The Chiptuning of the World

Chris Tonelli

in The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Music Studies, Volume 2

Published in print March 2014 | ISBN: 9780199913657
Published online July 2014 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Music

The Chiptuning of the World

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This chapter examines the role of re-presentation in the musical genre of chiptune and the relation it may have to the real and imagined mobility afforded by portable video gaming devices. It employs Gaston Bachelard's observations on imagined mobility to analyze the ways the experiential affordances of video gaming have come to be articulated with the sounds of early video game systems and how this articulation, in conjunction with the portability of gaming devices, helped mark the sounds of early video game systems as tools for the transformation of both public space and the collective musical unconscious. Focusing specifically on the Nintendo Game Boy as a central symbol of the international chip music scene, the chapter considers the implications its portability has had for music inspired by, but distinct from, early video game music.

Keywords: mobility; musical meaning; music scenes; Nintendo Game Boy; Gaston Bachelard; popular music; chip music; chiptune; aesthetics of re-presentation; imitation; pastiche; video game music; Little Sound DJ; LSDJ

Article.  12693 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Sound Studies

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