This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

Video Game Music (WP), with the help of the internet, has developed into its own culture with many extensions beyond existence as a body of musical work.

Fans of video game music have convened on the net and in person in various capacities. Many inspired communities have flourished as a result, despite not being directly involved with video games or game production. Fans have recorded human performances of game music, both in concert and in the studio. Some have also taken a more technical approach, such as the chiptune (WP) and mod communities that emulate (WP) the sound adapters from older computers and consoles. Other more technically focused cultures develop or use emulators to play back sound files from the original game data or archive (WP) them for others to use.


Though the term is very broad, "remixing" (WP) is commonly used to identify the resequencing, live performance, or general adaptation of an original piece from a video game to produce a new work. Presentations vary from straightforward orchestration of old computer-sequenced tunes to heavy-handed departures into rock, jazz, metal, or any other of a number of styles.

A fan culture developed in the 1990s around the practice of transcribing video game music in Wikipedia:MIDI files. This allowed fans lacking immediate ability in musical performance, but possessing some computer skill, to take early synthesizer-based game music and re-imagine it with the variety of sampled instruments afforded by the General MIDI standard. More than a few archives of such works can still be found today and have even extended into other MIDI standards.

Fan performances have also gained wide visibility, ranging from concerts to recorded remixes. A rock group called Minibosses was one of the earliest to gain traction on the Internet, hosting mp3s of performances as well as selling CDs.

Many fans are also members of remix communities, where recreational musicians, DJs, and other music talent produce re-arranged or remixed versions of tunes and then share them for download. The scale of the productions varies from artist to artist, ranging from solo pieces to massive multi-controller device soundbanks. Some of these artists have even gone on to received license from the game publisher to publish their own work. Others may simply provide a CD of their work to those who ask.


Main article: Wikipedia:Chiptune

Segments even more specialized to the culture are the fan communities that base themselves around writing remixed or even new music using the very same sound hardware of the classic game systems themselves. Though this also can be considered remixing, it uses such a specific medium that it bears separate distinction. Sometimes an emulator is used to generate the chip's sounds when the actual chip is not present. This is widely known as Wikipedia:Chip Tune and is a very comparable to the use of an Wikipedia:analog synthesizer in a music studio. Many times the composer choosing this format either has a specific familiarity with the technology being used, preference for the sound qualities of a particular chip, or is looking for a challenge in making an enjoyable music experience from a comparably simple musical tool.

Sound file and emulationEdit

Sound chip emulators, usually inspired by game system emulators, developed both as standalone media players and as plugins for popular media players like Wikipedia:Winamp. Web site communities have sprung up, and archives containing the sound data of games allow fans to hear game music on their personal computers much as it sounds in its original format. Each game system that is emulated begot a specialised format such as NSF, GBS, SID, HES, VGM, SPC, PSF, PSF2, and others.

See alsoEdit

Emulator format musicEdit


Popular sound formats by systemEdit

Remix hostsEdit

Related EventsEdit

External linksEdit

Articles and essays about video game musicEdit

References Edit