Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

The Chiptune Studies Reader

Posted: October 18th, 2021 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

We are excited to announce that we are seeking contributions for The Chiptune Studies Reader, an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed and edited volume on chiptune – or ‘chipmusic’ and ‘micromusic’ as it is also known – which we intend to publish through Oxford University Press. Rooted in the emergence of video game audio technology, and subsequently re-routed through the subversive musicality of an underground participatory culture, chiptune is a form of electronic music that has blossomed into a global phenomenon over the course of nearly four decades. Today, the umbrella term ‘chiptune’ subsumes an ever-growing plethora of (sub)genres, practices, and a heterogeneous worldwide following, whose musical output is as creatively playful and diverse as it is distinct by way of its mediation. Chiptune’s technologies, timbral palettes, and associated iconography have grown rapidly in their accessibility, playability, and ubiquity, and have become woven into pop-cultural imaginaries far beyond their own humble beginnings in the music of video games’ past.

When compared to other fields of research into music and multimedia (sub)cultures, however, chiptune has received limited scholarly attention. Typically, this attention focuses on tracing the roots and routes of chiptune’s rich techno-cultural history, and the documentation of the kinds of discourses that circulate among its practitioners and their affiliated chipscenes. Our proposed volume sets out to broaden the scope of chiptune scholarship by providing a range of analytical perspectives on the subject. Proposals for chapters that explore chiptune’s rich history and its various discourses are still welcome, but we are especially keen for scholarship that explores chiptune in-situ of performance, play, and listening: the in-betweens of chiptune’s roots and routes, and the interactivity between humans, technologies and timbres in the process. To that end, we are looking for contributions that explore chiptune’s musical performativity, embodiment and immersion, creative processes, and the relationship between chip-musicality and its diverse (sub)cultures.

Chapters might address – but are not limited to – the following themes:

  • (Ludo)musicological analyses of chiptune (particularly with a focus on the factor of play)
  • Critical analyses of the relationship between chiptune and identity (for instance: themes of belonging, community, embodiment, gender, politics, ethnicity, nationality, and sexuality)
  • (Auto)ethnographic explorations of chiptune’s musical performativity, embodiment and immersion, its chipscenes, and its discourses
  • Chiptune and accessibility/disability studies
  • The relationship between chiptune and nostalgia
  • Historical accounts of chiptune
  • Chiptune composition techniques
  • Chiptune, context, (sub)genre, and intertextuality
  • Chiptune and literacy, education, and pedagogy
  • The political economy of chiptune, anti-capitalist sentiment, netlabels, intellectual property, and commodification
  • How chiptune discourses shape its musical practices and performativity (for instance: themes of ‘authenticity’ and ‘originality’)
  • The networking of (g)local and global chipscenes
  • Chiptune and dance culture
  • The life/death/resurrection of online chiptune communities and places of activity
  • The materiality of chiptune and/or chiptune as material culture (for instance: fetishization of hardware/software, continuities of chipmusic-making objects)
  • Statements from chiptune practitioners and fans (shorter contributions than articles)

The invitation to submit an abstract is open to scholars in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, as well as chiptune practitioners and fans. Chapter abstracts should be no longer than 500 words, excluding bibliography, and should be accompanied by a brief biographical note of no longer than 150 words. Completed proposals should be sent to [email protected] by 21/12/2021. Contributors can expect to receive a response by 21/1/2022.

Completed chapters should be between 6000 – 8000 words in length and practitioners’ statements should be between 250 – 800 words. These will be due by 1/9/2022, after which we will begin the review process. Should you have any questions, please get in touch with us via the email listed above.

Link: https://tinyurl.com/se5jcvc8

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