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Ask Eran Your Questions

ByTom MillerThe Secret Life of Scientists and EngineersThe Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

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“Rock Band,” “Guitar Hero,” concert-level clarinetist…. Eran Egozy brings a lot to the table. And answered some of your questions.

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Q: Sophie

Have you ever played any instruments besides the clarinet?

Could you please post a video of yourself playing on the website?

A: Eran Egozy

For 8 years, I played in a Gamelan Galak-Tika , the MIT Balanese Gamelan It is a wonderful way for 25 people to collaborate in a music-making adventure. I learned a lot about musicianship from being in a setting so different from traditional western music.

And you can see me play the clarinet a little bit here .

Q: Pksage

Music games have dramatically expanded the way the general populace experiences music. This is awesome. Alas, interfaces like “FreQuency”/”Amplitude” — Eran’s pre-“Guitar Hero” games, for the non-gamer-nerds in the crowd — have fallen out of style, (mostly) limiting us to those instruments that have plastic peripheral counterparts. While Rock Band gives us four excellent ways to express ourselves musically, it’s still…well…just four.

What are your thoughts on the future of music gaming, specifically its expansion into channels of expression? (Moreso than just “more instruments for Rock Band”.) New peripherals aren’t always the best answer, but we already have non-traditional ways to play traditional instruments in real life (see: all MIDI controllers, the Eigenharp, tons of other neat music gadgets). I’d personally love to see an “Amplitude”/”Gitaroo Man”/etc. interface for playing something like, yes, the clarinet. Is this something you embrace? Or is there a line that video games aren’t about to cross any time soon?


A: Eran Egozy

Music gaming is in a really exciting place right now. Tens of millions of people who have played Rock Band or Guitar Hero have experienced music in a deeper way than by just listening to it. And while this new kind of musical experience is empowering, I do not think it is the final destination. We at Harmonix are constantly thinking about innovation – ways to expand the current music gaming experience to something deeper and more meaningful for more people. That can come from more styles of music, more interfaces, as well as new forms of musical expression. So the short answer is yes. We see the Rock Band platform as both a video game and a way for people to experience and express music more fully.

Q: FrankieZ

Have you ever considered adapting the musical videos games with ‘real’ music notation to use as a music literacy teaching tool?

A: Eran Egozy

Harmonix games are not overtly about teaching music, so I don’t see us going down an explicit pedagogical route and introducing real music notation. However, we are well aware that our music games have great potential to teach people about music as they are playing. Even though they may focus on getting a high score or conquering the world, they really are learning something about musical lines, rhythms, and how different parts of music are put together. We’ve heard stories of how playing in Rock Band has caused people to start taking guitar and drum lessons, and we love that.

Q: Cristina

Rock Band, Guitar Hero. Those two games are genius! They are such a valuable tool as a parent! They integrate my music (and thereby my generation), their music (their generation), fun, discipline and they create an opportunity to communicate from a place of neutral power. No one begins with perfect abilities to play any of the “instruments” and everyone remembers what it was like to be a beginner, therefore, it’s very accepting of people’s starting points and allows all to become experts. AND, it cultivates an interest in music, which is deteriorating in the public school system, yet so necessary! Thank you for this masterpiece, Eran. I can’t wait to get the Beatle’s edition.

A: Eran Egozy

Many thanks – glad you like the games!

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