Dragon Age II Original Videogame Score

Dragon Age II Original Videogame Score Album Title:
Dragon Age II Original Videogame Score
Record Label:
Electronic Arts
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
March 8, 2011
Download at iTunes


Bioware’s latest game is a sequel to Dragon Age: Origins, a role-playing narrative video game for multiple platforms. Once again, award-winning composer Inon Zur reunited with the game’s developers to score the title. Electronic Arts plan to release the soundtrack across three low-priced digital downloads over the next few weeks. The first set of music features 12 tracks from the game, including the main theme and vocal performance.


Each of the ideas presented on this score is laid out in brief segments here. The majority of these display Zur’s tendency towards epic symphonic scoring, much like the predecessor. The “Main Theme” for Dragon Age II is an impressive display of the composer’s use of orchestra and includes several sections that recur in the rest of the score. There is an opening with unusual sounds, a vocalization (connected to Fenris) that runs through the track, and then ominous dark brass that rolls out at the end (which will come to associate with the Qunari).

Beyond the orchestral bombast, there is a balance of tracks that use unique instrumental sound combinations to create specific moods or add color to a particular game setting. The “Hawke Family Theme”, for instance, allows for a long lyric cello line to play rather unencumbered. Building on features of the Leliana’s Song DLC, Zur’s accompaniment is a bit unique with what sound like period Renaissance guitars and a harpsichord support. The result is a score that is a cross between a Goldsmith fantasy score and a Conan film. Likewise the folk-like “Tavern Music” is a refreshing deviation that builds further on the ideas of its predecessors.

Considering the depth of the fantasy underscoring further, choral backdrops lend a mysterious depth to some of the tracks gaining in great darkness for “Arishok”. “Fenris Theme” meanwhile bears some resemblance to the lyric idea in the earlier Hawke Family theme, but is a bit more mainstream-oriented in its musical style — a folk song with a slight Eastern melodic quality. The final track features the song “Rogue Heart”, performed by series’ returnee Aubrey Ashburn. Once again, Ashburn’s voice brings out the beauty and meaning of the song’s fantasy lyrics.


For the most part, the music for Dragon Age II builds on the foundations of its predecessor to offer a range of musical backgrounds. The 12 tracks here move from epic orchestral performances to more lightly-scored popularly-targeted styles, culminating in a beautiful vocal theme. However, note this is only a partial sampling of the score and additional tracks will be released over March and April. Hopefully these tracks will feature orchestral scores that are even bigger in texture and length. Regardless, this half hour release is an accessible and impressive reflection of Zur’s sequel score.

Dragon Age II Original Videogame Score Steven Kennedy

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Steven Kennedy. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

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