But I had a good reason for acquiring those, at least. I also acquired another thing, for far less sound reasons: another game for my phone. It’s a variation on Tetris, but with five blocks in each shape instead of four. Partly this was because I had a moment of mid-afternoon boredom. But the real reason I have it is that I was reading the reviews for it in the app store, and several different people complained that the game’s music was “depressing.” Eventually I thought – hell, I have to see what this depressing music is. As it turns out, it’s this little tune that sounds a bit like balalaika music. In fact, I would say it’s a reference to the music from the original Tetris game, which was one of my favorites as a child. I found the music to the original game on YouTube and when I listened to the clip it reminded me of being ten years old, punching my brother on the arm until he gave up the game controller. Good times!
Tetris actually had several different tunes.
There is the most familiar one – even if you were not a nerdy kid in the late 80s playing electronic puzzle block games, you have probably heard this before:
There is also this one:
It’s funny the evocative power those little bips and beeps have. Because on the one hand, these looped soundtracks are fairly annoying – in retrospect I can see why my mother always seemed to end up leaving the room when we were playing Nintendo. On the other, my brother also remembers having a lot of fun with these games when we were small. (For the record, we were not total shut-ins. We also had fun, and opportunities to hit one another, with baseball equipment, hammocks, home-made PVC-pipe Ninja Turtle weapons, Barbies, couch cushions, beach toys, and books of various sizes. And I think I once chased him around the yard with a bottle of Windex. I don’t remember why.) If you look on the internet, people have put up little clips of not only this, but a lot of other video game music as well. It seems to be one of those things that evokes quite strong memories. The music I remember most from when I was young is still the actual music I heard on the radio and the stuff I sat through at my mother’s orchestra rehearsals, and the little pieces I scraped out on the violin. But there’s probably room for a few loops of 8-bit Tchaikovsky too.