The soundtrack to Hegemony was written to be constantly evolving; in response to the level of intensity in gameplay, and randomly when gameplay is relatively static. It contains multiple themes; each with its own unique harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic content. These separate themes were written so that each can precede or follow any other theme seamlessly.  
     Each theme is broken up into component layers. For example: Theme 1 might be made up of six layers: strings, brass, woodwinds, low percussion, mid percussion, and high percussion. For each of these component layers there are multiple intensity variations. So, the soundtrack is able to adapt to gameplay intensity by:

  • Adding or subtracting layers to increase or decrease the complexity of the music.
  • Replacing one of the currently playing layers with one of its variations (a higher or lower intensity version of the layer).


    At any point in the soundtrack there may be anywhere from 1 to 6 layers playing, depending on the intensity level and random chance. There are also three special types of layers:

  • Fills; occur randomly at certain time intervals to add variety.
  • Transitions. These are simple elements such as cymbal, timpani, or gong swells. As their name implies, they are there to smooth out the transition between sections and intensity level changes.
  • Releases. These also help smooth out transitions... when fast moving parts/loops (such as a drum pattern or string ostinato) need to stop suddenly there would normally be an awkward sounding cutoff. So to clean up the ending, a corresponding release layer is triggered. It contains a single hit or note that is allowed to sustain and decay in a natural way.


Next Page: Listening example with explanation.