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Game Boy music isn't music you will find on a Game Boy, while playing one of its games. It's music created using the Game Boy system and Nintendo's line of Game Boys. The sound is like chiptune music, having the same qualities and sounds and is really the same thing. The only major difference is that it's created using the Game Boy and the several pieces of software available for it, to create the music.
The music that can be heard in those Game Boy games will be the same that can be made with the software. With these programs, called trackers, the musician can place the notes and the pitch of them in a sequence, known as a pattern. The same "beeps," for the waveforms (sawtooth, square, etc...), and the "pssh," for the percussion (white noise) can be heard and made with this software.
The trackers are typically very simple in nature, but can be more complex depending on which software is being used. And as technology advances, and the newer Game Boys are being released, the software will become more sophisticated as well. Stylistically, it can be as experimental as electronica music, but uses a lot of the same structure that can be found in trance and techno, as well.
The Game Boy system was released in Japan under the name "Gemu Boi," in 1989 and released in the United States a year later.
In 1997, the very first program for a Game Boy system was created. A very simple program that took the creator about three days to complete. A piece of software that allows the artist to place notes and edit repeating patterns in real time.
During the rest of the 1990s, up until the 2000s, there were several other programs created for the Game Boy systems, including a camera for the Game Boy system that would allow the user to take photos and would eventually lead to a DJ type game, also being a sequencer.
During the early to mid-2000s, more programs were released and more artists were starting to discover this new way of making chiptune music through the Game Boy system. Real time synthesizers were being created and were being used to make this music.
Even though the Game Boy chiptune scene is small, it's spread throughout the world and is recognized by many people. There are still trackers and programs being released to make this music on Nintendo's line of Game Boy systems.
Average Beats Per Minute: 120-140
Where It Originated: Japan, United States
Stylistically Similar To: Chiptune, Techno, Electronica
Year Developed: Mid-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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