Music for Classic Call of Cthulhu

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Imperator

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Well, what the title says.

This Sunday I will be running a one-shot for a friend who hasn't ever played CoC and considers it a shame or something :grin: I like to use music for my games, albeit low volume and non distracting, and so I am always on the hunt for new music, specially as my wife gets tired very quickly of listening the same music for more than a few sessions.

So, Call of Cthulhu, classic 1920s era, which music would you recommend? I am looking for music for every kind of scene, from ambient to parties to horror to action.
 

opaopajr

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Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band.

Here's their :eek: disco :confused: hit, "Cherchez Le Femme."

;) (someone had to bring it! take SAN loss!) :cool:
 

The Butcher

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Where in the world is the game set?

For contemporary ambience music — is it a urbane flappers and speakeasies sort of scenario, or more of a decrepit mansions and cursed rural dynasties sort of game?

In any case, when it comes to "contact with eldricht horrors" incidental music I always suggest looking into modern, atonal composers like Karlheinz Stockhauser, György Ligeti and Krzysztof Penderecki. (I might be going out on a limb here but I feel sometimes they tap on the same modernistic, holy-shit-nothing-makes-sense-anymore anxiety as HPL himself).
 

Imperator

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Arkham. I wanted to provide the most arquetypical game of CoC I could think of. Not much in the way of speakeasies.
 

Necrozius

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Not pop music from the era, but atmospheric stuff can be found here (downloaded for free or streamed directly). 10 mins, looping tracks:

http://tabletopaudio.com/

I can't figure out how to link to a track directly, so here's a list in case you're interested:

Look for:
Lively Cafe
1920s Speakeasy
1940's Office (wrong decade, but it should still be appropriate)
Strangers on a Train
Docks District
The Age of Steam
Industrial Shipyard

For general spooky exploration stuff:
Swamplandia
Dark and Stormy
Abandoned Fair
House on the Hill
 

Baulderstone

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It won't help you yet, but here is a blog where a guy is putting together a mix for every year of recorded audio. He is only up to 1892 at the moment, but he'll eventually get up to the '20s.

The music industry and Broadway were already huge in the '20s, so running out of material should not be a problem. Youtube is overflowing from uploaded albums from the early 20th century, so just dig in there.

Also, here is a 1922 list from Victor Records of albums that should be in every home, just to ground you in what were considered the classics at that time, so you aren't just playing "new" pop music all the time. Not everyone was hip to jazz back then. This is probably closer to what the professors at Arkham University were listening to than Fats Waller.

Title Artist/Orchestra Cat. No. Size List Price
Martha—Quartetto motturno --Alda-Jacoby-Caruso-Journet 95210 12 $2.50
Same Old, Dear Old Place --Braslau 74681 12 $1.75
Pagliacci—Vesti la giubba Italian --Caruso 88061 12 $1.75
Elegie—Melodie (Massenet) French --Caruso-Elman 89066 12 $2.00
Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2—Part 1 (Liszt) --Cortot 74670 12 $1.75
La Paloma Spanish --de Gogorza 74379 12 $1.75
Don Carlos-O Carlo, ascolta Italian --de Luca 64957 10 $1.25
Tales of Hoffmann—Barcarolle French --Farrar-Scotti 87502 10 $1.50
La Capinera Italian --Galli-Curci 64792 10 $1.25
Oh, That We Two Were Maying --Gluck-Homer 87525 10 $1.50
Valse Bluette (Drigo) --Heifetz 64758 10 $1.25
Liebesfreud (Old Vienna Waltz) --Kreisler 74196 12 $1.75
Dear Old Pal of Mine --McCormack 64785 10 $1.25
Lo, Here the Gentle Lark --Melba 88073 12 $1.75
Walkure—Ride of the Valkyries --Philadelphia Orchestra 74684 12 $1.75
Onward, Christian Soldiers --Schumann-Heink 87298 10 $1.25
Damnation of Faust—Rakoczy Hungarian March --Toscanini and La Scala Orchestra 74695 12 $1.75
Oh, Dry Those Tears --Williams 74199 12 1.75
 

Imperator

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It won't help you yet, but here is a blog where a guy is putting together a mix for every year of recorded audio. He is only up to 1892 at the moment, but he'll eventually get up to the '20s.

The music industry and Broadway were already huge in the '20s, so running out of material should not be a problem. Youtube is overflowing from uploaded albums from the early 20th century, so just dig in there.

Also, here is a 1922 list from Victor Records of albums that should be in every home, just to ground you in what were considered the classics at that time, so you aren't just playing "new" pop music all the time. Not everyone was hip to jazz back then. This is probably closer to what the professors at Arkham University were listening to than Fats Waller.
Lovely stuff, Baulderstone. Many thanks :smile:
 

The Butcher

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Just hit Spotify and can confirm Penderecki is your go-to guy for terror and desolation.

This is what an "allegro" in a Penderecki symphony sounds like
Make sure you also check out Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and The Devils of Loudun.
 

opaopajr

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I think these might be useful if you ever ran one of those Ladies' Societies, often patronizing the arts -- often of the Classical tradition.

Faith and the Muse -- Iago's Demise

Miranda Sex Garden -- Lovely Joan

Miranda Sex Garden -- Gush Forth My Tears

Miranda Sex Garden's "Madra" album is their first, and essentially an a cappella madrigal album. Which would very much be in the vein of Ladies' Societies, especially if they wanted to protest a point amid the Suffragette Movement in the USA (where Arkham, Mass. would be located). The UK Suffragette Movement was more violent, and the USA version took on non-violence and virtuousness as its thrust for change.

Altogether could be a wonderful mask for a mythos cult. You could take Madra and transition it into "Lovely Joan" and then "Iago's Demise." That can show a descent into greater mysteries with building malice and resentment, like corruption by Mythos.
 

Imperator

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Just wanted to let you know that your suggestions were put to good use and frankly, the results were excellent. So, many thanks. :smile:

Allow me, please, to ask of you a new challenge. This one-shot will have, at least, one small continuation: I am running an scenerio set in South Carolina, American Gothic, swamps, voodoo, snakes and all that. Any ideas for music approppriate to the setting?

And, by the way, I heartily recommend the "Mansions of Madness" book. The 6 adventures are top notch, IMHO.
 

opaopajr

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Oh that's easy!

Nouvelle Vague, a French interpretation of New Wave music through Bossa Nova aesthetics. Lots of natural noises with a slower, haunting pace, and well, New Wave lyrics.

Nouvelle Vague -- The Forest

Nouvelle Vague -- Marian

Nouvelle Vague -- Bela Lugosi's Dead

(And now you're gaming what has been on my To Do List for over 8 years now! (CoC & Nouvelle Vague = Southern Gothic Mythos) Lucky bastard... Enjoy!)
 
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