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Bitpop is a sub-genre of chiptune music, and therefor will have many similarities to chiptune. This genre of music will use a sound chip, like chiptune does, but it's not limited to only using sound chips. It can incorporate traditional instruments as well (such as the guitar and bass for example), in addition to the sound chips.And like electronica music, it can be very experimental.
The amount that these instruments are added will vary from artist to artist. Some may even compose a song almost entirely of traditional instruments, only to have a melody hook that uses the sound chip, giving it its defining sound. Of course, typically, the other instruments will play a background role, and the sounds produced with sound chips will stand out.
Other composers may also use more modern software to emulate the sound of these old 8-bit system sound chips. Although most artists will use a combination of old and new equipment, giving it a notable difference from chiptune, a genre that is made with only old equipment. Another notable aspect of this music is the use of vocals on some tracks, not usually found in chiptune music.
This genre of music arose from artists who wanted to break away from the chiptune scene and be known under a different genre. It started reaching a bigger audience around the late 1990s, where more records and tracks were being released under this genre and more artists were becoming synonymous with the style and sounds used in this music.
And by the mid-2000s, it was even being incorporated into the more mainstream popular music, such as style like synthpop, thrusting its popularity to greater heights. All around the world, especially in Japan, where it originated, there were artists taking this style of music to a new level, fusing the old school game music with more modern popular music. In this respect, it shares a commonality with chiptune, which was also being fused with more mainstream music.
It may also be noted that the term closely resembles the genre "britpop," a British alternative rock sub-genre, from the United Kingdom. It's said that this genre of music has connotative properties with britpop, but whether the two terms are purposefully related is left up to speculation.
Average Beats Per Minute: 130-150
Where It Originated: Japan, United Kingdom
Stylistically Similar To: Synthpop, Electronica, Chiptune
Year Developed: Late 1990s
General Chiptune - Back to the overview of chiptune.
Bitpop - Breaking away from chiptune, but sticking to the sound chip roots.
Demoscene - A genre focused not only on music, but artistic and visual skills as well.
Game Boy Music - Music created using Nintendo's line of Game Boy systems.
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