music in the age of digital learning
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playing along

playing along | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
Simeon Blimke's insight:

Kiri Miller's working notes in blog form, documenting her progress on the book 'playing along' which deals with amateur to amatuer communities of (learning and) practice that have come into existence as people take their interests online in various ways that include:

 

*self documenting performances through the youtube video format

*creating tutorial videos

*offering and receiving constructive critiques through reply comments

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One of the sub-topics is music-games like Guitar Hero -- which allow people to play along with rock-music using plastic guitars. From a musical value standpoint the games are worthwhile as a sight-reading simulator and rythmic training up to a virtuosic level, as an opportunity for active listening, as exposure to a body of repertoire canonical to the history of 20th century music, a chance to experience intense focus on performance that ascends to the state of 'flow' or being in the zone.

 

and so on...

 

People who play report 'feeling' as if they are part of a 'real' rock guitar experience  -- but in many cases are left with doubts about the musical authenticity of their performances because of the perceived distance between 'real' rock stardom and playing a game.

 

In addition to the book and the blog, there is an article based on the Guitar Hero portion of Kiri's research:

 

http://ethnocenter.org/Spring2010/KiriMillerHowMusicalIsGuitarHero

 

 

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Simeon Blimke's comment, April 8, 2013 11:58 PM
My question: How can people approach music (or any topic) by playing games, and leave the experience saying to themselves "hey, now I have more musical knowledge than before, and if I wanted to I could continue building on it?"
Simeon Blimke's comment, April 9, 2013 12:01 AM
Games in general are simulations -- but unlike flight simulators many games are willing to sacrifice depth for unrealistic feedback that creates an impressive and rewarding effect.
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Korinsky – Atelier für vertikale Flächen /// documentary

Documentary about the work of Berlin-based art collective "Korinsky – Atelier für vertikale Flächen" and their sound installation 3845 m/s – for more information…
Simeon Blimke's insight:

Re-inventing soundscapes through technology -- could this be considered a musical literacy? The artists presented here talk about technology as a vehicle for their artistic aesthetics - in a sense they are sculptors of interior spaces as the focus of their installations is to play with spatial perception of three-dimensional (well, four dimensional)objects.

 

Music is a language of intentional sound. Perhaps not everyone needs to be a sound poet, but if everyone needs to at least try to write a little poetry for the sake of basic literacy, then perhaps musical literacy should be measured in terms of having enough experience writing musical phrases to make some choices that align with one's own developed sense of aesthetics.

 

Do you;

 

*recognize the natural poetic aesthetics of the ways you already arrange or could arrange sounds around you?

 

*feel comfortable with the notion that your sound production and consumption has been individuated through technology (you and your ear-phones)

 

*feel as if you have access the tools (techniques, instruments) and the right to project yourself into public space in various ways?

 

*have you thought through what it means to be considerate of other humans with respect to your presence in the shared soundscape, beyond generally being as quiet as possible outside of emergency situations?

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1991 Mellow Gold Record Collection Commercial

Commercial for a 70's music collection from Mystic Music. Although it offered hits "on the soft side of rock" some of the artists presented such as Climax,Ha...
Simeon Blimke's insight:

The flip side of the copyright and intellectual property issues we noted is the importance of nostalgia - people want to reconnect with sights, sounds, smells, places, and music that remind them of their youth. The value of music is historically and geographically specific. Sites such as youtube as an alternative to the old paradigm of radio broadcasting represent this heritage simultaneously, so that 60 year-old listeners and teens might just as well be tuning in.

 

Here are a couple of take-away thoughts/questions:

 

* should the original artists benifit? -- One re-design for youtube I might consider is making sure the original artists have a chance to advertise the "authentic" fan experience wherever their art shows up -- so, links to nostalgia items such as special edition box sets and re-masterings.

 

* All the recorded music of the past -- that's a lot of heritage to orient oneself to! in terms of constructing a musical identity, the task of sorting between good/bad, mine/my parents' music can lead in more directions than ever before. While listening on Youtube many get involved in a consciousness of history and policing boundaries of authenticity ("like this if you knew about it before it was used on a popular tv show") ...

 

What's new and interesting is these online communities are geographically and demographically diverse.

 

*Whereas before the produced and broadcast artist influenced the emerging -- emerging artists can now (also) look at the style of emerging artists who get lots of views for some cues on how to present themselves, beyond emerging artists in their local scene.

 

 

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Music: Just for Rich Kids?

Music: Just for Rich Kids? | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it

"Mine was a completely normal middle-class upbringing. Across America in the '70s, kids of all backgrounds and locales engaged with music of all kinds: encouraged to take up an instrument and introduced to a language far better equipped to express the huge range of kid emotions than school book poetry. Music shaped our understanding of the world and, better yet, of ourselves. "

Simeon Blimke's insight:

Documentary filmmaker Ben Niles compares music education in the 1970s (described above) to now:

 

"Today, thanks to state-by-state budget cuts, music education is rapidly disappearing -- down about 20 percent since 2001, according to MENC (the National Association for Music Education). No longer able to provide all the "perks" of a liberal arts education, our public schools are abandoning arts education, starting with music. Music is expensive (instruments aren't free). Music is non-essential (they can listen at home, right?). And most of all, music isn't on "the test" to which we teach."

 

Not surprisingly, Niles credits music for it's "essential" benefits -- one argument for increasing rather than cutting the budget for it:

 

"Through music study they learn vital life skills: problem solving, self-discipline, frustration tolerance, creativity, empathy, compassion, and the value of hard work."

 

The question of the impact of digital media does not really come up in this post, unless you count the one-off comment that people think kids can just "listen at home" ...

 

Lingering perhaps from the 70s as well is the notion of the dangers of passive media consumption.

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RiP! A Remix Manifesto

Immerse yourself in the energetic, innovative and potentially illegal world of mash-up media with RiP: A Remix Manifesto. Let web activist Brett Gaylor and m...
Simeon Blimke's insight:

Here's a link to the whole film about remix music copyright issues which comes with a good reccomedation from Sandra Lyn as well as from me!

 

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Culture Always Builds on the Past : RiP A Remix Manifesto

This is a short clip from the documentary RiP: A Remix Manifesto that I found very interesting. It demonstrates how most forms of music are built upon music ...
Simeon Blimke's insight:

It's copyright week in class - So, today's scoop is about the legality but also the artistic implications of borrowing material from other artists.

 

3 minute clip shows the evolution of hand-me-down melodies -- including one which the Rolling Stones borrowed from a pre-existing folk song. Subsequently the Rolling Stone's publishers claimed full authorship/ownership in order to prevent another band from profiting.

 

Not all periods have been as deeply troubled by the fear that arranging or performing music that is based on other music is not creative. Ludwig Von Beethoven, regarded as one of the most original artists of all time, had no qualms about borrowing form models and melodies from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from time to time. "Quoting" other musical artists was similar to prose authors alluding to works of others while developing an argument.

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Move over, Guitar Hero: Cello Fortress is a 'real' music game ...

Move over, Guitar Hero: Cello Fortress is a 'real' music game ... | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
The likes of Guitar Hero can't match the real musical power of a cello twin-stick shooter.
Simeon Blimke's insight:

This is an venturebeat.com tech blog post about an experimental music game. The video unfortunately does not show how the game works right off the bat, so I'll explain it. The game can tell whether the cellist is making certain sounds in the live performance -- different ones (high or low) activate different defense installations in a top-down 3d map, while the non-cello players try to attack it with virtual tanks.

 

Some themes this scoop.it will deal with frequently which also happen raised by this video/technoblog editorial:

 

**** What counts as real musicianship? According to the tagline -- "The likes of Guitar Hero can't match the real musical power of a cello twin-stick shooter."

 

**** What counts as a real musical instrument? According to the editorialist: "You’re not going to see this for sale anytime soon — Cello Fortress requires an experienced cellist and a real instrument, not the plastic guitars you bought for other music games like Guitar Hero.

 

**** What does improvisation mean to musical performance -- what constitutes right sounds?: According to the editorialist: "Cello Fortress isn’t as much about hitting the right notes as it is controlling the cannons and other artillery through improvisation. Playing fast notes fires the guns, or low notes activate mines and so on."

 

**** How do digital experiments and games affect the expert/amateur divide, specifically, do they disrupt or perpetuate the image of classical musician/rock star as individual creative genius?  (Cello Fortress audiences are now players who face a screen, not a stage, and they can manipulate sound, if not directly)

 

 

**** How does the digital combine with interactive music, and as digital new media, what is new in the experience?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Unusual Ways to Explore Music

10 Unusual Ways to Explore Music | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
Young children are naturally musical.  It’s like they live and breathe music.   My children hop and skip down aisles and sing at the top of their lungs in grocery stores.
Simeon Blimke's insight:

A couple of interesting things - one, another iteration of the common opinion that school reduces participation in expressive activities (in this case music) which otherwise come naturally to children.

 

A list of resources including the website of Morton Subotnik who has been doing things with technology and music for younger children for a while now.

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Will Wright previews his new game, Spore, on TED.com | TED Blog

Will Wright previews his new game, Spore, on TED.com | TED Blog | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
A technical virtuoso with boundless imagination, Will Wright has created a style of computer gaming unlike any that came before, emphasizing learning more than losing, invention more than sport.
Simeon Blimke's insight:

Will Wright is the designer of some of the best selling games of all time (SimCity, the Sims). He discusses how he thinks of his games more as Montessori toys for outside the classroom. As with Montessori manipulatives the emphasis in Wright's is not on training users HOW use the objects the "right" way so much as allowing users to experience their own failures and successes through discovery. He follows Montessori's maxim that independently gained insights will have a greater impact because emotional ownership. 'Sandbox' style videogames allow players to "play" with complex systems such as traffic density or evolutionary simulations.

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Simeon Blimke's comment, March 28, 2013 12:45 AM
But does transfer of learning occur? Do players who engage in city planning in SimCity come away with new thinking potential?
Simeon Blimke's comment, March 28, 2013 12:50 AM
Great notion Wright shares -- "most games kinda put people in the role of luke skywalker ...[spore] is really more about putting the player in the role of George Lucas"
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On so-called 'reading strategies' - the utter mess that is the literature and advice to teachers

On so-called 'reading strategies' - the utter mess that is the literature and advice to teachers | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
Note: I made a few edits for clarity to this post, based on some early feedback. strat·e·gy  [strat-i-jee] noun, plural strat·e·gies. The science or art of combining and employing the means of war ...
Simeon Blimke's insight:

a great article reflecting on how to teach and use reading strategies and tactics for those in our Humanities Computing 510 class - a lot of what he says applies to music as a reading activity as well. I'll follow up with a reply on that aspect in a day or so.

 

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Simeon Blimke's comment, March 20, 2013 4:05 PM
Grant Wiggins in this article is using military and sports analogies to show the relations between reading skills, reading tactics, and reading strategies. "This is not merely semantics or soccer. The teaching of tactics uncoupled from the prioity long-term goal of helping students become autonomous decision-makers is thus doomed to fail, even if a few good tactics become second nature in the short term. This is true not only in soccer, but reading (and math, and professional development). What happens when a tactic doesn’t work? By what criteria do we choose another? This is unanswerable in the current “reading strategies” literature: the student just chooses another. Or: what happens when the strategy isn’t appropriate for the goal, even though some tactics are working? (e.g. tactics may work on each piece of text, but are woefully inefficient overall). What happens if there is no clear goal?"

The upshot: students need to learn to think both strategically and tactically, with reference to self-conscious goals, in any skilled performance arena. In essence, they have to learn to think not just like a good player but like a good coach.
Simeon Blimke's comment, March 20, 2013 4:23 PM
" Obviously we should set the bar for reading literacy as high as we can. As a music teacher I have to think -- so can we do the same for music? Should only some people consider themselves musicians with musical goals and a repertoire of skills and tactics, or is it enough to provide a few music reading skills, and then follow up further with the ones who seem to excel?
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Reveal Trailer - Official Destiny ViDoc: Pathways Out of Darkness

After a long period of darkness, Bungie is ready to unveil its new universe filled with mystery, adventure, and action. For the first time, the team -- inclu...
Simeon Blimke's insight:

NEW UNIVERSE----BIG STORY RIGHT HERE!!!! (all caps mode off now).

 

So a few days ago Bungie (developer of the famous HALO series of games) released this video talking about the game universe they will be "unfolding" over a ten year span.

 

What does this have to do with music??? Well, music happens to be one of the tools used in the video to invoke a sense of large-scale community meta-narrative goodness. Normally film scores get pushed to the last two to four weeks of production - but here it is being used to boost a presentation that consists largely of hand painted concept art, narration, and "behind the scenes" style sound-bites... the sort of thing that gets done once a project is already successful.

 

(from the video)

 

"We didn't even know how big HALO was going to be, how can anything be bigger then HALO? Well... We'll find out."

 

It is worth noting that the video lets you see the game creators in their places of production, wearing plain clothes. At one point the orchestra and conductor are shown rehearsing the music together. The conductor is clearly reading from the score (as opposed to having his cues memorized) as they arrive at a grand upward sweep together. Bungee developers claim that the game's algorithms will generate changes in the story that even they have not pre-planned. By now elements of the orchestral language such as muted horns suggest forgotten heros, "Destiny" and "golden age" as well as the terms themselves.

 

This is not just any music. Specifically, it is the kind of film music associated with space opera via John Williams, who deflected compliments as to his artistic vision and originality in creating the Star Wars soundtrack by blaming Richard Wagner's example (who gave a little credit to Beethoven of course).

 

Wagner was the opera producer in the late 1800's whose artistic vision required the creation of an entirely "new" genre of total drama via a pooling of funds and ideological support across Europe to create a hugely expensive multimedia festival theatre. A theatre to retell legends prophecying about the future of the Nordic peoples, specifically a democratization of greatness through philosophical enlightenment.

 

Although there are important differences as we progress from Wagner to Lucas to Bungee, video games are beginning to occupy the role of big-story teller. The HALO series and Bungee's latest effort Destiny are among the games that invoke big C Classicism via film and older art traditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How an early start in music can give kids a mental boost at Babble

How an early start in music can give kids a mental boost at Babble | music in the age of digital learning | Scoop.it
Do kids really benefit from learning to play music? A recent study shows it may help them long after the lessons end, on Babble.
Simeon Blimke's insight:

This looks interesting - another report on studies showing music education at a young age is supposed to increase neurological growth in developing brains.

 

I will have to come back to this and pull out a better summary - but it says real music lessons at a young age are effective, while putting a cd of classical music on for your young child perhaps does not count because active engagement is key. (However, I remember listening to music on tape and other musical experiences when I was younger than seven, and being actively engaged in it, so go figure).

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mobile

a mobile dangles, and dies out a quick one week project, all hand drawn in photoshop - composited in after effects. (some crayon scribbs for texture) Kalimba…
Simeon Blimke's insight:

Q. How do the terms of musical performance in light of digital technology?

 

A. Projects may blur the line between forms of artistry, "performance" is no longer limited to a singular instance in time.

 

Digital tools put users in control of many media at once, complete with a means to distribute and share -- not surprisingly we can find many small-scale projects out there where an individual has succeeded in synthesizing audio, musical, spatial, kinesthetic expression all in one package. A new total artwork.

 

From Wikipedia -- A Gesamtkunstwerk (translated as total work of art, ideal work of art, universal artwork, synthesis of the arts, comprehensive artwork, all-embracing art form or total artwork) is a work of art that makes use of all or many art forms or strives to do so. The term is a German word which has come to be accepted in English as a term in aesthetics.

 

The wiki goes on to list opera production and architecture as previous examples.

 

 

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