Minimal Install Sound Setup
I did a minimal install of Debian, then added stuff as I needed it. Setting up the sound system on a modern Linux is relatively simple, once you have the steps to follow.
1) Ascertain sound card installed on your box. Use "asoundconf"
$ asoundconf list
Names of available sound cards:
2) Install ALSA drivers.
# aptitude install alsa-base alsa-utils alsa-oss
3) Configure ALSA.
Run alsaconf. Answer the questions best as you can. Mostly accept defaults.
4) Adjust volume with alsamixer (or other similar).
5) Save volume settings with alsactl.
# alsactl store
Play a sound file. If you don't have a music player or a media player, now is the time to install.
6) aptitude install audacious
Try again. You should hear music. You may need to adjust volume. Use alsamixer or another similar mixer and save settings.
That's about it.