Marilou Polymeropoulou, St. Peter’s College

Creativity in Digital Music: an Ethnography of Chipmusic and the Chipscene

Marilou’s research focusses on digital music creativity. Her dissertation focusses on one kind of digital music, chipmusic. Chipmusic, also referred to as chiptune(s), 8-bit, micromusic, and fakebit, is composed on 1980s computer and videogame consoles such as the Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari, and the Nintendo Game Boy. It is also possible to compose chipmusic on any modern computing using soundchip emulating software. The core of chipmusic is 8-bit soundchips and the purpose of chipmusicians is to expand musical creativity by using technologically limited platforms.

The chipscene is a global and online community where gender, age, location, class, ethnicity or other social characteristics are not restricting factors in terms of community membership. Looking at such an arbitrary and diverse group of people and their creative practices offers significant insight into creativity as it is experienced in the digital era. Creative processes, authenticity, and intellectual property are some of the elements of creativity examined in this research project.

Marilou has been generously supported by State Scholarships Foundation in Greece and has conducted online and offline multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork with chipmusicians. She is currently in the process of writing her dissertation. She has served as a student committee member in Royal Musical Association. Her research interests transcend ethnomusicology, internet studies, and anthropology.

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