Virtual Reality Choral Evensong anyone?

01st May 2019

New research into the popularity of choral evensong has today seen the launch of the first Virtual Reality recording of a live service to allow people to explain their thoughts and feelings as they experience it.

Experience it for yourself, Virtual Reality Evensong

The recording of a choral evensong service at Magdalen College Chapel, Oxford is made with immersive 360 degree vision and responsive, spatialised sound, and was launched today by musicologist, DPhil student at Magdalen, Kathyrn King, as part of her three year choral evensong research project.

Said Kathyrn:

“Participants in the virtual evensong study are asked to talk through their thoughts and feelings as they experience evensong via cutting-edge virtual reality headsets, while their heart rate and other physiological responses are monitored
“Something that would be far too disruptive during an actual service,” she added.

You can experience it now on the College Choir’s Facebook page.

Kathryn is in the first year of her research and is hoping to discover why choral evensong is becoming more popular.

She said:

“There is a lot of anecdotal evidence around the reasons for the growing popularity of choral evensong but very little systematic empirical research.

“I want to find out who is going to choral evensong and why. What does it mean to them? And what can their motives and experiences add to our understanding of the role of choral music in the 21st century,” she added.

She launched an online choral evensong survey last year which aims to gather the experiences of those who attend the service and has already been completed by more than 1500 people.

If you have ever attended choral evensong, you can take the survey simply tap here.

The survey closes on Saturday 1st June.


Watch and listen to more Evensong recordings in our video gallery here.