The popularity for making this music increased through the eighties and nineties, as the equipment began to reduce in price. This meant that individuals were able to create tunes inexpensively and by themselves in their own home. Classic devices to do this on included the Commodore 64, the Sega Game Gear and Megadrive, and in particular, the Nintendo DS and Gameboy. These remain the go-to ways of producing 8 bit music now.
Great good old console games
The music itself began for the original games themselves, as the only way to soundtrack them. The technology had many limitations, which became a benefit by resulting in a collective trademark sound, and it perhaps enhanced the inventiveness of the programmers to create catchy and effective tunes. The themes and sounds to old games such as Space Invaders, Pac Man, Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario are universally known and loved, not just for nostalgia, but also for the 8 bit music itself.
The genre became a more collective scene when events and club nights began to appear, especially in America, and there was a small but significant cultural chiptune movement also in the UK, Europe and Japan. Its influence even seeped into other music types, both mainstream and underground, with experimental rock bands sampling 8 bit tunes, and electronic dance music replicating the bleeps and beats.
8 bit music in iPhone and iPad games3>
Nowadays, it has become even simpler to find the facilities needed to create 8 bit music. There are several apps that can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets which successfully emulates the techniques and replicates sounds from the vintage consoles to allow users to produce their own chiptunes from the comfort of their iPad. This has seen its use in popular music increase, and whilst remaining a niche underground scene, has brought the genre to many more people worldwide.