Tuesday, 30 January 2007

What is musicology?

I realised that, for a blog mostly on musicology, I hadn't actually mentioned it yet.

Here's one definition.

I'm not sure how I'd define musicology, though. I guess for me it's the study of music(s) in historical, cultural and social contexts. But I'll need to think some more about that, because it probably has limitations I haven't noticed.

concerts of video game music

On 2 Jun this year, the (Swedish, I assume) Royal Philharmonic will give a concert in Stockholm Concert Hall. Nothing weird about that. What is unusual is the repertoire:

"PLAY! A Video Game Symphony Concert

Play! is a tribute to video game music, a concert tour in which symphony orchestras the world over perform music from well-known video games. During the concert, memorable sequences from games will be shown on big screens.

Music from twenty or so well-known games: Castlevania, The Revenge of Shinobi, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and The Darkness.

The Royal Philharmonic under the direction of Arnie Roth, chief conductor and producer of Play!"


Unfortunately I don't know these games. What's going through my head is the Sonic tune, the sound effects from handheld Gameboys, that kind of thing. If fact, now I think about it, I usually turn off the music in video games and just keep the sound effects. I'm not sure why--perhaps because I find it distracting?

Anyway, this concert series bears thinking about. I'm guessing it's a way to draw new audiences into classical music. I wonder if it will work?

Saturday, 27 January 2007


So, I'm giving some thought to how I might change some of my undergraduate courses next year (even though we're barely halfway through this year), and I'm thinking that I might start using podcasts as a means of assessment. Rather than me produce them for the students (which I kinda think I might try this semester for the first years), I thought I'd ask the students, working in groups, to produce podcasts exploring particular course-related topics. I haven't given much thought to the kind of project yet, but I know I want to incorporate peer assessment too.

I'm keeping an eye on podagogy because this person seems to be doing something unusual with podcasting and iPods, but I'm not sure what it is yet.