Half-real worlds? Immersion and the representation of musical pasts in virtual reality

Whittaker, Adam (2024) Half-real worlds? Immersion and the representation of musical pasts in virtual reality. In: History as Fantasy in Music, Sound, Image and Media. Routledge. ISBN 9781003291725

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To speak of a musical past is to engage in a challenging, but creatively stimulating, process of recovery of complex and ephemeral phenomena. The possibilities are so tantalising that we cannot help but do this. This is far from a new problem. For late-medieval readers, the book was a transportative medium for the mind, slingshotting the reader into another time and place, with each page laden with encoded symbolic and paratextual relationships. Rather than being seen simply as ‘flat’ media lacking the interactivity of modern interfaces, such documents may provide a template for understanding transhistorical readings of spaces that straddle fact and fiction. We might therefore provocatively consider whether a modern viewer/participant using a headset and/or other virtual reality (VR) hardware has a significantly different experience to that of a reader several centuries ago. This chapter explores concepts of immersion to demonstrate how VR constitutes an emergent musico-historical visual culture in its own right, proposing that an expanded form of the rhetorical concept of ductus may offer a productive frame of reference.

Item Type: Book Section
11 April 2024Published
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire > Royal Birmingham Conservatoire - Music
Depositing User: Adam Whittaker
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2024 15:14
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2024 15:12
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15092

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