Research seminars

Tim Summers: Listening and Learning with Link: Explorations in Listening to Video Games

Event details

Speaker: Tim Summers (Royal Holloway University of London) 

Date: 14 March 2019

Time: 5.15 - 6.30pm.  

Venue: Lecture Room A, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9DF


The musical study of video games is a relatively recent project for musicology. Yet, it has been long recognized by players that music in video games serves many important purposes. Games, intentionally or otherwise, provide significant musical experiences for players. This talk will explore some of the diverse ways in which music functions in video games and the variety of modes of listening to music in games. Though the talk will refer to several games, a recurring example will be the case study of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998), and we will discuss the music both in the game and beyond. Building on work by Michiel Kamp and others, the last section of the talk will attempt to propose a notion of ‘ludic listening’ as sonic realities unfold in front of our ears. Ultimately, the aim is to understand, on the one hand, the significance and function of music in video games, and on the other, how video games present ways of engaging with music to the huge audiences they capture. 


Tim Summers is Lecturer in Music at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research concerns music in popular culture, with a particular focus on video game music. He is the author of Understanding Video Game Music (Cambridge University Press, 2016), and has edited a collection of essays on the same topic. He is a co-founder of the Ludomusicology Research Group that holds annual conferences on video game sound. He is currently finishing his second monograph while editing the Cambridge Companion to Video Game Music. He is also an editor of the Journal of Sound and Music in Gameswhich will publish its first issue in 2020.


Mar 14 2019 -

Tim Summers: Listening and Learning with Link: Explorations in Listening to Video Games

Tim Summers provides an introduction to the musicological study of video game music.

Lecture Room A
Alison House
12 Nicolson Square