Faculty of PhilosophyMusicology

The musicology programme deals with music in all its theoretical and practical forms and contexts. The main focus of Heidelberg University’s Department of Musicology is the scientific study of European music history from antiquity until today.

As at most universities in Germany, teaching and learning at Heidelberg University concentrates on historical musicology even though systematically- and ethnologically-oriented courses are occasionally also offered. To this end, the academic programme covers the entire history of European music, such as texture and analysis, the history of musical notation and composition, organology and the history of interpretation, the history of genres and institutions, as well as aesthetics and reception. One tradition that goes back to the founding years of the department is the study of older music history. 

Special Features and Characteristics

The broad spectrum of musicology topics from all periods of music history, including modern and contemporary music, is regularly complemented by professional seminars, changing performance and exhibition events as well as additional courses from a variety of specialised areas. 


Due to the professors and lecturers currently teaching at the department, the main research foci in Heidelberg are on  

  • Italian, French and German Music from the 16th to the 18th century  
  • traditional German songs in the 18th and 19th century   
  • Eastern European music with a focus on Russia 
  • symphonies, programme music and opera of the 19th and 20th century  
  • interdisciplinary theme and reception research

Occupational Areas

Graduates may pursue a career in a range of sectors, including: 

Music communication and culture management 

  • Concert dramaturgy  
  • Festivals, culture departments, etc.  
  • Opera and theatre dramaturgy  
  • Artist management  
  • Foundations and other funding institutions  
  • Adult education  


  • Journalism and music criticism in print and online media  
  • Editing for radio and television  
  • Music labels  
  • Editing books and journals  
  • Musical notation and editing  

Science and documentation 

  • University career  
  • Research institutes, research projects, museums, etc.  
  • Source documentation projects (e.g. RISM), digital humanities, etc.  
  • Further training as music librarians 


I study Musicology and German studies because I am in constant contact with music and enjoy working creatively and independently. I would love to work as a dramaturge in a theatre one day.

Alicia Kern, 22, Musicology, 5th semester Bachelor