Finnish University Offering Course On Metal

PhD candidate Paolo Ribaldini claims research on the genre is fast-growing field

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Yet another institution of higher education has embraced heavy metal as a genre worth studying.

The latest to hop on the bandwagon is Finland’s leading university, the University Of Helsinki, which is offering students a three-week academic course about the history of heavy metal music and its importance in contemporary western society.

The course is happening this summer, and will be head up by PhD candidate Paolo Ribaldini, a heavy metal musician and singer himself whose research at the University Of Helsinki is focused on varied sociological, semiotic, and philosophical aspects of heavy metal musical practices and recent development of heavy music singing.


According to Blabbermouth, Ribaldini’s educational background involves classical and popular music practice, musicology, philosophy, and philosophy of music and he is particularly interested and enthusiast about the classic heavy metal bands from the seventies and the eighties. His musical talent was also present in this year’s “The Voice Of Finland,” where he successfully progressed under the guidance of former Nightwish singer Tarja Turunen.

Ribaldini claims research about heavy metal is a developing field which needs interested and enthusiastic researchers. However, it still lacks multidisciplinarity, which is what he wants to foster through his course by encouraging collaboration between students from different academic backgrounds.

Ribaldini is hoping to gather in Helsinki a group of advanced Bachelor’s or Master’s students of musical practice, humanities, social sciences, psychology and pedagogy who have a common passion for heavy metal music and who are willing to share their own expertise with the others.

Ribaldini’s aim is to spotlight the importance of heavy metal music in western musical culture, its historical development and the characteristics of the subculture related to it. He wants the students to achieve competences in music critique, musical theory, the sociology of music, music semiotics and cultural studies to better understand and appreciate heavy metal.

Furthermore, he also wants to give the participants a solid basis to critically understand popular music genres other than heavy metal.

Ribaldini promises that an important part of the course is about listening to a lot of good music and going to gigs where the participants will get to know the local heavy metal scene.

Interested? Sign up here and watch a short video on the course below.

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