The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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J T
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Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by J T Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:42 pm

I listen to chiptunes more than any other genre at the moment. Fantomenk, Anamanaguchi, She, Souleye, nullsleep and others.

I'm a long time music fanatic and it's weird to me that I have come to love this tinny sounding music patched together out of old electronics and game systems. I can't tease out how much of it I like for its musicality and how much I like simply because I love videogames and the use of NES and SNES noises just makes me feel jazzed because they are paired in my mind with the exciting and happy moments I've had while gaming. You all are probably the wrong group to ask this question, but I'm wondering if non-gamers can appreciate this style of music. Thoughts?
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by RyaNtheSlayA Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:48 pm

I don't know about non-gamers, but I've met people that had never seen a 16bit or 8bit system that liked chip-tune music.

Music is music, regardless of the instruments. Some people will like it and some people wont. Sure gamers might innately find more joy in it, but it's certainly not impossible for a non-gamer to appreciate chiptunes.
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by Menegrothx Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:13 pm

Why do you even need to ask? Good music is good music, every one can enjoy it. Final Fantasy Battle themes sound good both on electric guitar and on SNES/PSX. And I'm sure people who like music in a more academic sense who aren't intrested in video games or old computers&console hardware can appreciate the fact that old school video game composers had to work with very limited hardware (and they needed to have a firm grasp of math, programming skills and hardware specs in order to even do anything on those systems). It's more impressive to do something with limited resources, when you have to think outside the box.
Naturally "modern chipmusic" (music that sounds like C64 or NES music but doesn't run on actual hardware/uses more sound channels etc) isn't impressive from a technical point of view, but whether you compose a song with electric guitar or Gameboy bleep sounds is a matter of artistic preference, what kind of mood you're aiming for etc.
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by Key-Glyph Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:07 pm

Yes, because some of the prominent chiptune musicians, at least in the New York scene around BlipFest, weren't gamers. Bubblyfish comes to mind, but I'm sure there are others. And for the others who are gamers, it would be interesting to know how many of them actively play(ed) games on the consoles they experiment with.

In the documentary Reformat the Planet, they interview a lot of people involved in the community who were artists first, either with music or visuals, who just thought this quirky little medium had serious expressive potential.

But I do wonder myself sometimes if I'd've loved these very specific electronic sounds if I hadn't had some other connection to them. For example, so many people out there in the world adore the sounds of the Commodore 64 soundchip. I don't, particularly -- but I also didn't grow up with one. How much am I influenced by that fact? On the other hand, I never particularly enjoyed playing the NES, but I absolutely loved the way it sounded. How to explain that one in this context?
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by jfrost Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:46 pm

Weirdly, I tend to not like chiptune music that was not actually used in games. I don't know why. Perhaps it just seems too artificial and meaningless.
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by ExedExes Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:06 pm

Heck you don't have to *play* this to enjoy this, just gotta go to YouTube

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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by Hobie-wan Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:44 pm

Similarly there is a lot of early 80s synthpop that has a particular sound to it too due to people using the same presets on earlier keyboards. Furthermore it is like music that uses a lot of TB-303 or TB-808. They have very recognizable sounds that can link them together, but it is a matter of the musicality of what is created with them.
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by o.pwuaioc Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:10 pm

For the record, Anamanaguchi state that their music isn't inspired by retro games, since that was before their time, but rather bands they grew up listening to like Weezer (and others).
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by brandman Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:09 pm

jfrost wrote:Weirdly, I tend to not like chiptune music that was not actually used in games. I don't know why. Perhaps it just seems too artificial and meaningless.


This. I can't stand it, I mean I don't mind if just a few samples are thrown in (only Skrillex's Reptile's Theme comes to mind for the moment) but when it is all comprised of electronic bleeps with more advanced bleeps it just sounds too out there for me. I mean I like a lot of different music, I just can't get into this stuff. If anyone has any good songs for me to listen to then I'll lend an ear, but as of now I just don't like it. :?
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Re: Can non-gamers appreciate chiptune music?

by MrPopo Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:21 pm

If anyone has any good songs for me to listen to then I'll lend an ear, but as of now I just don't like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euLdKW_Db1k
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