Since last July, I’ve been listening to songs by Chata, Aki Misawa, Rekka Katakiri, MintJam and composers like onoken, cranky, Sound Horizon and others.
Well, some of you never heard of these guys because they are doujin music artists

But what’s doujin music

Dojin music or doujin music is a sub-category of the dojin term. Dojins are basically non-official self-published Japanese works which can be based on official products or completely original creations. Such products are sold online on specialized sites, on the author’s own sites and in conventions such as the very popular Comic Markets.

Dojin music isn’t a musical genre in itself but is indicative of a particular publishing way, like the term "indie" would be.

Dojin music consists very often of video game music fan arrangements. Many original music is also created, be it music for dojin games or simply mainstream music such as pop, rock or techno.

By nature, dojin music is most often reduced to synthetic digital productions which allow for self-production at low costs, as opposed to studio mastering live instruments require. As much as full live instrumentations are rare though, it is pretty common to have one live instrument such as a guitar backed up by synthetic orchestrations.

Actually, it’s difficult to find their CDs, outside Japan so the only thing to do is to find any available downloads.

I’ve done some research and I found two differences:

  • Doujin music are distributed in comic conventions
  • Doujin music are usually inspired by video games, anime, manga and light novels. Sometimes they are used as background music for some video games (like the doujin game, Touhou, and some visual novel games)
  • And to elaborate more, it is NOT necessarily that Japanese are only ones composing doujin music. There are other nationalities who are doujin music groups (heck, I even found a Malaysian doujin music circle)

Anyway, most of the works by these doujin music artists are great and original.

I’ll introduce some of the doujin music circles that i’ve known:
Voltage of Imagination