Dr Timothy Summers

BA (Oxon), MPhil, PhD (Bristol)


Musicologist with primary research interests in music for moving-image media, particularly video games. Additional research interests include performativity, critical theory, music in popular culture and music and identity.

Tim is the Stipendiary Lecturer in Music for St Catherine’s College and he also lectures for Bristol University. His primary research focuses on the analysis of music for the moving image, although he also investigates performance and language theory, the forms of opera, and music and identity.

Tim received a first-class BA degree in music from Oxford University, before completing an MPhil by research at Bristol University. He was awarded the Bristol University Centenary Scholarship for the duration of his PhD on the subject of video game music. Tim has published journal articles in issues of Act (2011), Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2013) and The Soundtrack (2013), as well as chapters in edited collections. He was a co-founder of ‘UK Ludomusicology: Game Music Research’, an inter-university research group dedicated to the study of game music <www.ludomusicology.org>. As part of his involvement with the Ludomusicology group, he has organized conferences dedicated to game music and sound (RMA Study Day, Oxford, 2012; Liverpool, 2013). The next Ludomusicology conference is planned for April 2014 at Chichester University.

Tim is currently writing a monograph on video game music and co-editing a collection of essays on the same topic. He has recently conducted research into music in comics, the representation of identities in film and television music, and the application of performativity theory to game music. Tim is also investigating new interactive ways of communicating academic research in interactive media.

Tim’s teaching includes lectures on music for the moving image, minimalism, nineteenth-century opera, popular music, and critical theory. His tutorial teaching focuses on twentieth-century music, analysis, popular music, and musical thought and scholarship.



Forth. ‘‘Sparks of Meaning’: Comics, Music and Alan Moore’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association 140/1 (2015).

Forth.   ‘The Aesthetics of Video Game Music: Epic Texturing in the First-Person Shooter’, The Soundtrack 5/1 (2013).

2013     ‘Star Trek and the Musical Depiction of the Alien Other’, Music, Sound, and the Moving Image 7/1 (Summer 2013), 19–52.

2011     ‘Playing the Tune: Video Game Music, Gamers and Genre’, ACT Zeitschrift für Musik & Performance 1/2, 25pp.


Chapters in Edited Collections:

Forth. ‘From Parsifal to the PlayStation: Wagner and Video Game Music’, in Kevin Donnelly, Neil Lerner and William Gibbons (eds), Video Game Music (New York and London: Routledge)

Forth.   ‘Music in Racing Video Games’, in Chris Hart (ed.), Automobiles and Popular Music Culture

2013     ‘C’era Una Volta Il West : An Opera to do with Death?’, in Guido Heldt, Tarek Krohn, Peter Moormann and Willem Strank (eds), Ennio Morricone [FilmMusik Vol. 1] (Munich: edition text + kritik)


Conference Organization, Research Collaboration Projects and Major Papers:

2014     Organizer, Ludomusicology 2014 Conference, 10th – 12th April 2014, Chichester University

2013     Organizer, Ludomusicology 2013 Conference, 12th – 13th April 2013, Liverpool University

Paper: ‘Wagner, Kant and the Metaphysical Rubber Chicken’

2012     Organizer, RMA Study Day Ludomusicology: Approaches and Aesthetics, 16th April 2012, Oxford University

Paper: ‘From Epic Texturing to Playful Negotiation: Game Music Aesthetics’

2012     Invited Colloquia Speaker, University of Liverpool

2011     Ludomusicology.org online research hub

2011     ‘Approaching and Analyzing Music in Video Games’, Music Since 1900, Lancaster University

2011     ‘Why Should We Study Video Game Music?’, Bristol University

2009     ‘Star Trek and the Musical Depiction of the Alien Other’ , Sixth Biennial International Conference on Music Since 1900, Keele University

2008     ‘Discussing Music Amelodically: The Music of Family Guy’, Bristol University