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The History of Music and Slot Games
Slot games are more popular in 2023 than any other type of casino game.
22:56 11 May 2023
Slot games are more popular in 2023 than any other type of casino game. The roulette wheel and card games like blackjack may feature more often in movie or television casino scenes, but it is the slots that most people play in real life.
There has always been a large customer base for them, but online slots have taken it to the next level. The addition of video graphics, playful themes and music to the slot formula has refreshed the games for a modern audience.
Almost all slots of today use appropriate music. For example, if you visit a big site like Rainbow Riches Casino, you will find that its Irish-themed slot games come with jaunty music that conjures up the Emerald Isle.
Given how commonplace the use of music in slots now is, let’s look at the history of the two together.
The History of Slot Game Music
Slot machines did not feature music back when they were first launched. The earliest examples of these games, such as the celebrated Liberty Bell, were created during the 19th century and the technology did not exist to allow music to be included.
Even when the machines became the backbone of casinos in Las Vegas and other cities during the 20th century, music was not a part of the play. Those fruit machines featured simple sound effects like bleeps and clinking coin noises that chimed in with the flashing lights and helped to make playing them more exciting for the public.
However, although slot games themselves did not feature anything that could truly be described as music, melody was part of the casino experience as a whole by the 1950s. At first it was recorded jazz tunes by the big stars of the day, before the launch of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in the 1970s saw casinos embrace rock.
Live performances by top rock and pop performers soon became an essential part of the Vegas casino world, but the slot games remained stuck with the same basic audio effects as before. In the 1980s slot machines were finally given their first music, although the jingles were simple and can really be seen as a precursor to the mobile ringtones of today.
It was a start though and the following decade would bring the key development in the history of slots and music.
The Arrival of Online Slots
It was improvements in technology enabling casinos – and slot games – to be launched on the internet that really changed things. Online slot games are the ones that have made music absolutely integral to the play.
That is because the developers of slots for online casinos were able to give them interesting themes, like the Irish Rainbow Riches ones mentioned earlier. These slots usually have storylines that play out through video graphics, and music that fits those stories is integrated into them to enhance the themes.
The use of music in modern day slots serves a number of different purposes.
- Reinforcing themes
The first of these is to help emphasise the particular theme of a slot through suitable music.
- Adding atmosphere
Another key function of online slot music is to add atmosphere to the gaming. That helps to make the online casino experience less cold and impersonal than it might otherwise be, compared with the land-based casinos with their bright lights and background tunes.
- Maintaining player investment
The use of music can actually help determine how people play the games. Research has found that faster tunes speed up the reaction times of slot players, while slower music leads them to bet more frequently.
The combination of music and video graphics also makes the play more engaging, which keeps players interested in the games for longer.
The Most Popular Slot Music
The most popular music used in slots games varies a lot. Sometimes it is tunes that are designed purely to fit the themes; for example the Viking music used in the Vikings Go Berserk slot or the traditional Irish music in the Rainbow Riches series.
At other times slots are actually based on the big pop and rock bands of the day. Those slots use songs by the artists in question and are big favourites with both online casino players and the fans of the bands or singers.
Then there are movie themed slots like the various Marvel superhero ones. In those the music is typically the swelling orchestral themes heard in the original films and the aim is to heighten the drama of the play.
Music is central to the popularity of slots, because it makes the games more enjoyable and helps to make their different themes more real and immersive. It also keeps casino customers playing the games for longer.