MUS4227 – Research Methodologies in Musicology

Course content

The course will provide insight into current research methods in musicology and its many cross-disciplinary research areas and equip the student with skills relatd to this. It will include both an overview of methodological approaches in different research traditions as well as providing more thoroughgoing insight into selected methods relevant to the individual student’s master’s thesis.

The overview will include research methods in musicology seen in relation to the humanities (historical and aesthetical approaches), social sciences (sociological, cultural and anthropological approaches) and natural sciences (cognitive approaches). The students will then choose among different options for further in-depth studies. Examples of musicological research methods covered will include hermeneutic analysis, notation-based and sound-based musical analysis, analysis of music and motion, qualitative interviews, quantitative methods, and experimental methods.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, the student will

  • have detailed knowledge of scientific methods associated with the most central musicological traditions
  • be able to evaluate and select relevant methods for independent research projects
  • be able to analyse methodological research and apply relevant research methods in an independent manner
  • have a thorough command of terminology related to research methods in musicology
  • have specialized insight into a selection of musicological research methods


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Admission to the master’s programme in musicology, study option musicology. The course should normally be taken in the second semester of the master’s programme.


The course will be offered as 8 double periods of lectures and 4 double periods of seminars. One obligatory presentation and three written assignments must be approved by the seminar leader for a student to sit the exam.


Term paper (15 pages, each containing approx. 2.300 characters, spaces not included), to be handed in by a set date at the end of the semester. Title and topic must be agreed with the course convenor.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course




Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language