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The article is a stub and more is needed in it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 17:30, 5 May 2003‎ (talk)

I moved the text from Ethnomusicology to this article and made Ethnomusicology a redirect. Now instead of three stubs we have one regular article just waiting to be expanded to the point where it will have to be split into seperate articles.-Hyacinth 23:23, 17 Dec 2003 (UTC)


I think the article needs much work and STRUCTURE to become relevant about the subject musicology. Will watch it and try to contribute, though English is not my first language and I am not that familiar with the details in how the subject is divided and studied in USA and UK, which (the difference) could be a point to define in the article. Musicology = music history (in USA) and music theory (in UK)? Today ethnomusicology is included somehow, but that was also a separate subject not long ago? //--Blondel 14:09, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Musicology includes music history, music theory, and ethnomusicology. I would suggest that you hold off on making grand changes until you familiarize yourself with the topic in English speaking countries, where it appears to have more broad connotations than in Swedish. Hyacinth 17:51, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Well, I was perhaps unclear. Swedish musicology is all that, and I think an article on musicolgy could and should contain all the aspects, if properly described and divided. No problem. The difference I was not sure about (but have understood from hints on AMS-list and SEM-list, among other sources) was that American musicology traditionally was only music history, so you had to specify if you worked in another field (music theory or ethnomusicology), and not just using the blanket title "musicologist". In Europe there has not been this compartmentilisation of the subject, even if the university departments have had their different priorities during time, and some people underscore their loyalties to specific theories by using a special title! Best regards, good luck with your good work on Wikipedia! --Blondel 20:01, 9 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Good. The trend you describe is real, but, I think, is becoming a thing of the past. In response to your proposals I say Be bold! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hyacinth (talkcontribs) 14:32, 9 January 2005
I've tried... --Blondel 10:16, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps it would make sense to follow the historical development of the field. The German article, which follows the tradition of dividing into the larger subdisciplines of Historical M., Systematic M., and Ethnomusicology would be one place to begin, and descriptions of developments from this pattern could follow. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 25 August 2006

(reply to unsigned message) I disagree. I don't think that the majority of people coming to this page care as much about how musicology evolved to be how it is, as much as will want to know how it actually is organized today. I think that the historical development of musicology is certainly important and deserves a section of the article. I have also removed the subheadings of "Deductive Conjecture & Contextual Academic Disciplines" and "Theoretical & Practical Disciplines" added by on 1 July. I have never seen these divisions used before; if there is a citation of a major music department organized this way, I would reconsider. I also think strongly that "New Musicology" belongs as a subset of Historical musicology. It was this "subversion within the system" that made it more threatening to some. I don't know any separate departments or divisions of "New Musicology" which would justify it as a separate subdiscipline at the level of Ethnomusicology or Performance Practice. -- 18:25, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
er, that last comment was me, just not logged in.--Myke Cuthbert 01:12, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed:What musicology is not[edit]

I removed the following paragraph:

  • "What musicology is not to be confused with, is the scientifical study of musical sounds (musical acoustics, see also physics_of_music). Neither is musicology the study of music as a performing art, to become a musician or a music teacher."

Given that the paragraph preceding it reads:

  • "As "it 'must include every conceivable discussion of musical topics'", musicologists may study quite a wide range of subjects."

and thus directly contradicts the later addition. Hyacinth 01:24, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Forensic musicology[edit]

Who knows much about forensic musicology? --Damian Yerrick () 05:11, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

I know very little. Forensic musicology appears to be the criminal and thus legal branch of musicology. A forensic musicologist would deal with musical crimes such as by spotting similarities between pieces to determine possible copyright infringements. Hyacinth 10:22, 22 January 2006 (UTC)
Forensic musicology is the designation for legal work that refers to music. This is most often concerning copyright challenges, e.g., when a famous musician claims as her/his own a million-selling song that someone else claims to have written. It happens all the time in the show-business world, and there are musicology experts that can clarify levels of "borrowing." The American Musicological Society has a page that refers seekers to forensic musicologists. Judd 21:42, 20 May 2006 (UTC)


I reorganized the article so that, after a brief definition, the principal fields of musicology are listed and described (with links to articles that cover them in depth). Some might find beginning with Ethnomusicology odd (though my ethno friends wouldn't!) but since New musicology is a subfield of historical musicology that draws also on ethnomusicology, both of those needed to be defined first.

I'm not too happy still with the "What is music" section--I don't think that the different emphasis adds enough distinction to create three different subfields. But I wanted to make cutting sections a separate day from adding.

I'll try to find some pd images that illustrate differences among the fields. --Myke Cuthbert 22:37, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

It is surely odd, but I suppose it is PC, to organize the article with ethnomusicology as main category of the field? We are not there yet, so wait with that structure until the day when musicology IS nothing but ethnomusicology.
The section "What is music" (in its first edition, early in 2005) started with the old question "Quid est musica?" (later removed, by someone who maybe didn't understand the language?). The "historical question", in Latin, explains why I believe musicology has a relation to ancient and middle age speculation and ideas. If the field has developed in the Western world, the concept "music" and the thinking about this human activity has its roots in Western ideas and language. Do we have to deny this?
--Blondel 18:38, 29 May 2006 (UTC)
Keep in mind that Wikipedia articles are ongoing collaborative efforts and that the structure of the article may not (usually doesn't?) reflect a plan or even an evil liberal point of view. Also, notice that the Historical musicology and Music theory sections mean that Ethnomusicology isn't presented as the only or main category. Hyacinth 22:01, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps 'Quid est musica" was removed because it simply rephrased the question in another language. The goal of the section may have been to connect it to ancient and middle age scholarship but an assertion of that connection would do far more to that end, while a description of that connect would be great. Hyacinth 22:06, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

What is music?[edit]

The distinctions between '_What_ is music', 'What _is_ music' and 'What is _music_' seem to me to be absurd and frivolous. Has any great musicologist made this argument, or is it as superficial as it sounds? It's a clever point, but more about semantics than about musicology. It is vague and hazy. Does anyone else agree?

--DannyK 19:35, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, and add that it also appears to be original research. I removed it. Hyacinth 07:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay! I seem to have earned the right to use the old formulation of that section in my own original texts now, if I wish to!! This new policing of "no original thought/research" in wikipedia is puzzling, but correct, of course (I wasn't aware of it earlier), so you're right -- and the structure of the article had changed too much also for that section to make sense. I like the new shorter formulation, commenting on the missing interest within musicolgy in the question of what music is! Strange truth, if it is so, but I suspect it could be... --Blondel 15:00, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Gaunt/McClary Quote[edit]

Some observations on the new quote (which does not seem POV to me in the context of a "criticism" section (though the length of the criticism section itself is verging on POV), but still could be improved:

According to Susan McClary (2000, p.1285) the discipline of "music lags behind the other arts; it picks up ideas from other media just when they have become outmoded" (Gaunt 2006, p.9-10). Only in the 1990s did musicologists, beginning with feminist musicologists in the late 80s(...)

The quote here is double-referenced. Is the quotation by McClary or by Gaunt? Is the quote actually referring to musicology or music in general? I ask because "music...picks up ideas from other media" sounds like a reference to music (composition/performance). I would expect a quotation about musicology to say "music [or musicology]...picks up ideas from other disciplines." I also think that the last part of the sentence is muddy: "Only in the 1990s, beginning in the 80s," it also implies the prior existence of "feminist musicologists" would would push the dates back earlier.

It might also come from being a Wikipedia newbee, but why does the quotation from Harvard Dictionary of Music need a citation? isn't it already cited? or does it just need a page number? --Myke Cuthbert 23:12, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

The article reads "According to Susan McClary" and in the References section it is specified that McClary is quoted in Gaunt. I believe McClary is comparing musicology's study of music with the disciplines which study art in other media. See also the discussion of the previous version of that paragraph above.
In regards to "Only in the 1990s" the word I was looking for was preceded. Thanks.
The Harvard Dictionary citation needs a full reference, including page number, edition, and year. Hyacinth 05:56, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Mscuthbert - why the double citation? If the quotation is indeed from Susan McClary (and not a paraphrase of Gaunt's), then why the need to cite Gaunt? As it reads now, the citations in the sentence are unnecessarily confusing. Also, is the following sentence after the quotation ("Only in the 1990s...") a conclusion of Gaunt's or McClary's (as paraphrased by Gaunt)? It is unclear from the way this is cited. If the argument is Gaunt's, then delete the page reference to McClary (although it's still good to keep it in references at the end of the article). If the argument (including the quote and the next sentence) is McClary's, then go back to the original McClary article, verify this is what she said, add or modify if necessary, and delete the reference to Gaunt.
I also agree that the "criticism" section currently seems a bit long compared to the overall length of the article. I believe the criticism section is fine as it stands (although the emphasis on pop music is a little strange -- many of these criticisms were considered to various degrees by ethnomusicologists decades before the criticism from pop music studies), but perhaps the rest of the article needs some expansion? After all, as Judd has expressed above, most people typing in "musicology" are probably just looking to find out what it is, not necessarily expecting 1/3 of the article to explain to them why most of it shouldn't be trusted. Even articles dealing with subjects that have very public controversies surrounding them (e.g., articles on "evolution," "creationism," "abortion," etc.) seem to have less space proportionally devoted to criticism than this article. Common users are very likely to search for these articles to read about the controversies; this seems less likely for musicology, and thus I think constitutes POV if only by its sheer length in this rather short article.
Also, even taking the critical perspective (and the criticism in the listed citations has been around at least 16 years or more), then there should either be an explanation and link to a coherent alternative to "musicology" (whatever that alternative might be) or there should be a more extensive section in this article dealing with various solutions to these problems. Otherwise, the article reads as though it is about something that has had a bunch of fundamental flaws pointed out 16 years ago, and no one has thought of anything better since. Jzmckay 08:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
By all means, add more content. Just because the article lacks certain sections is no reason to cut thos it already has. Hyacinth 13:04, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Ludwig van Beethoven?? Why not Mildred J. and Patty Smith Hill?[edit]

I moved the Beethoven manuscript that was at the top right of this article to the article on "music history" because it refers directly to historical musicology, not to musicology as a whole. I hope nobody minds - it seemed like an obvious thing to do. We used to think that the white male composers of Western art music were inherently superior to all other musicians and their music was inherently superior to all other music. That would justify regarding Beethoven as central for musicology. Now, Beethoven did not do a bad job mind you, and his shadow hung, so the cliche goes, over the entire 19th Century of Western art music and much of the 20th as well. But that is only part of musicology. The most readable presentation of this viewpoint is Nicholas Cook's book "Music: a very short introduction" (Oxford 1998). He argues, directly or indirectly, that the old eurocentric androcentric view of musicology was racist and sexist.

If there is to be a picture near the top of the musicology page, it should give some idea of the diversity of music and the diversity of disciplines that address musical questions. But it is hard to imagine that, since you cannot normally see music (unless you are extremely synaesthetic). Does someone have an old or even original manuscript of "Happy Birthday", presumably the most successful composition of all time, which was apparently composed by the two women mentioned in the heading (see the wiki entry)? If you consider the music of the whole world, these two budding composers have had even more influence on music history than Ludwig van. But since "Happy Birthday" has not been subject of much musicological research it is not a good example either.

And by the way this page "musicology" should not be part of a project about classical music. The page on music history is a better candidate for that. But that page should be renamed, to avoid ethnocentricity - something like History of Western art music, or - since any music is art (of course) - Music history of Western cultural elites. Call a spade a spade, folks. But the point is already discussed on that page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 2 February 2009

Musicology and popular music[edit]

Added a counterbalance to Middleton, which seems to take a very blinkered view of the history of popular music. Judd 12:22, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Do you mean a blinkered view of the history of musicology? Hyacinth 08:10, 22 January 2006 (UTC) History

No; it was my understanding that Middleton's primary concern was not musicology per se but popular music.

Judd 17:33, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

So what do you mean? Hyacinth 07:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

The sentence "Furthermore, musicology has traditionally been slow to adopt many postmodern and critical approaches now common elsewhere in the humanities," seems to violate the NPOV principle, so I have deleted it. Did the editor perhaps have some slow musicologists in mind? They should be named--unsupported assertions (that personify the discipline) don't belong here. Judd 17:33, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I think that the quote without a citation is POV, but could be acceptable if it cited specific evidence for the claim. Something along the lines, "That the first musicological article to include the word 'feminist' didn't appear until 2002 suggests that musicology has been slow to adopt..." etc. --Myke Cuthbert 02:17, 28 May 2006 (UTC)
I'm not sure how it was POV before, but citation added! Hyacinth 07:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
  • "Middleton's views may be contrasted with a more nuanced perspective that takes into account the fact that musicology has long studied a wide variety of music over large time spans. Thus, e.g., one can find discussions of 15th-century Spanish popular song in 19th-century musicological work; and discussions of 16th-century popular song in the recent past (Brooks 2000, ISBN 0226075877). This is to say nothing about the concept popular, which subsumes Michael Jackson's Thriller (the best-selling album of all time) and Verdi operas."

I removed the above as Middleton does not say "all of musicology all of the time in every last instance" and as such these few examples do not invalidate or even counter his point. Hyacinth 07:03, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

This area of the article is now simply a summary of Middleton's critique; I have thus renamed it and separated McClary's critique of the discipline. It's fine to critique the discipline in an encyclopedia article if you want; I'm not sure how helpful to the innocent "so what is this?" reader such a narrowly-constrained critique is, but I am content to let it stand. Other critiques of the discipline could/should be added; Kerman comes immediately to mind. Judd 11:38, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

Citation needed[edit]

"Harvard Dictionary of Music" is not a full citation. Hyacinth 13:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I edited the lead and removed the quotation and partial cite, which read:

the whole body of systematized knowledge about music which results from the application of a scientific method of investigation or research, or of philosophical speculation and rational systematization to the facts, the processes and the development of musical art, and to the relation of man in general ... to that art (Harvard Dictionary of Music[citation needed]).

I do not see that language in the (current) 4th edition (2003) of the Harvard Dictionary of Music. The quotation may be from a prior edition, but the Wikipedian who supplied the quotation did not indicate the edition or year in the partial citation; hence Hyacinth's {{Fact}} tag, which has gone unanswered since 31 May 2006. Assuming that the quotation is from a prior edition, the current edition renders it obsolete, especially since the current edition's "Musicology" entry does not support, and is in some respects at odds with, the above quotation. It emphasizes the historical and humanistic orientation of the field, but allows as to a few specific sub-disiplines, "Musicology in this tradition has often claimed objectivity and quasi-scientific status for its methods and results." (p. 452, col. 2, emphasis added). Finell (Talk) 18:40, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Primary vs. Secondary types of musicology[edit]

Must we really put zoomusicology on the same level of discourse as ethno- and historical musicology? Might I recommend that we simply add a paragraph to the subdisciplines section that acknowledges bio/cognitive etc. musicology (as well as organology -- why is that missing from this page?) as a catch-all? Every grad program in the west has ethno and historical courses, but classes in these other subfields are much less frequently offered, and papers in them less frequently published. Amber388 19:52, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

Hi Amber388, I like many of the changes that you've made, particularly in the music theory section. I agree that zoomusicology is not at the same level of importance (in terms of number of people studying it, number of publications, centrality to introductory courses) as historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory. I think that a paragraph explaining that the other disciplines are less commonly studied is important, but I don't think that the prose on the secondard fields necessarily needs to be trimmed so long as we're not anywhere near the recommended article size. Instead the other fields can have a little more said about them here. (and much more on the music history, ethnomusicology, etc. pages).
I must say that I disagree with the moving of ethnomusicology between historical musicology and the New musicology. Whatever its current importance, the impact of New Musicology was its advocacy of a transformation within historical musicology and not within ethnomusicology, so historical musicology and (subfield) New musicology must be connected to each other. However, new musicology cannot be understood without ethnomusicology. I believe therefore that a description of ethnomusiology must come before historical musicology (my professional career is as a historical musicologist). It sounds shocking now, as it disrupts a long standing notion of the relative importance of the two fields, but so did the ordering "Female and Male" at first, and it is now commonly used. --Myke Cuthbert 04:25, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
I see your objection to the reordering. The way I considered it was more of a Thesis/Antithesis/Synthesis situation, where very crudely, musicology + ethno = new musicology. Change it back if you like; I have no strong objection. It just seemed weird for the first subfield to be Ethno, rather than Historical Musicology, which I had always taken to be the heart and soul of musicology (or at least what it used to be).Amber388 14:19, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Richard Middleton?!? Why not Kerman? or Taruskin?[edit]

Why does Richard Middleton get so much space in this awful article? 99% of musicologists would have no idea who he is and wouldn't care a bit what he thinks about their work. Kerman's 'Musicology' in the 80s was the real shake up, just like Taruskin's recent (2005?) introduction to the Oxford History of Western Music. There needs to be a section on the origins of musicology as a disipline, followed by two seperate sections on angloamerican musicology and european musicology (very different indeed). I would volounteer to do this ... but it's too difficult! What a challenge! Perhaps a starting point could be Nicholas Cook's wonderful little book? BigNorwich 22:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

We'll put Wikipedia's paid staff of 24/7 writers on the project right away. --Myke Cuthbert 04:47, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
They haven't got around to it yet. Did you forget to post the memo?
Oh wait you're joking. Ha ha ha ha ha! That's funny. Actually you're right, people shouldn't use these talk pages to suggest how to make wikipedia better. Hoorah for the big useless wiki-flamewar!
Do you actually just spend all day writing 'We'll put Wikipedia's paid staff of 24/7 writers on the project right away' after everyone's posts? Sounds fun!


  • All bickering aside, like many academic discipline articles in wikipedia that are effectively at the "stub" level, this one features a hodgepodge of random contributions, some of which are spot on and some of which are largely inconsequential in regards to the subject. I think the best place for any Richard Middleton information is in relation to the Popular Music Studies sub-discipline (which is in every way truly a sub-discipline of musicology), since it was influential in creating that subdiscipline but inconsequential to the broader musicology field. In contrast, Taruskin's 4000+ page Oxford History is essential: it is THE history of musicology, and few in the field would regard it as anything less. A bit difficult to summarize, however. One of these decades I'll take a stab at it... if anyone wanted to beat me to the punch I would not be offended! eliotbates (talk) 22:51, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Kerman, Middleton, Nattiez[edit]

(Sorry, my syntax is weird but I do not write regularly in English, I'm a French-speaking person from Montreal...)

I'm not sure that J. Kerman is more important than R. Middleton. His position, developped in "Musicology" (1985), is perhaps interesting for someone who does not know what is musicology, but it looks like a revenge more than an argument (for example, he does not understand a single point of the work of C. Seeger). Those who think that Middleton is not relevant must read him...

However, it could be a good idea to add a discussion about the position of Jean-Jacques Nattiez (see "Music and Discourse : Toward a Semiology of Music" (1990), Princeton University Press). I trancribe here the summary printed on the back of the book: «In this book Jean-Jacques Nattiez, well-known for his pioneering work in musical semiology, examines both music, and discourse about music, as products of human activity that are perceived in varying ways by various cultures. Asking such questions as "what is a musical work" and "what constitutes music," Nattiez draws from philosophy, anthropology, music analysis, and history to propose a global theory for the interpretation of specific pieces, the phenomenon of music, and the human behaviors that music elicits. He reviews issues raised by the notion of the musical sign, and shows how Peircian semiotics, with its image of a chain or web of meanings, applies to a consideration of music's infinite and unstable potential for embodying meaning. In exploring the process of ascribing meaning to music, Nattiez reviews writings on the psychology of music, non-Western metaphorical descriptions, music-analytical prose, and writings in the history of musical aesthetics. A final analytical chapter on the Tristan chord suggests that interpretations of music are cast in terms of analytical plots shaped by transcendent principles, and that any semiological consideration of music must account for these interpretive narratives.»

Nattiez is one of the most important musicologist (and ethnomusicologist) of the twenty last years. He proposes something that every musicologist must take into account: a general musicology that unifies all the scientific discourses about music (traditional musicology, ethnomusicology, music psychology...) in a semiological model. According to Nattiez, the musical activity implies three levels, the poiesic level (production of music), the esthesic level (reception of music) and a neutral level (the sound syntax in its immanence). Musicology is the discipline who studies these three levels. I do not think that the position of Nattiez is perfect (his agreement to the idea of musical universals does not convince me). However, because Nattiez argues an ambitious synthesis of our discipline, I suggest to put it in this article. Mingus_k 7:46, 6 February 2007

- I agree about Nattiez ... it's a very hard job deciding who to include, obviously! I think Kerman would have to be there somewhere, as he has been one of the most widely read musicologists in English over the past 40 years, and his book in the 80s is still talked about in universities. I think the hardest thing to do with this article will be to give proper weight to the most influential ideas, whilst also including every other possible branch of musicology.

I find R. Middleton's arguement confusing. He believes Musicology isn't interested in pop ... but musicology obviously just means simply 'writing about music', and there's certainly plenty of that in the pop world. The real problem is people like Middleton who believe that the pop industry can't be trusted to write seriously about their own music, and therefore anything not by 'Professor/Dr' doesn't count. This is similar to the ideas of western musicologists recording the music of other cultures, in the belief that don't have the level of responsiblity to do it for themselves (don't worry, ethnomusicologists have got over this now).

Middleton is basically saying 'musicologists don't write about pop enough, except for all of those thousands of NMEs/Qs/Blogs - they don't count.' 13:20, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The search-method of musicologists is scientific in a broader sense, it can also be referred to as academic. Popular music as a whole, and I mean its industry, its musicians, and its listeners, claims to create words that basically are non-sense from a musicologist's viewpoint. Anw, serious essays exist, and I guess we only have to look for them.--Doktor Who 12:03, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

No "music" entry in new grove? who cares?[edit]

who cares if there isn't an entry under "music" in new grove? What would it say? "Please refer to every other article in this encyclopedia"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Umm, read more carefully; the article is talking about the 1980 edition. There is an entry under "music" in the 2001 edition of the New Grove dictionary. Bruno Nettl wrote it. You might be interested in reading it. Dunkelweizen 16:59, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Biomusicology and Theomusiology[edit]

Clearly this is hardly a proper entry. Anyway, long journeys are made of little steps, or something, so:

  • The section "Biomusicology" if it is referred to at all normatively as such, is a field of zoology, plain and simple. It is not part of musicologist's training, nor do zoologists need--or even affect, as far as I know--any musicological training. Some of them do notate bird song, however. This is a skill.
  • If "Theomusicology" is a subfield, then everyone who has learned the history and use and the text of the Christian Mass, say, as well as its performance practice, its sources and transmission--in short, an endeavor dealing with basically Western art music till whenever--it would be a great surprise to those people who actually are doing that work.

[I applaud whoever took the first swipe at the entry; I'm just feeling cranky because I'm not ready to really give it the time it needs.]--Shlishke (talk) 01:55, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Bimusicology, to my understanding, was an attempt by a few musicologists with some training in evolutionary biology and more training in cognitive psychology to understand the origins of music and evolutionary trends in music as emerging from biological forces (material resource availability, climate, etc). To this date, as far as I know, it's produced a grand total of about 3 conferences, 1 book, and a few scattered articles worth of material. It has almost no connection to any other form of musicology as currently practiced, but also is not really zoology either. eliotbates (talk) 22:44, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Primary vs. Secondary fields[edit]

While it is admirable to want to list everything musicology can be, and is, used for, there needs to be some emphasis on what the vast majority of music research (in particular, music research that calls itself musicology) is about, and a corresponding deemphasis on emerging fields. For instance, Sociomusicology has 58 JSTOR entries and 2700 hits on Google. By contrast, Ethnomusicology has 10700 JSTOR entries and 749,000 hits on Google. These two fields should NOT be getting the same coverage in the article (in fact, I think even leaving in a sentence about Sociomusicology is overly generous given its current lack of influence in the field). Similarly, mathematics and music: I love it, it's one of my main research areas, but it's a tiny faction within musicology and music theory. Proportionate weight is an important part of NPOV. -- Myke Cuthbert (talk) 21:54, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

Musicology societies[edit]

As I added a list of journals available online via JSTOR today, it occurred to me that this article might prove more useful for relatively casual browsers simply by adding a section listing musicology sub-societies. At minimum such a list could reflect more plainly the variety of subdisciplines to this subject, and the breadth of the discipline as a whole. I'd be interested in starting this list. Let me know if there's a major objection. Judd (talk) 15:52, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

I think a list of subdisciplines is a good idea and the right place for it could be the "See also" section of the article. Matthias Röder (talk) 16:14, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

Beethoven manuscript[edit]

The Beethoven manuscript at top right is nice to have but it perpetuates the false impression that musicology is mainly about the music history of Western cultural elites. And the first paragraph of the entry is about that very problem! One solution might be to add further figures that represent other areas of musicology such as ethnomusicology and music psychology. The trouble with that is that most (other) music is not notated and so cannot be depicted in this fashion. Therefore I suggest deleting this figure or at least moving it to the section on historical musicology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

This is ridiculous. Also, this "cultural elite" nonsense needs to be stopped. It only encourages young people to think that serious music in extended forms is not for them. There is nothing "elite" about classical music, just as there is nothing un-elite about any other sort of music. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

What constitutes a musicologist?[edit]

What officially (or unofficially) makes someone a musicologist? Self-definition? Popular perception? Publication of book(s) on music and music theory? Ph.D in music/musicology/music theory? Job as a notable music critic or music analyst/commentator?

I ask because there doesn't seem to be a set defining criterion. Was Karl Haas a musicologist? He's in the Wikipedia Category list. Likewise Joseph Horowitz, whose books don't analyze music but rather are histories of performers and performances, is in the Category. Is Bill McGlaughlin also a musicologist, then? Softlavender (talk) 01:41, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Real musicologists go through academic assessment of their work.--Doktor Who (talk) 02:22, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

"New" musicology: a subdiscipline of musicology or paradigm of historical musicology?[edit]

I deleted the sentence “Several forms of musical inquiry combine the two larger fields of musicology” since it assumes that musicology is dominated by historical musicology and ethnomusicology. That is not really true. If you consider systematic musicology as a single discipline (as is usual in Germany) then it is about the same size as the other two, so you can imagine musicology as comprising three roughly equal subdisciplines. If you include music theory/analysis as a subdiscipline, which is again about the same size, you have four main subdisciplines. Doubters are asked to count the active participants at major international meetings - the numbers speak for themselves.

I also deleted the next sentence since it refers to the first: "Some draw upon the tools or methodologies of ethnomusicology to analyze the main repertories of historical musicology. Others explore popular music primarily from a cultural perspective, yet also employ tools of Western tonal theory to make analytic observations.” These ideas are of course correct and could be re-introduced under appropriate headings.

Finally I put the text about new musicology under the heading of historical musicology, because it is really a development within historical musicology - some would say in retrospect a paradigm (shift?) of historical musicology.

Future revisions of this page should reflect the relative importance of the subdisciplines. The current text on historical musicology is too long (some of it should be shifted to the entry on music history, which could be renamed historical musicology). The text on ethnomusicology is too short and I guess we need a new heading for systematic musicology. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:36, 2 February 2009

musicoligy is awsome “Several forms of musical inquiry combine the two larger fields of musicology” since it assumes that musicology is dominated by historical musicology and ethnomusicology. That is not really true. If you consider systematic musicology as a single discipline (as is usual in Germany) then it is about the same size as the other two, so you can imagine musicology as comprising three roughly equal subdisciplines. If you include music theory/analysis as a subdiscipline, which is again about the same size, you have four main subdisciplines. Doubters are asked to count the active participants at major international meetings - the numbers speak for themselves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by an unspecified IP address


I return to this article every now and then (don't tell anyone...) just to quickly refresh and refine my thinking about what I do. It is getting better all the time - kudos to all who write, question, and revise it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunate disambiguation[edit]

It rubs me very much the wrong way to see something as insignificant and ephemeral as a Prince album raised to similar status as the name of an academic discipline by means of a disambiguation line at the top of this article. I know that its removal would cause an edit war, but isn't there some way to make it less conspicuous, at least? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:43, 28 March 2009 (UTC).

Sorry, can't agree with you on this. This is a general encyclopedia, and the article will definitely be visited by lots of people looking for Prince. The album was/is pretty important, to say the least, in his oeuvre. Judd (talk) 20:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Just created Musicology (disambiguation), hopefully a better solution. GregorB (talk) 11:00, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Strange Text in the first sentence[edit]

When I view the article the first sentence says "Musicology (water is never pure in a chemical sense. It contains various kinds of impurities such as dust particles, dissolved gases, dissolved minerals, microscopic paints and animals. These are natural impurities and bacteria . These are natural impurities derived from the atmosphere, catchments area and soil.[1] [encyclopedia 1] ⋅) is the scholarly study of music."

That is quite odd, because the source code says "'''Musicology''' ({{ety|gre|''μουσική'' (mousikē)|music||''-λογία'' (-logia)|study of-}}) is the scholarly study of [[music]]".
I don'thave the slightest clue what causes this, but when I looked at recent versions it seems the thing started with Nagualdesign's edit from 17:47, 27 March 2012 who changed " ([[Greek language|Greek]]: μουσική ''mousikē'' = "music" and -λογία ''-logia'' ([[-logy]]) = "the study of", from λόγος ''logos'' = "word" or "reason")" to " ({{ety|gre|''μουσική'' (mousikē)|music||''-λογία'' (-logia)|study of-}})". I'm not good enough with Wiki Code to even guess what could cause what seems like random snippets from other articles to pop up without representation in the code. a google search for the water phrase turns up the Etymology section in the article on gorillas so it's not just my computer. Anybody got an idea? -- (talk) 10:32, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

It looks like it is not just a Musicology problem, as it also appears elsewhere.
See VPT--SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:15, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

Journal end dates?[edit]

The list of journals included in this article includes two dates for each journal (YYYY-YYYY). Are these supposed to represent cessation dates for the journals? In many cases, those journals are ongoing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:39, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Musicology. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

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Question? Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 12:12, 27 February 2016 (UTC)