Now THIS is a summer elective I can get behind! The University of Helsinki is offering an in depth course revolving around the conception and progression of the heavy metal genre. This is awesome for several reasons, but primarily because this actually makes sense for a Finnish university to pursue. Finland is a country famous for its metal and rock scene, not unlike their Swedish and Norse contemporaries. I feel that this is the sum of many factors, such as Finland’s long and bloodied history and their status as one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit.Their stories of old gods and goddesses also have a decidedly Norse flair to them, all of which is great material from which to draw some metal-as-fuck lyrics.
And with a study out comparing the brains of both metalheads and lovers of classical music (hint: we are very much alike), I feel that this timing couldn’t be more perfect. According to their website, the course objective is this:
This course explores the development of the popular music style of Heavy Metal. The primary focus will be on the history of the genre and its importance in contemporary western society. Much attention will be on Finland, where HM is particularly successful and characterises musical culture more than in other European or non-European countries.
The students will appreciate the importance of Heavy Metal music in western musical culture, its historical development and the characteristics of the subculture related to the music. This subculture is particularly strong in Finland, and Finnish HM is recognised worldwide as a key manifestation of this musical style. The students will also achieve competences in music critique, musical theory, the sociology of music, music semiotics and cultural studies. Furthermore, the course gives them a solid basis to critically understand popular music genres other than HM.
So, students will learn music theory at the deepest level, and will also be given materials and ample time to discuss and perform examples of great techniques and styles of metal music in a classroom environment. This probably sounds inorganic, but placing like-minded people together and getting them to discuss music is bound to produce some quality material. Helsinki University welcomes anyone from anywhere in the world to study, so what are you waiting for? Study abroad and shred like a motherfucker in one of the loveliest and most progressive countries in the world! \m/
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