In stark contrast to Honkai Impact 3rd's heavy techno and rock style of music, miHoYo went for a full-on orchestral approach to Genshin Impact's soundtrack, recorded and performed by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra (the latter of which joined in for the composition of Inazuma's music) and the London Symphony Orchestra (joining in for Sumeru's music).
Despite the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, lead composer Yu-Peng Chen made a Herculean effort into coordinating the HoYo-Mix team and the various orchestras in order to deliver one of the best soundtracks for a free-to-play game.
Original Game Soundtrack
The Wind and the Star Traveler
- Stormterror's boss theme, "Caelestinum Finale Termini", is a Climax Boss for the Prologue chapter of the story along with a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! for what was once a kind dragon reduced to a feral beast.
City of Winds and Idylls
- Mondstadt is home to a variety of relaxing and gregarious themes. "Welp, Didn't Expect That" is the go-to track for moments full of levity. It is also amusingly similar to "Groose's Theme" from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, as both tracks share a goofy ambience.
- Andrius's second battle theme, "Symphony of Boreal Wind", sounds just like the haunting orchestral Background Music that's common to Castlevania. The rhythm starts off slow, yet becomes progressively faster and louder until the ominous chanting kicks in. Overall, this music gives an imposing feel for That One Boss.
Jade Moon Upon a Sea of Clouds
- Qingce Village's theme, "Peaceful Hike" and "The Fading Stories". Slow-paced, yet solemn and soothing.
- "Bird Call From Afar", which can only be heard at night at the mountaintops of Jueyun Carst. Imposing yet strangely calming, with only a lone bird's cry piercing the ambience.
- Disc 3 features all three Liyue battle themes:
- "Rapid as Wildfires" starts right away with a fast-paced rhythm of violins, a piano and a glockenspiel to keep the player alert during enemy encounters. The orchestra stays strong through the entire track, but occasionally gives the spotlight to solo pieces from the flute, the pipa and the guzheng. Certain parts still are relaxing though, especially when the flutes and other stringed instruments are played.
- The second battle theme, "Chasing the Torrents", features a playful clarinet, flute and oboe trio that's soon backed by soothing violins and an uplifting brass. A piano and a piccolo also join in on the fun in the later, more frantic half of the track.
- The third battle theme, "Gallant Challenge" continues the cavalcade of "Rapid as Wildfires" by upping the tempo, this time centering around a trio consisting of a piano, a guzheng and a flute. It is fittingly used during more heated encounters such as a battle against Ruin Guards.
The Shimmering Voyage
- Azhdaha's battle theme. The first part, "Ode to Azhdaha", is accompanied by trumpets, horns and Ominous Latin Chanting, perfectly giving the atmosphere of 'fighting something as ancient as the mountains themselves'. Then the second phase starts, and the music turns to "Rage Beneath the Mountains", giving a fast, intense piece to pump your adrenaline as the boss gets serious, and you have to put in your all to take this ancient beast down, perhaps with the help of your friends. Towards the end of the second phase theme, you can hear chanting, but this time it's an actual poem in Old Chinese, recounting the story of Morax and Azhdaha.
- Tartaglia/Childe's battle theme starts off with a mischievous, cheerful vibe that reflects Tartaglia's light-hearted Blood Knight personality, with flutes and lonely-sounding string instruments reminding one of what his homeland must be like, and culminates into a pipe organ and ominous choir crescendo reminiscent of the Abyss. The first act, "Never-Ending Performance", is even a mix of Chinese (representing Liyue) and Russian (representing Snezhnaya) musical instruments and styles. The third act, "Wrath of Monoceros Caeli", ratchets up the defining elements of Childe's battle theme with its ominous fusion of dark orchestral and electronic sounds that convey a sense of dread and danger befitting his Foul Legacy Transformation, while also evoking the other nuances of his overall character design such as the high, wailing strings that are reminiscent of whale songs.
- "L'arrivo Della Signora" is La Signora's Establishing Character Moment in a musical form — dramatic, angry, and dangerous.
Fleeting Colors in Flight
- The addition of Shenhe and Yun Jin brings with it "Devastation and Redemption", combining the modernised oriental sound of the Liyue soundtrack with Chinese opera. Whether or not you've played through the archon quest for context, it'll bring a tear to your eye - just for different reasons.
Islands of the Lost and Forgotten
- Like her fellow Harbinger, La Signora gets an awesome battle theme, "Chrysalis Suspirii" and "Saltatio Favillae", despite her decidedly underwhelming fight. It starts with a quiet yet lowly ominous string that gets accompanied with dainty yet cold soft sounds very reminiscent of a Tchaikovsky orchestral piece. It then gets accompanied by even more ominous female chanting which follows by a soft male chorus as the song itself momentarily takes a lamenting pace before going back into the harsh and cold storm. This all then culminates into the Phase II climax which incorporates Heavy Metal guitars, Drum and Bass beats, and massive amounts of Orchestral Bombing. Yet throughout this second phase, a female vocalist sings a dignified yet melancholic solo as the male chorus ominously chants in the background. The overall final phase sounds more akin to a tragic opera compared to the more battle-hungry Childe.
- Both battle themes for Raiden Shogun, the Climax Boss of Inazuma storyline. "Bane of Ambitions" is a fast-paced, oppressive track with no respite in rhythm, perfectly illustrating the hopeless nature of this phase of the fight. The next phase, "Thunderings of the Merciless" puts Inazuma's Recurring Riff into the theme, giving it an intense, hopeful feel as you defiantly face a bona fide goddess of thunder, supported and empowered by the prayer and will of the citizens, and eventually make her submit and acknowledge you and her citizens' willpower.
- "Stories of Remote Antiquity", which plays in the Court of Pillars at the bottom of The Chasm: Underground Mines, is a beautiful ambient piece. While most of the music in the Underground Mines is a combination of ominous, foreboding, melancholic, or sad, this one has a majestic albeit bittersweet feel to it as you're greeted with the view of the Chasm Nail; a remnant of Celestia not unlike the Skyfrost Nail from Dragonspine. Its battle variant, "Inevitable Conflict", ramps up the tension of this piece as it suddenly gives you a reminder that the Abyss Order holds influence here, and it is your job to stop them from corrupting the Nail even further. The fact that it complements the following battle against the Ruin Serpent makes the theme more impactful and leaves a strong impression that many more of Celestia's mysteries are waiting to be unveiled.
The Shimmering Voyage Vol. 2
- The entirety of Fischl's OST during the "Summertime Odyssey" event when playing in her Mirage, from the baroque and gothic music played on piano and organ to the kickass combo of harpsichord and guitar solos in the action music. Many fans became addicted at how awesome and authentically gothic Fischl's theme song is; quite fitting for a self-proclaimed princess of a far-away medieval Germanic kingdom. Likewise, many were dismayed that the music can only be listened to on a limited-time event, and it is unlikely any new players would experience it in gameplay outside of YouTube recordings.
- "Elogia Cinerosa" is the backdrop trailer music for the Teyvat Chapter Interlude "A Winter's Night Lazzo", taking place deep within Snezhnaya. After a few chapters completely shrouded in mystery, most of the Fatui Harbingers make their debut by solemnly attending La Signora's funeral, heralded by Columbina's serene, yet chilling lullaby before the oppressive orchestra and choir take over with unbending resolution.
Forest of Jnana and Vidya
- "Hustle and Bustle of Ormos" starts out subtle with steady drums, but the main melody turns into a powerful and insanely catchy beat that has been known to catch players by surprise to the point they stop dead in their tracks and just take a moment to bask in the music. Don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself bopping your head to the beat, or even dancing!
Character Original Soundtracks
The Stellar Moments albumsEver wanted to fully listen to the music in the character trailers? Well, now they're here, and theyre as amazing as youd expect.
- "Let's Go, Crimson Knight!" is a bizarre mix of twinkly kids show music and a jazzy action number straight out of Super Smash Bros. that perfectly fits the Badass Adorable Klee.
- "Rex Incognito" is a beautiful theme for Zhongli. The simple beat gradually becoming more complex, the crescendos matching his trailer's lovely editing, and the insane beat all perfectly match his character. It's classy and badass!
- "Any Last Words?" combines traditional Chinese instruments, trap beats, and old-timey horror movie tunes into a track filled with silliness and spookiness — in other words, Hu Tao's theme.
- "Adroit Deputy" continues the theme of mixing traditional (this time Japanese) instruments with modern instruments, creating a rock variation that encapsulates Kuki Shinobu's defiance of societal expectations and does all of that in merely a minute and nine seconds as the second-shortest track on the third album.
- "Evening Luxury" is a truly epic track - for an outfit teaser no less. The first part, corresponding to Diluc, is a rock remix of the Dawn Winery theme, while the second part, corresponding to Fischl, has all the fantastical gothic drops as found also in the Shimmering Voyage tracks.
- "Caprice of the Leaves" is an energetic tune sure to leave anyone in a cheerful mood, a perfect representation of Collei's new-found joy in life.
- "Graceful Dexterity", Yelan's theme, mixes jazzy casino atmosphere with early 20th century Shanghai vibe into a mysterious, seductive piece that wouldn't be out of place in a film noir.
- Surasthana Fantasia embodies the fantastical wonder that Nahida experiences in dreams while in the Sanctuary of Surasthana. The drop features a masterful blend of Aranara choir and dubstep - the same way Sumeru mixes dreamlike fairy tale aesthetics with sci-fi themes.
"Footprints of the Traveler'' albumsAn album featuring the absolutely hype tracks used in Version Trailers was finally released.
- Fleeting Colors in Flight starts off vibrant and hopeful, befitting the Lantern Rite, Teyvat's version of Chinese New Year. Then, the track transitions to an ominous but steady beat culminating in the majestic reveal of Enkanomiya.
- The official YouTube channels for Genshin Impact and its sound team, HOYO-MiX, are very keen on promoting the game's incredibly varied soundtrack through the live performance of several pieces, especially when it's done by prestigious orchestras around the world.
- The Shanghai Symphony Orchestra comes together to perform for Liyue's chapter, putting a lot of gusto in the live performance of "Rapid as Wildfires" and Qinqce Village's theme.
- Realm of Tranquil Eternity is fittingly represented by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and includes Inazuma's regional theme and the battle theme "Overlord of the Thunderstorm" during its live performance. A separate MV for "Duel in the Mist" showcases the intense tempo of the track.
- The London Symphony Orchestra gets to shine in Sumeru's soundtrack by performing live renditions of the eponymous nation's regional theme and "Swirls of Shamshir", employing several exotic instruments such the santur and the sitar, then mixing them with a cascade of wind, violin and brass movements.