As many others I’ve grown up with computers, e.g. VIC20, C64, C128, A500, A600, A1200, A4000; there are lots of others but mainly the C64 and A1200 have been the computers of my childhood.
Growing up with games on these platforms one also grows up with a particular sound. The C64 had very primitive sound capabilities compared to modern PC´s but it was still able to create a very interesting electronic soundcape. Sampled sound on C64 didn’t sound very well as it was only 8 bit. The Amiga had both synthesis and pretty good sampling and so was able to produce more natural realistic music and audio. But both computers had a style and the Amiga had chiptunes. These were minimalistic music sequenced in a tracker. The instruments used very short samples which would sound synthetic and could also emulate C64 audio.
To date there is a very large collection of this retro music living on the internet. There is more than 100,000 songs from different platforms. Maybe twice as much or more. This music is captured in legacy formats and programs (C64 music is actually programs). The music came from games, demos (visual effects programs combined with synchronized music), and from people composing independent music in tracker software. Much of the music is called “mods” or modules. Examples of mod formats include mod, xm, s3m, it. But there are probably hundreds.
To play this music today, you need emulator and player programs that can emulate the hardware of the C64 for example. One of the most prolific player programs is the Deliplayer. This program originated on the Amiga but it has been ported to the PC. You can also use other programs with plugins.
Much of the music of the Commodore era is now being remixed with very powerful equipment. There is even commercial remixes of the old music. Even hitlist music uses the C64 sound from time to time and there have been some controverses over alleged clever stealing of the old music in commercial productions without playing royalties.
If you wish to reexperience the sound of the old school days, or if you wish to experience it in a new form, remixed by skilled musicians, then follow these links.
Using emulators, you can also replay the games again. See
To play the music, you can use