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Musicology (B.A.) (2 subjects)

Music is more than just an optional icing on the cake of daily life. It is actually one of the most important and most widespread characteristics of humanity. Music is listening pleasure, a consumer commodity. But its significance for human cultures also manifests itself beyond everyday life - for example in political and religious ceremonies; not only as a symbolic expression of belonging to a group, but as coordinated action par excellence; as an artistic expression and intellectual achievement.
In the Musicology B.A. degree programme, we work with the great variety of manifestations and contexts of music worldwide.

Programme name: Musicology (B.A.) (2 subjects)
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Standard period of study: 6 semesters
Starting semester: winter semester
Language of the programme: German

Admission to the winter semester 2018/19:

  • 1st subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • 2nd to 6th subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • International applicants (non-EU): open admission (application to International Student Services)

Note for international applicants: For the enrolment at the Faculty of Humanities certified proficiency in German language is required!

Programme description
Experiencing and making music is one of the essential human social experiences creating cultural identity in all past and present cultures.

The task of Musicology is to carry out in-depth research into and description of the great variety of aspects of music and thus contribute to the understanding of former times and foreign cultures. In the Bachelor's degree programme of Musicology, we explore the multifaceted manifestations and contexts of music worldwide.

The teachers of Historical and Cultural Musicology at the University of Göttingen do not aim at drawing boundaries between their respective subject areas. Therefore these two branches should best be seen as two different perspectives on the subject of music: primarily from the historical aspect or primarily from that of cultural analysis. Hence, the main focus lies on exploring the common potentials as seen from both perspectives, guided by the conviction that this is the only way to establish a musicology which does justice to its subject: forms of music worldwide, without giving preference to any particular form of music. The main spheres of interest of the two perspectives are as follows:

  • One main focus of Historical Musicology (Prof. Dr. Andreas Waczkat) lies on using theories of cultural science to analyse the interaction of music in the history of civilization and knowledge, primarily during the 16th to 18th centuries. Other major topics dealt with are music and musicology in post-totalitarian contexts, and the history of musical theory.
  • Cultural Musicology (Prof. Dr. Birgit Abels) offers a profound exploration of music practice in its various complex, cultural, temporal and social contexts, with regional emphasis on the music traditions of the Pacific Islands, Southern and South-East Asia. Here, the main interest is focused on musical aesthetics and identity, culture-specific reflection about music and in music, and organology.

In the subject of Musicology, the University of Göttingen has established a cooperation with the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover, with the objective of general compatibility of the Bachelor's degree curricula in Musicology at both institutions.

Structure of studies
In the dual-subject Bachelor's degree programme, Musicology can be studied in the profiles of »subject-related in-depth studies« (66+18 C Musicology), »occupational qualification« and »General Studies« (with 66 C Musicology in each case). In combinations of two other subjects, a modular package (18 C) from Musicology can be studied as an option in the profile of »occupational qualification«; an unlimited number of credits can be acquired in the optional segment of »General Studies«. The period of study comprises three years. On our website, you will find a graphic representation of the degree programme in Musicology.

Subject combinations
The choice of a second subject depends on the student's main interests. Combination with one of the subjects listed below can be recommended:

  • Egyptology and Coptic Studies,
  • General Linguistics,
  • Ancient Oriental Studies,
  • American Studies,
  • Arabic Studies/Islamic Studies,
  • Archaeology of the Greek, Roman and Byzantine World,
  • German Philology,
  • English Philology,
  • Ethnology,
  • Finno-Ugrian Philology,
  • French/Gallo-Romance Studies,
  • History,
  • Gender Studies,
  • Greek Philology,
  • Indology,
  • Iranian Studies,
  • Italian/Italian Studies,
  • Cultural Anthropology / European Ethnology,
  • Art History,
  • Latin Philology,
  • Latin Philology of the Middle Ages and the Modern Era,
  • Philosophy,
  • Portuguese/Portuguese Studies,
  • Law,
  • Religious Studies,
  • Scandinavian Studies,
  • Slavic Philology,
  • Sociology,
  • Spanish / Hispanic Studies,
  • Turkology/Turkish Studies,
  • Prehistory and Early History,
  • Economics,
  • Economic and Social History.

As an alternative to the dual-subject Bachelor's degree programme offered by the Faculty of Philosophy, Musicology can also be studied as a 42C modular package within the Bachelor's degree programme of Ethnology (major/minor B.A.) in the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Occupational fields
Completion of a Bachelor's degree in Musicology will qualify you for a great variety of occupations in culture management and politics, in the area of the media and public relations, at theatres, in the library sector and related areas. The Bachelor's degree in the subject of Musicology can serve, in particular, as the basis for a Master's degree programme in Musicology or a related subject.

Recommended prior knowledge in music
You should have sufficient basic knowledge of music (musical terminology, notation) and musical theory (intervals, keys, chords). Basic skills in playing instruments or singing will be of advantage. You should also be experienced in listening to a wide range of different styles of music.

Recommended language skills
A prerequisite is the command of written German. Moreover, a good knowledge of English is strongly recommended. In-depth knowledge of at least one additional foreign language will also be of advantage.

Other recommended prior knowledge
A good knowledge of history and geography will be of advantage.