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Schizophonic Performance: Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and Virtual Virtuosity

Abstract
Abstract

This article addresses Guitar Hero and Rock Band gameplay as a developing form of collaborative, participatory rock music performance. Drawing on ethnomusicology, performance studies, popular music studies, gender and sexuality studies, and interdisciplinary digital media scholarship, I investigate the games' models of rock heroism, media debates about their impact, and players' ideas about genuine musicality, rock authenticity, and gendered performance conventions. Grounded in ethnographic research—including interviews, a Web-based qualitative survey, and media reception analysis—this article enhances our understanding of performance at the intersection of the “virtual” and the “real,” while also documenting the changing nature of amateur musicianship in an increasingly technologically mediated world.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Philip Auslander . Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2006.

Derek A. Burrill Check Out My Moves.” Social Semiotics 16/1 (April 2006): 1738.

Rebecca McSwain . “The Power of the Electric Guitar.” Popular Music and Society 19/4 (Winter 1995): 2140.

Kiri Miller . “Grove Street Grimm: Grand Theft Auto and Digital Folklore.” Journal of American Folklore 121/481 (Summer 2008): 255–85.

Leta E. Miller Cage, Cunningham, and Collaborators: The Odyssey of Variations V.” Musical Quarterly 85/3 (Fall 2001): 545–67.

Richard Niles . “Wigs, Laughter, and Subversion: Charles Busch and Strategies of Drag Performance.” Journal of Homosexuality 46/3–4 (2004): 3553.

Jacob Smith . “I Can See Tomorrow in Your Dance: A Study of Dance Dance Revolution and Music Video Games.” Journal of Popular Music Studies 16/1 (April 2004): 5884.

Samuel Weber . Theatricality as Medium. New York: Fordham University Press, 2004.

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Journal of the Society for American Music
  • ISSN: 1752-1963
  • EISSN: 1752-1971
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-society-for-american-music
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