Profiles of alumni of Göttingen musicology
You are wondering about career prospects after studying musicology? Career paths of musicologists are quite diverse. It can be helpful to learn about concrete individual career courses. This selection of professional profiles of alumni of Göttingen musicology should help you gaining a clearer perspective on possible career choices.
- What is your profession today?
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job?
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you?
- How was your career path from university to your current position?
J.: I work for one of Europe's biggest event organiser for concerts, shows and festivals. I am responsible for business communication and the marketing of festivals. Put in one sentence: It is my job to create the greatest possible attention and enthusiasm for live culture through marketing, public relations and the coordination of media partnerships.
J.: From my studies, I have retained critical thinking, the precise reflection of complex subjects and a general understanding of the relativity of knowledge and opinions. Musicological facts and knowledge are rather less important in my job - but my studies have definitively helped me make informed decisions and to better empathise with other people and cultures.
J.: The personal atmosphere and the collection of musical instruments at the historic Accouchierhaus in Göttingen were very special to me. Furthermore, Göttingen has an exciting cultural and scholarly life and a wonderful landscape surrounding it, which in my opinion is a unique mixture in Germany. In my view, Göttingen does not have to shy at the comparison to my new home city Hamburg!
J.: After completing my studies, I went on a journalistic traineeship at the Göttinger Tageblatt, which I can warmly recommend to everybody interested in working in media. Afterwards I was press secretary of a non-profit foundation in public health, before I found my way back to music at FKP Scorpio.
- What is your profession today? A.: I am a social media manager at the RND - RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (Madsack Mediengruppe). Additionally, I work in the committee of the Jazz Musiker Initiative Hannover e.V. and co-organise the annual festival Jazzwoche Hannover.
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job? A.: I learned the tools of academic work at the Department of Musicology. Especially the skills of writing a seminar paper help me to work critically and reflectively with scholarly literature. This is essential for my journalistic work in the newsroom.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? A.: My student job at the Library of the Department of Musicology. I had lots of fun on this job. Also the involvement with the musicology student representatives was special to me.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? A.: After completing my B.A. in musicology and German philology in Göttingen, I continued my studies at the Music Academy in Hannover (Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover) with the M.A. Medien und Musik. During this time I started working at the Jazz Initiative and also worked for several months at the broadcaster NDR Kultur. After finishing my M.A., I directly started the job at the RND.
- What is your profession today? T.: Since 2016, I am aresearch assistant at the Robert-Schumann-research centre. There, I work as an editor of Schumann's musical works (so far, I work on his piano music and the first Symphony). I research and edit these works using all extant sources for scholarly-critical editions. Additionally, I write comprehensive introductory chapters for the readers of the editions, contextualising the edited works in their composition, performance and reception history, taking into account the many testimonies by Schumann and his contemporaries.
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job? T.: Nearly everything! Especially helpful for my work are the skills aquired in my studies on historical music theory, paleography, (transeuropean) music history and current theories in cultural studies.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? T.: I found very attracitve the lived, open approach to music through cultural studies. In this perspective, preconditions of any cultural utterance or action are questioned, the view on the Self and the Other in music is reflected, and functions of the social and political within musical acts and spaces are analysed.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? T.: I studied musicology and history in Göttingen since 2006, first in the B.A. course, followed by the M.A. course (since 2009). I finished both courses of study in regular durations and continued with my doctorate in musicology in Göttingen with Prof. Dr. Waczkat (since 2011). I defended my dissertation in 2015.
- What is your profession today? B.: I am a research secretary. That means, I support all scholars at my university who want to apply for funding of their research projects.
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job? B.: The way of thinking within the humanities and the general knowledge in cultural studies that I aquired in my studies help me. Because I work in a research-supporting job, I profit most from the experiences and skills aquired in my doctorate.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? B.: The personal atmosphere.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? B.: I studied musicology in the B.A. and the M.A. at the Department of Musicology in Göttingen. Subsequently I continued with my doctorate at the same department. During my doctoral studies, I became interested in research management. I took part at the Göttingen University mentoring programme Wege ins Wissenschaftsmanagement and began my current position right after finishing my PhD.
- What is your profession today? E.: I am doing my PhD at the University of Cambridge focusing on Jazz in Marocco, inter-cultural dialogue and cultural diplomacy. I am employed as part of the ERC- [European Research Council] research project Past and Present Musical Encounters Across the Strait of Gibraltar, running from 2018 until 2023 lead by Dr. Matthew Machin-Autenrieth.
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job? E.: The basic studies in musicology help me pursuing my own research. I am practically continuing on from the quite research-oriented M.A. Cultural Musicology, which I studied together with Cultural Anthropology in Göttingen.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? E.: The openness. Especially the student research projects I was an active part of during my studies. These were rooted in seminars, some also transcended the classroom and continued for several months with exciting excursions, fieldwork and lecture series. I have especially positive memoris of the classes of Dr. Klaus-Peter Brenner about Mbira music, as well as the conferences organised and hosted by the department staff. The academic exchange at these events motivated me in my studies an for my PhD-project. I witnessed a lively musicological community at the Accouchierhaus with great colleagues, resulting in lasting friendships. This was also due to the house and the library: both venues were always meeting places to delve into studies, but also to present one's own ideas and put them to discussion.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? E.: Building on my M.A. studies, I drafted my PhD proposal. I was able to directly continue in Cambridge where I am working since 2019.
- What is your profession today? B.: After finishing my studies in musicology, I took one year off to go into music practice and to prepare for admission tests for orchestral conducting. I now study conducting at the Music Academy (HMT) Leipzig with Prof. Matthias Foremny.
- What from your studies in musicology helps you on your job? B.: The ability to look at music and musical practice from different angles. The impulse to never take for granted an assumedly normal musical opinion, but to always question it, enriches the artistic work with sounds a lot.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? B.: The rather small, personal department allows students to quickly get involved in working at seminars or behind the scenes. This gives me the retrospective feeling to have undergone not just "a", but "my" musicology study in Göttingen. The main focus of the studies on posing the right questions has influenced my thinking until today.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? B.: After the B.A. in musicology in Göttingen, I studied piano and music pedagogy for one year at the HMT Leipzig. Afterwards I applied for conducting and was accepted into the class.
- What is your profession today? How did you studies in musicology help you on your professional career? S.: Today I am retired. But my studies of musicology still influence my professional life in diverse ways. From 1983 until 2009 I was an editor at the Göttinger Tageblatt (GT) and had ample use for my musicological training for the concert reviews I wrote. After retirement, I continued writing for the GT and for other newspapers, now as independent journalist. Additionally to this main occupation, I have been writing concert programme notes for the Göttinger Sinfoneiorchester (GSO) since 1975, so for 45 years. This activity was extended over the years to other concert organisers, like the Kreuzgangkonzerte in Walkenried, the Domkonzerte in Königslutter and the concerts at St. Andreas in Seesen. For the GSO I also have been giving pre-concert talks for several years, as well as for the Aulakonzerte of the Göttingen chamber music association, of which I am chairman (and for whom I also write programme notes). Another professional activity of mine is holding lectures at Göttingen University in the University of the Third Age Göttingen for already 10 terms about music-related topics. For this teaching activity, my musicological training is indispensible.
- What made studying musicology in Göttingen special to you? S.: The special thing about my studies was the fabulous freedom (in hindsight), that the rather unstructured Magister study course offered. However, the lecturers also used this freedom, wich resulted in a rather limited range of study topics. For example, after the departure of Rudolph Stephan to Berlin, no music of the 20th century was covered in the curriculum. Topics covered were music of the middle ages or Byzantine church music.
- How was your career path from university to your current position? S.: Already during my studies I worked for the GT as independent writer supplying reviews, I started this 1971, 50 years ago. After my studies (which I did not complete with a degree), I was research assistant at the Department of Musicology. Afterwards, following a short term unemployment of three months, I got a traineeship placement at the GT and after nine month was employed as permanent editor - not just for two years, as is common today, but permanently.