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Spectrum Music: Bleepin' all over the world...

Dr Kenny McAlpine examines the evolution of video game music on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

Although the ZX Spectrum’s beeper was rudimentary, it wasn’t long before developers managed to work out inventive ways to use it.

In this video, we’ll look at the development of the Spectrum sound, from the simple bleeps of Horace Goes Skiing through to the sophisticated multi-channel prog-rock arrangements of Tim Follin’s games.

Once you’ve completed the video step, I’d like you to follow the links below and download one of the ZX Spectrum emulators and a selection of game ROMs. Play through the games and listen to the music. Can you identify from the sound, where in the developmental timeline the game is from?

Please note that these links will take you to external websites that are not affiliated with either FutureLearn or Abertay University.

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Video Game Design and Development: A Bit-by-Bit History of Video Game Music: Video Game Sound and Music

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