Official Launch of The Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games (SSSMG)!

We are very excited to announce the official launch of The Society for the Study of Sound and Music in Games (SSSMG)!

The SSSMG is a network that’s been developed by the Ludomusicology Research Group, the North American Conference on Video Game Music, Audio Mostly, and an extensive advisory board of leading academics and practitioners. The aim is to provide a hub to connect together people working on game audio and to support advances in the understanding of sound and music in games.

The SSSMG helps anyone who investigates game sound and music, whether in an academic or professional setting, to discuss the topic together, exchange ideas and information, and keep up-to-date with new research. Anyone can join, and the members are always looking for new approaches to the subject.

SSSMG will make publicly available:

  • General news
  • General Society contact info
  • Links to other affiliated societies/groups
  • Events Calendar (view only)
  • Newly revised, keyworded and searchable Bibliography

Registered members will have additional access to:

  • Network with searchable, keyworded members’ directory
  • Submit events for publication on the Calendar
  • Share conference presentations and Green OA publications in a subject repository
  • Compose and submit news posts
  • Contribute to Bibliography Project

Further member benefits and services will be added in the future. Visit www.sssmg.org to find out more!

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Ludo 2017 Call for Papers

We’re delighted to announce that Ludo2017, the Sixth Easter Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, will take place April 20th – 22nd at Bath Spa University, UK.

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Please share our Call for Papers poster online and around your institutions.

The organizers of Ludo2017 are accepting proposals for research presentations at the sixth annual Easter conference. While we welcome all proposals on sound and music in games, we are particularly interested in papers that support the theme of ‘Performance’, understood in the broadest sense. Possible topics on this theme include:

  • Chips and sonic outputs,
  • Playing with, and within, technological audio constructs,
  • Sound and ludic interaction,
  • Histories of developing techniques and tools,
  • Game audio aesthetics and approaches,
  • Composition with game technologies (chips, engines, etc.).

Presentations should last twenty minutes, to be followed by questions. Please submit your paper proposal (c.250 words) by email to ludomusicology@gmail.com by January 31st 2017.

Composers and practitioners may also submit a proposal to present work at the conference.

bath_spa_university_logo-svgWe also welcome session proposals from organizers representing two to four individuals; the organizer should submit an introduction to the theme and c.200 word proposals for each paper.

The conference will feature a keynote address by Kenneth McAlpine (Abertay University), author of Bits and Pieces: A History of Chiptunes (OUP, 2017), with further keynote speakers and guests to be announced shortly.

www.ludomusicology.org | #ludo2017
Hosted by Professor James Newman, Bath Spa University.
Organized by Melanie Fritsch, Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney.

Melanie Fritsch joins Ludomusicology Research Group

We are delighted to announce that Melanie is officially joining our Research Group. Melanie has been an avid supporter of our conference over the years, and plays a critical role in championing research on video game sound and music in Germany. She has already been providing generous support to us (if you’ve noticed increased Twitter activity from us in recent months, that’s entirely thanks to Melanie) and we’re very excited to have her on board as we continue our work on the annual international conferences, as well as other projects.

melanieMelanie Fritsch M.A. has worked as research assistant at the Research Institute for Music Theatre (University of Bayreuth) between 2008 and 2013, and has taught in the Music Theatre Studies department at that very place (B.A./M.A.). Currently she is writing her PhD thesis “Performing bytes. Musikperformances der Computerspielkultur” (“Performing bytes. Music performances of video game culture“). Her recent publications appeared in Ludomusicology: Approaches to Video Game Music, Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play, and the Oxford Handbook of Interactive Audio.

She is also editor of the 2011 issue of “ACT – Zeitschrift für Musik und Performance” focusing on video games and music, and has been a member of the AHRC research network “Guitar Heroes in Music Education? Music-based video-games and their potential for musical and performative creativity” in 2014-2015. She also co-organizes the researching games BarCamp 2017 in Berlin.

 

For more information (talks, publications, activities, full CV) see http://uni-bayreuth.academia.edu/MelanieFritsch or meet her on Twitter @myfritsch.

Upcoming talks: http://subotron.com/veranstaltung/ludomusicology/ and https://www.facebook.com/events/210114469366505/.

Latest thing: https://spielkult.hypotheses.org/1186.

Book Just Published! Understanding Video Game Music by Tim Summers

New monograph book on video game music released from Cambridge University Press.

Cover of Understanding Video Game Music

 

This month sees the publication of a new monograph by Tim Summers (Royal Holloway, University of London) on video game music. The book is called Understanding Video Game Music and provides methods and concepts for investigating music in the video game.

You can view the introduction and index free at the Cambridge website. The foreword for the book was written by leading game composer James Hannigan, who was a speaker at Ludo14 conference at Chichester University. You can read the foreword here.

The book is highly influenced by the whole Ludomusicology conference community and owes a great debt to the thoughts and discussions that have been circulating in that environment over the past five years. It also draws upon research from further afield, both in terms of geography, and in terms of disciplinary landscape.

Receive 20% off your first order when subscribing to Cambridge Alerts.

 

Here is the publisher’s commentary on the book:

Understanding Video Game Music develops a musicology of video game music by providing methods and concepts for understanding music in this medium. From the practicalities of investigating the video game as a musical source to the critical perspectives on game music – using examples including Final Fantasy VII, Monkey Island 2, SSX Tricky and Silent Hill – these explorations not only illuminate aspects of game music, but also provide conceptual ideas valuable for future analysis. Music is not a redundant echo of other textual levels of the game, but central to the experience of interacting with video games. As the author likes to describe it, this book is about music for racing a rally car, music for evading zombies, music for dancing, music for solving puzzles, music for saving the Earth from aliens, music for managing a city, music for being a hero; in short, it is about music for playing.

  • Develops musicological understanding of game music, explaining concepts step by step without requiring extensive previous knowledge of musicology
  • Offers a wide range of examples ranging from the 1970s to 2010s, from puzzle games to role-playing games, and from well-known games like Final Fantasy VII to lesser-known games
  • Provides a useful appendix as a systematic guide to investigating game music

‘This outstanding book does much to establish an ‘extended techniques’ musicology, allying close analysis of music with crucial knowledge of gaming construction and procedures. Tim Summers’ years of ‘deep research’ into the subject make this a book of extreme sophistication and erudition that will define the field for years to come.’ K. J. Donnelly, University of Southampton

‘Tim Summers’ Understanding Video Game Music is among the most innovative musicological studies published in recent years. Combining musicology, game studies, and media theory, Summers provides an authoritative analytical framework for video game music. This book is timely, playful, and lucid. It will without doubt become a standard work in the field.’ Isabella van Elferen, Kingston University

 

Contents:

Introduction: Beyond the Candelabrum

Part I Analysing Video Game Music

1 The Video Game as a Source

2 Methods of Analysis

Part II Critical Perspectives

3 Texturing and the Aesthetics of Immersion

4 Music and Virtual Game Worlds

5 Communication for Play

6 Hollywood Film Music and Game Music

7 Musical Play and Video Games

Epilogue: Fun, Play and Music

Appendix: How to Hear a Video Game: An Outline

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