Virtual worlds from recording to video games

van Elferen, Isabella (2017) Virtual worlds from recording to video games. In: Cook, Nicholas , Trippett, David and Ingalls, Monique M., (eds.) The Cambridge Companion to Music in Digital Culture. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press. pp. 209-226. ISBN 9781316676639


Music plays a significant role in both the establishment of and immersion in virtual worlds. This chapter theorises various forms of musical virtual reality, arguing that the virtual worlds of music challenge existing understandings of virtual reality and immersion. Analysing recording technology, mobile music, video games and the phenomenology of listening, the chapter argues that musical virtual reality can be theorised as an omnipresent, perpetually moving and embodied circulation of musical energy. Musical virtual reality invites a ‘drastic’ musicology that engages with the immediate, immersive and affectively powerful aspects of the listening event.

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