Digital Game as Musical Notation

Turowski, Paul, Music - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Coffey, Edward, Department of Music, University of Virginia

This dissertation explores the use of game software to structure musical performance with traditional acoustic instruments. The central goal is to promote further study and creative endeavors by 1) suggesting a theoretical framework to inform and contextualize such a practice and by 2) describing a practical methodology. The development of this interdisciplinary field is related to pre-existing tendencies to more fully explore several related continua including composition-improvisation, ludus-paidia, etc.

In the first chapter, concepts from which this creative practice has emerged are identified. Chapters 2 through 4 each focus on a particular aspect through a semiotic lens. Throughout, examples by the author as well as by other musicians, artists and game designers demonstrate ways that this practice has manifested and evolved. The final chapter describes the development and realization of a new work, Frontier, that is directly informed by the concepts in this dissertation, and outlines a course for future development.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
music, composition, improvisation, notation, digital games, video games, game design
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