The Assassin's Creed soundtrack is a collection of music tracks written by Danish composer Jesper Kyd that were used as background music in Assassin's Creed. It was released online on 14 November 2007.
- City of Jerusalem - 3:11
- Flight Through Jerusalem - 3:39
- Spirit of Damascus - 1:31
- Trouble In Jerusalem - 4:04
- Acre Underworld - 3:24
- Access the Animus - 9:34
- Dunes of Death - 1:46
- Masyaf In Danger - 3:43
- Meditation Begins - 2:47
- Meditation of the Assassin - 3:43
- The Bureau - 3:12
Creation of the score
Out of more than a dozen composers considered for the job of writing the Assassin's Creed score, Jesper Kyd was the one who accepted the challenge of bringing the past and the future together in musical harmony. With a science fiction story set both in modern times and almost a thousand years ago, the job of marrying both very different musical eras and the mixture of cultures would prove difficult but ultimately rewarding. Kyd began initially by creating rules for himself to follow when approaching the composition of certain themes, particularly for locations.
Acre – With this being the Christian city of the game, he used a Western style palette in the creation of the music. Aware that music of the era was based around mostly folk and religious choral chants, he used this as a basis, as well as adding instruments including piano, harp, acoustic guitars and violins as an attempt to lighten the quality of the piece. Kyd noted that with the musical theme of Acre he tried to give it a tragic undertone to reflect the suffering of the city in past battles, seen in the ruins around it.
Damascus – Kyd referred to this as the 'proudest' of the city themes that he had written, as the city had never been overtaken or overthrown. The music here is fleshed around a Middle-Eastern style and arrangements, based on that of the period, and that he portrayed it as a heroic anthem for the city. For this effect he used Muslim male vocals, whispering, chanting and prayers, and ethnic instruments such as the oud, ney flute, mizmar, mijwiz, buzuq and traditional Egyptian instruments.
Jerusalem – For this, Kyd mixed both templates created for Acre and Damascus, the meeting of both East and West musically as in the reality of that time, showing the clash of both cultures and religions. His plan was to create a piece that was moving, emotional and spiritual with the use of large choirs, priest chants and even whispering references to the Bible spoken in Latin. He used a combination of orchestral strings, acoustic guitars as well as vocalists singing in both Eastern and Western styles.
Masyaf – In contrast to the other grand pieces of the cities of Assassin's Creed, for the Assassin Stronghold, Kyd brought the tone down to a calm, meditative one. Using bells, gongs, bowls, whispering, choirs, solo female vocalists and gamelans. He wished to show the discipline and spirituality at the core of the Assassins.
"Investigation music" – This is the phrase used by Kyd in reference to the music used when involved with missions that include interrogation, eavesdropping, following targets or pickpocketing. Though he used the same base, Kyd gave each city its own path to this, saying that "Each city has different 'Approach' or 'Interior' music which reflects the mindset of Altaïr approaching his target. It has a predator feel and occurs once you've investigated and found your target."
"Meditation of the Assassin" – This is the piece that follows the "Investigation" piece, and alters depending on the distance between Altaïr and the target. This track reflects the mind of the Assassin, and so is meditative, hypnotic yet also alert in style.
Sci-fi elements – Though the majority of the score for Assassin's Creed is traditional to the time in which the game is set, Kyd was aware that due to the sci-fi nature of the game, and of how the Assassin was being observed in the game, that modern flourishes were needed to reflect the grand scope of the story. While it is natural that the scenes with Desmond has a softer and more modern approach as it is set in modern times, even from the point of view of the Assassin it was also necessary. Kyd commented that sci-fi elements arise musically when faced in combat and when the Assassin flees the scene of a crime. He explained that this was due to the fact that this is when Altaïr is in the most danger, with the on-screen Animus glitches indicating that he is closer to death, and that the player is at risk of returning to modern times through de-synchronization.
- Jade Raymond, Producer of Assassin's Creed, stated that when picking a composer:
We listened to many composers before finding the right person for Assassin's Creed. Jesper Kyd turned out to be the perfect match for the title because he is able to create epic historical pieces fused with both traditional medieval instruments and modern synth sounds. For Assassin's Creed we wanted the score to capture the gruesome atmosphere of medieval warfare but also be edgy and contemporary. Jesper not only achieved this balance but also underlined the changes in gameplay and pacing in a way that immerses the player even further into the Assassin's Creed experience.
- Several tracks including: "City of Jerusalem" and "Flight Through Jerusalem" are available to listen to at Jesper Kyd's website