, but then C418 decided when he started creating the album that he wanted the album to be "more than just carbon copies of what’s in the game".[7]
  • Exclusively on Legacy Console Edition, the track "Dog" is appended to the "cat" music disc. Once "cat" is done playing and fades out, "dog" begins playing for another two minutes or so, making this version of "cat" the longest music disc in the game.
  • The last two tracks, “Droopy likes ricochet” and “Droopy likes your face”, are from C418's previous album, life changing moments seem minor in pictures.
    • C418 doesn't know what the speech samples in these tracks are actually saying. C418 got the speech samples from a Kontakt sample library and they originate from "a toy you could buy in the 80’s or 90’s which says random phrases about itself".[8] The two track titles may be C418's guesses as to what the sounds are saying.
    • It has since been discovered that these sounds are from the Texas Instrument Magic Wand Reader reading "Droopy the Dragon", as seen here.
  • Some of the songs in C418's album 148 are remixes of songs found in this album.

Gallery[]

See also[]

References[]

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