Category: News

Registration Open for #Ludo2017

We’re delighted to announce that registration for Ludo2017 is now open!

Details on registration, travel, accommodation and the preliminary programme are on this page here. To go straight to registration, please click the button below!


We look forward to joining you in Bath for what promises to be a really exciting event!

Melanie, Michiel, Tim, Mark


Ludo2017, the Sixth Easter Conference on Video Game Music and Sound, will take place April 20th – 22nd at Bath Spa University, UK.

The draft Conference Booklet is now available.

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

The sixth annual Easter conference is focused on the theme of ‘Performance’, understood in the broadest sense. The conference will feature keynote addresses by:

  • Kenneth McAlpine (Abertay University), author of Bits and Pieces: A History of Chiptunes (OUP, 2017),
  • Roger Moseley (Cornell University), author of the recently published Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo (UC Press, 2017), and
  • Rob Hubbard, best known for his groundbreaking compositions for the Commodore 64 (Commando, International Karate, Monty on the Run, Skate or Die).

The programme also includes a concert of new compositions inspired by, and using, game audio technology, curated by Professor James Saunders, organizer of the Open Scores Lab.


Please register on the Bath Spa website, here.



You can book University accommodation when completing your registration for the conference. Alternatively, you may book accommodation separately. Unfortunately, there isn’t central campus accommodation for the night of the 19th (with apologies), but other options are available below, including the Green Park House accommodation owned by the uni

We can recommend the following options:

Location & Travel

The conference will take place at Bath Spa’s Newton Park Campus. Bath Spa University have more detailed directions on their website. The nearest international airport is Bristol (40 mins by car), but and Heathrow (1hr 50mins) is not far. Bath Spa Railway Station can be reached by the U5 bus from campus, where you can get regular direct trains to London Paddington (1hr 30mins). The U5 leaves every 10 minutes during daytime on weekdays, every 60 minutes in the evening, and every 30 minutes on weekends. See the bus company website for more details and a detailed map of public transport in and around Bath.

Limited parking is available at the Newton Park campus. More information can be found here.

If you have any queries regarding registration, please contact us at

Preliminary Programme

This draft programme is subject to change.

Day 1: 20th April 2017

9:00 – 09:30 Registration, Coffee & Welcome
09:30 – 11:35 Session 1Algorithms and Voices
11:35 – 12:00 Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:00 Keynote 1 (Kenneth McAlpine)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:50 Session 2 – Compositions with Game Technology
15:50 – 16:20 Tea & Coffee Break
16:20 – 17:50 Session 3 – Realities and Spaces
 18:00 – 18:30  Drinks Reception
 19:30  Conference Dinner

Day 2, 21st April 2017

9:30 – 11:35 Session 4Histories
11:35 – 12:00 Tea & Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:00 Keynote 2 (Rob Hubbard)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:50 Session 5Play Beyond the Game
16:00 – 16:30 Tea & Coffee Break
16:20 – 17:50 Session 6 – Performance
 18:30 Evening Celebration – Concert

Day 3, 22nd April 2017

9:30 – 11:35 Session 7 – In Concert
11:35 – 12:00 Tea & Coffee Break
12:00 – 13:00 Keynote 3 (Roger Moseley)
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Session 8 – Sonic Worlds
15:30 – 16:00 Tea & Coffee Break
16:00 – 17:30 Session 9 – Teaching and Learning


bath_spa_university_logo-svg | #ludo2017
Hosted by Professor James Newman, Bath Spa University.
Organized by Melanie Fritsch, Michiel Kamp, Tim Summers, Mark Sweeney.

Just Published! Keys to Play by Roger Moseley

Although it may been out for a month or two depending on where you live, we would like to draw your attention to the publication of Roger Moseley’s monograph Keys to Play: Music as a Ludic Medium from Apollo to Nintendo with University of California Press. He may not have coined the term ‘ludomusicology’ (that honour goes to Guillaume Laroche), but he has certainly introduced it to the broader field of musicology and to us as a research group. Moreover, Moseley’s work has broadened the scope of ludomusicology far beyond video game music to concern the relation of music to play in general. Keys to Play is the first monograph length publication of this research.

Game music may not be the sole focus of the book, but it plays a crucial part, both as a starting point for Moseley’s research and as an end point for a long history of play, games and music, from the digitality of keyboard instruments to the playfulness of Mozart and Nintendo. The book is also available for free online through Lumimos open access publishing.

The publisher’s blurb:
How do keyboards make music playable? Drawing on theories of media, systems, and cultural techniques, Keys to Play spans Greek myth and contemporary Japanese digital games to chart a genealogy of musical play and its animation via improvisation, performance, and recreation. As a paradigmatic digital interface, the keyboard forms a field of play on which the book’s diverse objects of inquiry—from clavichords to PCs and eighteenth-century musical dice games to the latest rhythm-action titles—enter into analogical relations. Remapping the keyboard’s topography by way of Mozart and Super Mario, who head an expansive cast of historical and virtual actors, Keys to Play invites readers to unlock ludic dimensions of music that are at once old and new.

Roger Moseley is Assistant Professor of Music at Cornell University. Active as a collaborative pianist on modern and historical instruments, he has published essays on the interface of the keyboard, the performativity of digital games, the practice of eighteenth-century improvisation, and the music of Brahms.

Table of contents:
Acknowledgments xi
Prelude: Press Any Key to Start 1
Part I. Fields and Interfaces of Musical Play
Key 1. Ludomusicality 15
1–1 Orders of Play 23
1–2 Beyond Work and Play 33
1–3 The Sound of Gunplay 43
1–4 Bits and Beats 49
1–5 Playing Undead 58
Key 2. Digital Analogies 67
2–1 Apollo 1, Marsyas 0 72
2–2 Notes on Keys 78
2–3 Interface Values 90
2–4 (Key)board Games and Temperamental Tactics 99
2–5 Tristan’s Chord, Schoenberg’s Voice 109
Part II. Play by Play: Improvisation, Performance, Recreation
Key 3. The Emergence of Musical Play 121
3–1 Unforeheard Circumstances 127
3–2 Pantomimes and Partimenti 140
3–3 From Black Box to Glassy Shell 151
3–4 The Case of Winkel’s Componium 159
3–5 The Invisible Thumb on the Scale 167
Key 4. High Scores: WAM vs. LVB 178
4–1 Unsettled Scores 181
4–2 Mozart’s Two-Player Games 188
4–3 Concerted Action 200
4–4 Mozart and Mario Play the Field 212
4–5 Beethoven’s Recursive Feedback Loops 219
Key 5. Play Again? 236
5–1 Nintendo’s Brand of Ludomusicality 243
5–2 Analogous Digitalities 250
5–3 The Ludomusical Emergence of Toshio Iwai 258
5–4 High Scores: Nodame Cantabile 263
5–5 Replay: A Cento 271
Notes 275
Bibliography 365
Ludography 419
Index 423

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 to find out more!


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