Introduction: Playing Along

Kiri Miller

in Playing Along

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199753451
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932979 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Music/Media Series

Introduction: Playing Along

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  • American Music
  • Ethnomusicology


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The introduction presents the book’s central theme: that both digital media and embodied knowledge can bridge space and time, creating connections between dispersed and diverse individual human experiences. It provides context for the book’s case studies on video games and online learning, showing how they represent a spectrum of virtual performance styles and forms of mediated music-making. It argues that we should be more attentive to players’ “in-between” embodied experiences and interpretive practices: their ability to move in and out of immersion at will, and to let their virtual and actual domains of experience inform one another. The introduction describes the ethnographic methodology employed in the book, arguing that “playing along” with practitioners is the best way to understand their experiences with new digital media.

Keywords: digital media; video game; music; virtual; embodiment; ethnography; learning; immersion; performance

Chapter.  7470 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music ; Ethnomusicology

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