There was something magical about the simplicity of the old school gaming. The graphics were all pushing the limits of limited technology, the controls were innovative, involving combinations that had to be easily mastered yet varied enough to provide attack and movement options, but perhaps some of the most beautiful work to come out of old school gaming was the music. No system or cabinet hardware is as musically awesome or memorable as the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The amazing thing about the NES, musically, is that even with a limited set of synththetic sounds to make 8-bit midi soundtracks and score, different companies managed to have distinct styles and feels to their different soundtracks. For example, Capcom games always have superior music…and they continue to have great music to this day. The music in Castlevania was without parallel in setting the tone. Nintendo tends to have highly musical, and endless appropriate music that you would never expect (for example did you know that the Super Mario Bros theme is a waltz?). To this day, people of my generation and younger love the music that captured their imaginations as kids. With that said, many of them grow up to become musicians—really talented ones—and cannot help themselves but to learn how to play these tunes that are as fundamental to their sensibility of music as any other compositions. When I first started to learn guitar and bass back in the late 90s, I know that I did.
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