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Chip music came out of nowhere, and meant musicians had to work with a whole new sound and set of techniques in order to get the most impressive results from the sound chips.
The best chip musicians also wrought great musicality from them, though, and their musical influences were many and varied. While it's impossible to present a definitive list, it's fair to say that synth-heavy artists like Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Kraftwerk held some sway, as did classical music in general, albeit presented in a more digestible 'neo-classical' format.
The straightforward pop sensibilities of synthpop were also manifested in 8-bit tunes, and plenty of chip musicians used their skills to imitate rock bands, often complete with wailiing lead guitars.
A tracker for PC that was sometimes used to make chiptunes. Notably, it offered filters - something that most trackers up to that point did not.