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November 3, 2016 Comments (0) International Education

Heavy Metal Scholars Show Evolving Study of Musicology


The Intentional Conference on Heavy metal and rock and Popular Culture attracts a rather different audience than your typical head-banger festival. Instead of groups made up of kids wearing ripped t-shirts and sporting tattoos, the Conference was full of scholars and scientists who\’ve dedicated their careers to staring at the impact of C within the opinion of some C loud and obnoxious music.

The conference uniform was slightly different from a traditional scientific conference C band t-shirts and jeans abounded C however the level of scholarship was top notch. The \”metaltellectuals,\” as Neil Shah calls them in The Wall Street Journal, talked about the music’s impact on the world because they delivered presentations.

At night they retired to rock clubs local craft breweries for further research.

Brian Hickam, 42, an archivist of scholarly writings on heavy metal and librarian at Benedictine University in Illinois, says 224 academic papers were published between 2000 and 2011, according to his latest data-more than double the amount previous 11 years. He says at least 63 scholarly articles were written this past year.

The International Society for Metal Music Studies recently launched a peer-reviewed journal, “Metal Music Studies,” carrying out a heated debate over things to name it. “You want to distinguish between toxicology and metal, when you’re referring to heavy metal studies. People could think-are they studying metals, or music?” Mr. Hickam said.

Those who wished to study the impact of metal was once limited to doing research in the psychology field, but no more. According to Shah, metal studies now draw experts from multiple disciplines including physics, musicology as well as cultural studies.

At the conference, musicologists presented papers on the characteristic deep drawl present with metal singers throughout the decades, as well as looked at the difference between the so-called inhaled and exhaled screams. Among the secrets unveiled in the conference was the truth that some bands refurbished computer assists to mimic super-fast drumming that became their trademark.

“For the first time, I’m talking with my peers,” said Dave Snell, a 33-year-old researcher, who received a $80,000 grant from the New Zealand government not too long ago to study “Bogans,” New Zealand’s hard-partying, metal-loving underclass. “Usually at conferences, it’s an area full of suits, and I’m in my Iron Maiden T-shirt,” said Dr. Snell, who holds a doctorate in social psychology.

Metallectuals may wear similar uniforms but they have their share of divisive debates: What was the first real metal band? Are “hair” metal groups like Bon Jovi metal or otherwise? Have researchers of “extreme” metal gone too far with their philosophical wanderings?

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