In recent years, the significant advancement of technology has brought new elements into the daily life of each individual, and Classical Music is not left behind, being integrated into the vision of those who develop new technologies. To have a clearer idea of what VR means, we would like to present some general information to understand this concept.
VR (Virtual Reality) is a technology that allows users to experience and interact with virtual environments and experiences. It creates a digital simulation of the real world or an imagined environment, using technologies such as virtual reality goggles and special controllers.
The main feature of VR is that it provides users with a sense of immersion in a virtual environment. Virtual reality headsets cover the user’s eyes and display images and videos in a stereoscopic way, creating the illusion of depth and perspective. As a result, the user feels as if they are in another place, in our case, in a concert hall or another world.
To enhance the level of interaction, VR can be combined with other technologies, such as motion controllers or haptic feedback. This way, users can interact with virtual objects, explore environments, and have tactile sensations similar to real ones.
It is not hard to grasp the benefits that VR brings to Classical Music, as this technology offers virtual access to any concert hall or any public or private place where music is performed. Modern listeners seek unique experiences, and VR provides a solution since the costs to virtually attend a concert located 1000 km away from the listener’s home are significantly reduced through the use of Virtual Reality. However, the advantages are not limited only to the financial aspect, and in the following paragraphs, we would like to present our vision of the applicability in the field of Classical Music.
By using VR technology, people can attend live classical music concerts in a completely immersive manner. This can involve, for example, recording the concert with 360-degree cameras placed in the concert hall, allowing users to feel as if they are in the middle of the crowd. This experience can be amplified by adding additional visual and interactive elements, such as information about the composer and musicians appearing on the screen, thus providing the listener with insights into the works being performed and serving an informal educational purpose.
Exploring classical music compositions: With the help of VR, people can explore classical musical compositions in an interactive and captivating way. This can involve creating virtual environments that correspond to the atmosphere or theme of the music, allowing users to interact with visual elements and experience new interpretations of the music. Large stages of the world are limited in terms of scenery, which is only present on the stage. When the listener looks away from the stage, they are distracted by the elements surrounding them, causing their mind to easily wander away from the stage’s image. So, let’s imagine an Opera or Musical performance in which, wherever you turn your head, you see specific images and defining elements of that show.
The VR experience breaks the conventional limits because it allows those who stage a performance or in our case arrange a show for Virtual Reality to convey their own vision of the respective work without being restricted by sets, location, or the audience’s imagination present in the concert hall.
However, VR technology also caters to contemporary composers who wish to offer a complete experience to the listener, helping them to be more evocative, and their work’s message to be easily deciphered by their audience. VR technology can be used to create and compose classical music in a virtual environment without using acoustic or electro-acoustic instruments. This can involve the use of virtual instruments, such as virtual pianos or violins, which the performer can play using VR controllers. This approach provides an interactive and innovative way to compose and explore classical sounds.
Although Classical Music is not currently widely present on Virtual Reality music platforms, we have a few concrete examples of platforms where we can find famous concerts and more.
MelodyVR is an application that offers a wide range of VR experiences in the field of music, including live concerts and VR recordings. Although not specific to classical music, you can find some events and performances by classical artists. The application is mostly used by nostalgics as it is mainly based on famous concerts that have been sold out.
To attract the audience, several orchestras around the world have created VR experiences where the listener can stand in the middle of the orchestra. The experience is unique, and these videos can be found on the YouTube channels of orchestras in the VR section. An example of such a concert is the London Philharmonia Orchestra, which has produced several 3D video materials during rehearsals.
However, the use of VR technology in Classical Music is still in its infancy, and although several projects are ongoing for use in concerts, it is not yet utilized to its full capacity when it comes to concerts or experiences related to classical music.
With the hope that in the shortest time, we will have access to any concert on the world’s great stages through Virtual Reality or that we will be able to enter a fantastic world accompanied by the most famous Classical works in the history of music, we can only imagine that the application of VR in music will take us to another level of perception of this art.
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