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For the first time, a videogame theme has been nominated for a Grammy - sort of. Among the nominees for best instrumental arrangement accompanying vocalist(s) is composer Christopher Tin's "Baba Yetu," featuring the Soweto Gospel Choir singing the Lord's Prayer in Swahili. Initially written as the theme song for the 2005 strategy game "Civilization IV," it has become something of a modern choral standard, as well as a regular feature of the popular Video Games Live concert tour, featuring game music performed symphonically.
"Baba Yetu" was made eligible for the 2010 Grammys thank to its inclusion on Tin's classical/world fusion album "Calling All Dawns," which is also up for best classical crossover album. Grammy rules state that a song must be commercially available in an audio-only format (such as MP3 or CD), and not simply as part of a soundtrack (video-game or otherwise), to be considered for nomination. For that reason, "Baba Yetu" ineligible until this year.
Nevertheless, the videogame community is celebrating the nod as long-deserved recognition of videogame music as a format. Tin, a well-known videogame composer, has also written music for "World of Cars Online" and "Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer." His "Baba Yetu" competes against Roger Treece's "Baby," Vince Mendoza's "Based on a Thousand True Stories," Geoffrey Keezer's "Don't Explain" and Herbie Hancock and Larry Klein's "Imagine."