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Degree: Bachelor of Arts Supplementary examination for Teaching Degree
Application: not required not required
Course commences: winter semester / summer semester winter semester / summer semester
Standard course duration: 6 semesters 3 semesters
Focus options: 75%; 50%; 25% 100%
Language requirements:
  1. English
  2. another modern foreign language
  3. knowledge of Latin (75% and 50% courses only)
  1. English
  2. another modern foreign language
Language of instruction: German German

Faculty of Philosophy

Course outline

In research and teaching, the profile of the Heidelberg Musicology Department encompasses the entire history of music in Europe and cultures influenced by Europe from antiquity to the present, with special reference to music theory and analysis, the history of composition and notation, instrumental studies and history of interpretation, history of genres and institutions, and aesthetics and reception. Here musicology shares many concerns and methodologies with neighbouring disciplines like history and modern languages, the social sciences and theology.

The B.A. Musicology programme is designed to be a structured, broadly conceived course leading on the one hand to professional qualifications but also representing the first stage of a potentially three-part academic education in Musicology (B.A., M.A., PhD).

Subject-specific teaching in Musicology at B.A. level focuses on

  • enabling students to acquire scholarly techniques and methods as well as foundational skills in engaging with musical texts and music-historical sources
  • imparting to students extensive knowledge of the musical repertoire in combination with an overview of music history in the West and enabling them to engage in greater depth with selected focus topics from different periods of history.

These subject-specific components of the curriculum are supplemented by cross-disciplinary skills. Students are urgently recommended to spend a semester abroad; work done there will count towards the total number of credit points required. Students of Musicology require another subject to complete their study profile.

Focus options for Musicology students

The B.A. course

At B.A. level, Musicology can be studied

  • as a main subject in a two-subject programme (main subject 75%, subsidiary subject 25%, Musicology focus 75%)
  • as a first or second main subject in a joint programme (each subject 50%, Musicology focus 50%)
  • as a subsidiary subject in a two-subject programme (main subject 75%, subsidiary subject 25%, Musicology focus 25%)

Leaving out of account the B.A. thesis (12 CP) and cross-disciplinary skills (20CP), Musicology components thus account for 113 CP if musicology is taken as a main subject (75%), 74 CP if it is taken as a first or second main subject (50%) and 35 CP if it is selected as a subsidiary subject.

Course leading to a Supplementary Examination certificate qualifying holders to teach music as a subsidiary subject at higher German secondary schools (GymPO)

Musicology students can take a so-called Supplementary Examination providing them with the academic qualifications required to teach Music at higher secondary schools in Germany as a subsidiary subject (as defined by the GymPO examination regulations) at the lower and intermediate levels of these schools. Success in this examination does not however in itself entitle certificate-holders to teach at such schools, nor does it qualify them for admission to preparatory service as an assistant teacher. Admission to preparatory service is conditional upon a degree in School Music (Schulmusik) acquired at a music college or conservatory.

The supplementary subject requires a total of 90 CP. The duration of study is three years and the focus is 100%.

Prerequisites for studying Musicology

Typically, successful Musicology students are gifted in music, interested in its history and able to play at least one instrument, preferably a keyboard instrument. Also beneficial is a good command of foreign languages. This can be acquired at the University. Essential preconditions are a basic proficiency in harmony, counterpoint and score-reading, skills that are consolidated in the B.A. programme itself. The Musicology Department does not provide vocal or instrumental instruction.

Programme start

Students can embark on the course in the winter or summer semester. Beginning in the winter term is recommended.

Course structure

B.A. course

The B.A. course in Musicology is modular throughout; the standard duration of the course is 6 semesters (full-time study only). Some modules are compulsory, others elective-compulsory. Musicology as a main or first/second main subject also offers purely elective classes. The study plan is designed to ensure that within the three-year duration of the course every compulsory module can be attended at least twice.

The course is tightly organised with a fairly large number of compulsory modules (BaSe) but freedom of choice is also writ large. For example, there are a number of different classes every term that students can select from in the history of music module (MuSe). The Department guarantees that classes in the elective-compulsory modules can be attended by the end of the 5th semester so that the prescribed number of credit points can be obtained. The elective sector (ChoSe) offers further options.

The cross-disciplinary skills sector (ÜK) enables students to acquire abilities related to professional qualifications, interdisciplinary and intercultural matters and organisational, pedagogical and social skills (20 CP in all). For students with Musicology as a main (75%) or subsidiary (25%) subject, all the requisite credit points in this sector can be obtained in the main subject. Students taking Musicology as a joint subject (50%) will acquire 10 CP in the first main subject and 10 in the second.

Each class in the curriculum is allotted to one or more module sectors. There are four such sectors:

  • compulsory modules (BaSe)
  • elective-compulsory modules (MuSe)
  • elective modules (ChoSe)
  • cross-disciplinary skills (ÜK)

Students with Musicology as their main subject (75%) or first main subject (50%) are required to complete a B.A. thesis on a musicological subject (35-40 pages) in their sixth semester.

Music as a Supplementary Subject (GymPO)

The supplementary subject course adds up to a total of 90 CP. These come from trhe following sectors:

  • compulsory sector (including elective-compulsory) (60 CP)
  • elective sector (9 CP)
  •  music didactics (5 CP)
  • supplementary modules (6 CP)
  • final oral examination lasting 45 minutes (10 CP)

Each class in the curriculum is allotted to one or more module sectors. These divide up into

  • compulsory modules (BaSe)
  • elective-compulsory modules (MuSe)
  • elective modules (ChoSe)
  • basic music didactics (GruFA)
  • supplementary modules either from ChoSe, GruFa or cross-disciplinary skills (ÜK)

Language requirements in the different courses

Musicology students must satisfy the following language proficiency requirements:


Fachanteil Musikwissenschaft 75%:
  • English
  • another foreign language
  • knowledge of Latin
Fachanteil Musikwissenschaft 50%:
  • English
  • another foreign language
  • knowledge of Latin
Fachanteil Musikwissenschaft 25%:
  • English
  • another foreign language

Supplementary Examination for Teachers of Music at Higher Secondary Schools (GymPO)

  • English
  • another foreign language

Proof of the language skills required can be furnished in the form of school reports, language course certificates, etc. In the case of international students, it will normally be possible to count their native tongue as one of the modern foreign languages called for. Language proficiency deficits can be remedied by attending the relevant classes parallel to the B.A. programme. With the exception of English and French, the Examination Regulations provide that one semester per language (but no more than two semesters altogether) can be added to the standard course duration without any detrimental effects (Examination Regulations dated 15 February 2010 in the amended version dated 9 February 2012, § 3, 8). Evidence of required language proficiency must be furnished by the end of the 5th semester latest and is one of the preconditions to be fulfilled in having the title of the B.A. thesis approved.

Course objectives

Graduates from the B.A. Musicology course will have acquired sound basic knowledge of the history of music in Europe and European-influenced cultures from antiquity to the present. On this foundation, graduates will be able to make use of their knowledge of music theory and analysis, notation and the history of composition for the analysis of central features in musical works. During the course they will have learned to use musicological works of reference and databases to an extent enabling them to engage responsibly and gender-competently with music-historical phenomena, both individually and in teams. Graduates can read and understand scholarly texts in English and in one other self-chosen modern foreign language. They are able to engage with musicological topics successfully within a reasonable amount of time, identify relevant issues and present their findings competently both orally and in writing with recourse to technical media in their latest updated versions.

Major research and teaching interests

The Musicology Department of Heidelberg University can look back on a long tradition of research on the music history of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Viennese Classicism (Wiener Klassik). New research focuses have materialised in the recent past and are represented in the curriculum. Among them are the history of opera from its beginnings to the present, Italian music from the 16th to the 18th century, Claudio Monteverdi, Georg Friedrich Händel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, historical performance and problems besetting musical historiography (Prof. Dr. Silke Leopold); music of the 19th and 20th centuries, history of symphonic music in eastern Europe (with special emphasis on Russian music) and interdisciplinary research on sujets and reception (Prof. Dr. Dorothea Redepenning); Italian music in  the 16th and 17th centuries, French music in the 17th and 18th centuries, the German Lied in the 18th and 19th centuries and aspects of European and American music culture in the 20th century (Dr. Joachim Steinheuer); music and the tensions between ideological and political forces in the 19th and 20th centuries (Dr. Mauro Bertola); and Singspiel, librettology and bourgeois music cultures in the 18th and 19th centuries (Adrian Kuhl, M.A.).

Career prospects for B.A. graduates

Successful completion of the B.A. course in Musicology is an initial qualification for specific careers in a variety of different fields, including


  • higher education
  • research and editing projects
  • posts at non-university research institutions (e.g. IIMS, German study centres abroad, etc.)
  • research management


  • opera and theatre dramaturgy (also stage direction)
  • orchestra dramaturgy
  • culture management or cultural posts with private and public institutions like festivals and municipal culture departments
  • public relations
  • marketing


  • reviewer or arts-page journalist with newspapers, weeklies, magazines
  • editing or broadcasting work in the music sector of broadcasting corporations
  • CD companies
  • digital media
  • music management
  • public relations
  • marketing

Music publishers

  • music notation and editing
  • readers’ department (books)
  • readers’ department (journals)
  • public relations
  • marketing

Libraries and archives

  • further training as music librarian

Musical education (only in some Federal states)

Formal requirements


There are no admission restrictions. Students enrol online without prior application.

International applicants

There are special regulations for international applicants. For more information, apply to the International Relations Office of Heidelberg University (Seminarstraße 2).

Subject combinations

Possible subject combinations are listed in the Catalogue of Subjects.

Study and examination regulations

Intermediate Examination Regulations: Teaching Degree
Teaching Degree Examination Regulations (LPO)
Examination regulations B.A. (15.02.2010)
Examination regulations B.A. (15.02.2010, last amended 09.02.2012)
Examination regulations B.A. (15.02.2010, last amended 22.04.2013)

More information

Module Handbook

Please click here to find the latest Module Handbook.

Examinations board

Issues arising in connection with examinations, credit transfer and academic credential recognition are dealt with by the relevant examinations board/office. For more information, consult the academic advisor(s) indicated below.


At Heidelberg University there are no general (tuition) fees but students are required to pay a contribution to Student Services and the defrayal of administration costs plus a contribution for a public-transport season ticket. For a precise listing of fees and other useful information, click here.

M.A. course

Heidelberg University offers a consecutive M.A. course in Musicology.

Academic advisors

Dr. Joachim Steinheuer, Akad. Direktor
Augustinergasse 7, Office 202 (2nd floor)
office hours and student advice on the Internet at:

Dr. phil Paul Tarling
Augustinergasse 7, Raum 205 (2. Stock)


Centre for European History and Cultural Studies

Department of Musicology
Augustinergasse 7
D-69117 Heidelberg

Secretaries' office:
phone: +49 (0)6221 542782
fax: +49 (0)6221 542787

Student representation:

E-Mail: Seitenbearbeiter
Letzte Änderung: 2019-01-29
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