Study Musicology Abroad

Study Musicology Abroad

A life without music? For most people this is almost inconceivable. Music gives our life color, stimulates dreaming, carries us away and awakens memories like hardly any other medium. It is a matter of taste whether we prefer to listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony or the songs by Cro. But why do we actually prefer this or that style of music? What characterizes a successful piece of music anyway? What music do people in other cultures listen to? And is it true that listening to music makes you smart? A degree in musicology answers these and similar questions.

Contents of the subject of musicology

In contrast to artistic-creative courses, studying musicology does not train you to become a practicing musician. Rather, the course approaches the subject of music from a scientific perspective . All musical styles and genres are included – from classical music to hip-hop. As a rule, the subject is divided into three major sub-areas :

  • The history of music explores the music from its beginnings to the present. Most universities limit themselves to European-Western music.
  • The systematic musicology asks among other things, to the social conditions of music or the effect of music on human development.
  • The ethnomusicology deals with musical styles outside of our western high culture, for example the music of indigenous people.

Bachelor degree

In the first semesters of the bachelor’s degree, students are introduced to all three sub-areas of musicology. You will get to know the most important music theory approaches , get an overview of the historical development of music, get to know different composition techniques and analyze different musical compositions. In the higher semesters, students usually have the opportunity to specialize in one of the three areas. In addition, modules from related subjects such as art history are offered. Subjects such as music journalism or music management can also be on the curriculum.

Master’s degree

According to, a direct entry into the profession is possible with the bachelor’s degree. However, if you are aiming for management positions, you should add a master’s degree. A doctorate and a subsequent academic career also require a master’s degree. In the master’s degree programs in the field of musicology, students can concentrate even further on a sub-area of ​​the subject. There are also specialized courses such as music informatics, music therapy or music research.

Study opportunities in musicology

Musicology can be studied at universities and music colleges . It depends on the research focus of the respective university which of the three sub-areas are particularly in focus in the course. Many universities focus on music history and not all areas are always offered. It is therefore worthwhile to carefully compare the study programs with one another.

Studying musicology: requirements

If you want to study musicology, you should already know a little about music theory. At many universities there are aptitude tests in which, among other things, it is checked whether the applicants can read notes or recognize individual chords. Basic knowledge of music history can also be checked. At some universities, the subject is also covered by a numerus clausus. Applicants should therefore have a good grade point average in their Abitur . The ability to play an instrument is always helpful.

Occupational fields

Studying musicology does not provide training for a specific profession. Students should already complete internships during their studies in order to gain insight into different professional fields and to gain practical experience. Graduates then have various career options open to them, depending on the focus of their studies and their practical qualifications. For example, you are employed by music publishers or record companies and work in recording studios or music archives. It is also possible to work as a specialist journalist for music magazines or radio. Those who specialize in music therapy can later work as therapists in clinics and rehabilitation centers. With a focus on music management, activities in the public cultural sector or at media and event agencies are possible. A master’s degree also gives graduates the opportunity to do a doctorate and go into university research and teaching.

Reasons for studying musicology abroad

In order to position yourself better on the job market later, a stay abroad as part of your studies can also be useful. This not only offers students the opportunity to continue their professional development. You also gain valuable additional qualifications. For example, they improve their foreign language skills , learn to work in international teams and acquire important soft skills such as organizational skills, flexibility and assertiveness.

Study Musicology

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