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A Deep Dive into Nightcore Music

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What Is Nightcore Music

Nightcore is a music genre developed online, specifically on platforms like YouTube. The name “Nightcore” originally referred to a type of remix that sped up and increased the pitch of existing music. It’s frequently accompanied by anime-inspired images. Born from the creative minds of the Norwegian duo Nightcore, this genre has expanded from its humble remix roots to become a powerful force in the domain of electronic dance music. Deep dive into the genre’s characteristics and find creative ways to incorporate Nightcore music tracks into your projects.

Nightcore is a subgenre of electronic dance music (EDM) created as part of a school project. Then, it evolved online, specifically on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Originally, “Nightcore” was a type of remix that sped up current pop and dance tracks by 35 percent. The result replicated the effect of playing a 33⅓-RPM vinyl record at 45 RPM. It’s no wonder the alternate name for Nightcore music is “Sped up.”

History of the genre

The genre’s development can be traced back to a school project in the early 2000s by Norwegian DJ duo Thomas S. Nilsen (aka DJ TNT) and Steffen Ojala Søderholm (aka DJ SOS). They teamed up and together became known as Nightcore. Nightcore made five albums of sped-up versions of trance recordings, including its 2002 thirteen-track debut album Energized. The duo sold their records to their friends and DJs in their local area. Nightcore’s works started appearing on the internet on file-sharing services such as LimeWire in mid-2003 and YouTube in 2006.

While the Nightcore duo didn’t produce original music, their remixes inspired a community of fans and other artists to create their own Nightcore-style remixes. This viral effect led to the proliferation of Nightcore music across various online platforms, where users would remix and share popular songs in the Nightcore style.

Over time, the Nightcore genre expanded beyond its trance and hardcore roots to encompass various musical genres, including pop, rock, hip-hop, and more. Today, Nightcore remains popular within online communities, particularly among fans of anime and gaming, who often use Nightcore remixes in fan-made videos, anime music videos (AMVs), and gaming montages. Today, Nightcore music performs well on short video social media platforms like TikTok because it holds the audience’s attention due to its high energy and speed.

The history of the Nightcore genre illustrates the power of online communities and platforms to drive the creation and circulation of new musical styles and subcultures.

Nightcore Characteristics

  1. Increased Tempo: One of the defining features of Nightcore music is its accelerated tempo. Original tracks are often sped up by 20-35% to create a faster-paced, more energetic sound.
  2. Pitch Shifting: The vocals in Nightcore songs are usually pitch-shifted to higher frequencies, giving them a more upbeat and sometimes slightly chipmunk-like quality.
  3. Emphasis on Melody: Nightcore remixes often emphasize the melodic elements of the original tracks. These highlights can involve boosting the instrumental melodies or altering the vocal melodies to make them more prominent.
  4. Energetic Atmosphere: Nightcore music evokes a sense of energy and excitement. The combination of faster tempo, pitch-shifted vocals, and emphasis on melody creates a dynamic and uplifting atmosphere that appeals to listeners seeking an adrenaline rush.
  5. Visual Aesthetics: While not strictly a musical characteristic, many Nightcore videos on platforms like YouTube feature animated or stylized visuals that complement the energetic nature of the music. These visuals often include anime characters, colorful backgrounds, and dynamic effects synchronized with the music.

Three Tips for Using Nightcore Music in Your Creative Projects:

  1. Nightcore’s sped-up style lends exceptionally well to high-energy, frenetic projects. While this track called Dreamland might make you think of a serene lullaby, it is quite the opposite. It features arcade-style sound effects, especially starting around the 1:25 minute mark. Consider using it for your resource-collecting video game project.
  2. A track like Upbeat Disco Funk House incorporates the catchy melody style of Nightcore music. That style of song is a great way to keep the audience hooked for the end credits of your project, so you can give credit where credit is due.
  3. Nightcore music and anime go hand-in-hand. Imagine using a song like Anime City for your anime-related podcast on your YouTube channel. Great for an opening montage or bumper.

You might not have school projects anymore, but don’t let that stop you from flexing your creative muscles. A Pond5 music subscription gives you access to original Nightcore Music tracks, including music from the artists we’ve highlighted here and more of the world’s top musicians. Go create, and do it quickly.