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

Editing ‘Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play’ by Michael Austin

Michael Austin gives us a little insight into his new anthology of essays on video game music,

Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play.

 

Austin_Cover

Thanks to the hard work of a handful of dedicated ludomusicologists (from a variety of academic fields), I’m very happy to announce that Music Video Games: Performance, Politics, and Play was released last month by Bloomsbury Academic Press!

The book is the first anthology dedicated solely to the genre of music video games, stretching well beyond Guitar Hero and Rockband to include handhelds (such as SIMON from the late 1970s), to mobile music games, to music making and the representation of musicians in games in which performing music or rhythm matching isn’t necessarily the main objective. Other chapters investigate themes of composing with video games, authenticity and “selling out,” and pedagogical uses for music games.

The book is part of Bloomsbury’s Approaches to Digital Games series (Gerald Voorhees and Josh Call, series editors).  It was released on July 28, along with Gareth Schott’s Violent Games: Rules, Realism, and Effect – a monograph that investigates the mediation of violence in video games and gameplay.

In addition to excellent chapters by an international collection of scholars, Music Video Games also includes a “Glossary of Gaming and Musical Terms”  – for the benefit of non-specialists in either field.

 

Many thanks to scholars who contributed chapters to the project. Their chapters are listed below.

You can get your own copy of the book here. You can get 30% off of the price of your copy when you use the code “game studies” at checkout.

For more information about Bloomsbury’s Approaches to Digital Games Studies series (including current and pending volumes), or to propose a volume of your own, visit the series website here.

 

 

Introduction – Taking Note of Music Games (Michael Austin, Howard University, USA)

Part One: Preludes & Overtures
Chapter 1 – SIMON: The Prelude to Modern Music Video Games (William M. Knoblauch, Finlandia University, USA)

Chapter 2 – Mario Paint Composer and Musical (Re)Play on YouTube (Dana M. Plank, Case Western Reserve University, USA)

Chapter 3 – Active Interfaces and Thematic Events in The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (1998) (Stephanie Lind, Queen’s University, Canada)

Chapter 4 – Sample, Cycle, Sync: The Music Sequencer and its Influence on Music Video Games (Michael Austin, Howard University, USA)

 

Part Two: Virtuosi, Virtues, & the Virtual
Chapter 5 – Consumerism Hero: The “Selling Out” of Guitar Hero and Rock Band  (Mario A. Dozal, University of New Mexico, USA)

Chapter 6 – Beat It! Playing the “King of Pop” in Video Games (Melanie Fritsch, University of Bayreuth, Germany)

Chapter 7 – Virtual Jam: A Critical Analysis of Virtual Music Game Environments (David Arditi, University of Texas at Arlington, USA)

 

Part Three: Concerts, Collaboration, & Creativity
Chapter 8 – Guitar Heroes in the Classroom: The Creative Potential of Music-Games

(David Roesner, University of Kent, UK, Anna Paisley, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK, and Gianna Cassidy, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK)

Chapter 9 – Rocksmith and the Shaping of Player Experience (Daniel O’Meara, Princeton University, USA

Chapter 10 – Rhythm Sense: Modality and Enactive Perception in Rhythm Heaven  (Peter Shultz, University of Chicago, USA)

Chapter 11 – Pitching the Rhythm: Music Games for iPad (Nathan Fleshner, Stephen F. Austin State University, USA)

 

Afterword – Toadofsky’s Music Lessons (William Cheng, Dartmouth College, USA)

 

Glossary of Gaming and Musical Terms
About the Contributors
Author Index

Game Index

General Index

 

 

Just Published! Ludomusicology: Approaches to Video Game Music, Edited by Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers and Mark Sweeney

We are thrilled to announce that our volume, Ludomusicology Approaches to Video Game Music has just published! Supplementary materials to the book will be published on our website soon, so look forward to a further announcement about that in the coming weeks.

The last half-decade has seen the rapid and expansive development of video game music studies. As with any new area of study, this significant sub-discipline is still tackling fundamental questions concerning how video game music should be approached. In this volume, experts in game music provide their responses to these issues.

This book suggests a variety of new approaches to the study of game music. In the course of developing ways of conceptualizing and analyzing game music it explicitly considers other critical issues including the distinction between game play and music play, how notions of diegesis are complicated by video game interactivity, the importance of cinema aesthetics in game music, the technicalities of game music production and the relationships between game music and art music traditions.

This collection is accessible, yet theoretically substantial and complex. It draws upon a diverse array of perspectives and presents new research which will have a significant impact upon the way that game music is studied. The volume represents a major development in game musicology and will be indispensable for both academic researchers and students of game music.

Ludomusicology-Equinox2016Cover

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
    Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney
  2. Analyzing Video Game Music: Sources, Methods and a Case Study
    Tim Summers
  3. Analyzing Game Musical Immersion: The ALI Model
    Isabella van Elferen, Kingston University, London
  4. Modularity in Video Game Music
    Elizabeth Medina-Gray, Independent Scholar
  5. Suture and Peritexts: Music Beyond Gameplay and Diegesis
    Michiel Kamp
  6. “It’s a-me, Mario!” – Playing With Video Game Music
    Melanie Fritsch, Independent Scholar
  7. Game and Play in Music Video Games
    Anahid Kassabian, Independent Scholar, and Freya Jarman, University of Liverpool
  8. ‘Listening’ Through Digital Interaction in Björk’s Biophilia
    Samantha Blickhan, PhD Candidate
  9. Palimpsest, Pragmatism and the Aesthetics of Genre Transformation: Composing the Hybrid Score to Electronic Arts’s Need for Speed Shift 2: Unleashed
    Stephen Baysted, University of Chichester
  10. Isaac’s Silence Purposive Aesthetics in Dead Space
    Mark Sweeney, University of Oxford
  11. Remixed Metaphors: Manipulating Classical Music and Its Meanings in Video Games
    William Gibbons, Texas Christian University

Thank you to all of our fantastic chapter authors for your hard work in bringing this volume together.

Technical Details

hb ISBN 9781781791974
£60 / $100
pb ISBN 9781781791981
£19.99 / $29.95
Pub date: July 2016
Extent: 240pp 15 Figures
Format: 234 x 156mm (9.21 x 6.14 inches)
Readership: scholars and students
Subjects: Popular Music
Series: Genre, Music and Sound

Receive 25% off quoting the code Ludo when ordering from the Equinox book page. To find out more about the book and to order visit:

https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/ludomusicology/

 

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