The history of German speaking musicology from ca. 1810 to ca. 1990

Musicology, on the one hand, dates back to antiquity and can be viewed as a part of the Artes Liberales, but on the other hand it belongs to those parts of human knowledge which developed into university disciplines with the differentiation of the sciences at the beginning of the 19th century. Starting from Austria and Germany, musicology then established itself in many other countries of the world over the course of the 20th century, in each case having different conditions and motivations. As in every discipline, especially in the humanities, the respective ideological, cultural, political and social conditions play a decisive role in the formation of the subject. They influence the choice of topics and methods, shape the hermeneutical preferences and may promote the drawing of boundaries with other disciplines. Musicology can therefore only be pursued or even developed responsibly if one is aware of its history.

In recent decades, many initiatives have emerged in musicology to reappraise the history of institutions, to examine influential representatives or to take a closer look at a certain period of time. Some larger research projects also examine overarching perspectives. In addition to these, the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics has established a project that brings together existing work in conjunction with its own research to create a history of institutionalized German musicology at universities, colleges and research institutions.

In this project, data collections build the basis for cross-sectional and longitudinal studies in the form of monographs, anthologies, encyclopedias and handbooks that explore the contexts of historical knowledge and are available to the scientific community for further research.

The project is supported by an external academic advisory board.




In this sub-project, in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung (GfM), a research network and associated website are maintained.



HIStory of MUSicoLOGy data base

The establishment of a database focused on the history of German musicology is intended to provide the platform and content for developing theses and research on the condition patterns lying behind the formation of academic knowledge.


Series Spektrum Fachgeschichte Musikwissenschaft / Perspectives On the History of Musicology

The series Spektrum Fachgeschichte Musikwissenschaft, published with Bärenreiter, Kassel, enhances the basics of musicological historiography and provides a platform for this topic. Its editor in chief is Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann.



Forthcoming: Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (Ed.) (2022). Umfang, Methode und Ziel. Eine kommentierte Edition von Konzeptionen der Musikwissenschaft. Kassel und Berlin: Bärenreiter/Metzler.

Wald-Fuhrmann, Melanie (2022). “Musikwissenschaft.” In Laurenz Lütteken (Ed.), MGG Online (2016–). Retrieved from


Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2021). Empirische Ansätze zur Erforschung musikalischen Ausdrucks. In J. Stolzenberg (Ed.), Ausdruck in der Musik. Theorien und Formationen (pp. 56–82). München: Edition text und kritik.

Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2020). Die Bedeutung von Musiksammlungen für die Entstehung der Musikwissenschaft. In Sammeln - Musizieren - Forschen. Zur Dresdner höfischen Musik : Bericht über das internationale Kolloquium vom 21. bis 23. Januar, (pp. 1-16). doi:10.25366/2020.32

Dyck-Hemming, A. van, Eberhardt, J., & Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2020). Ansätze zur Analyse historischer Netzwerke mit Neo4j® – Aus der Projekt-Werkstatt der Datenbank zur Fachgeschichte der Musikwissenschaft. In S. Acquavella-Rauch, A. Münzmay, & J. Veit (Eds.), Brückenschläge zwischen Musikwissenschaft und Informatik. Theoretische und praktische Aspekte der Kooperation (Vol. Musikwissenschaft: Aktuelle Perspektiven, Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung Osnabrück 2018 und Paderborn 2019, Band 3, pp. 1–18). doi:10.25366/2020.107

Haider, T. N., Dyck-Hemming, A. v., & Eberhardt, J. (2020). Extracting a Social Network of Musicologists. Poster presented at the Digital Humanities 2020 - Intersections/Carrefour, Ottawa, Canada.

Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2019). Komplement und Korrektiv: Empirie als Teil einer transdisziplinären Musikästhetik. Musik & Ästhetik, 23(91), 84-88.

Stefan Keym und Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Eds.). (2018). Wege zur Musikwissenschaft. Gründungsphasen im internationalen Vergleich / Paths to Musicology. Founding Phases in International Comparison. Kassel: Bärenreiter; Stuttgart: Metzler. E-Book:

Fischinger, T. (2018). Vorreiter einer empirischen Ästhetik: Anmerkungen zur Studie «Die natürliche Stimmung in der modernen Vokalmusik» (1893) von Max Planck. Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (01), 27–29.

Greb, F., Elvers, P., & Fischinger, T. (2017). Trends in empirical aesthetics: A review of the journal "Empirical Studies of the Arts" from 1983 to 2014. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 35 (1), 3-26. doi:10.1177/0276237415625258.

Dyck-Hemming, A. v., & Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2016). Vom Datum zum historischen Zusammenhang. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer fachgeschichtlichen Datenbank. In S. Bolz, M. Kelber, I. Knoth, & A. Langenbruch (Eds.), Wissenskulturen der Musikwissenschaft: Generationen - Netzwerke - Denkstrukturen (pp. 261–278). Bielefeld: transcript.

Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2015). Musik in der Buchkultur. Sammeln, Musizieren, Präsentieren. In N. Schwindt (Ed.), Die Musik in der Kultur der Renaissance. Kontexte, Disziplinen, Diskurse (pp. 363–397). Laaber: Laaber-Verlag.

Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2013). Musik und Subjektivität. In M. Calella & N. Urbanek (Eds.), Historische Musikwissenschaft. Grundlagen und Perspektiven (pp. 289–306). Stuttgart et al.: Metzler.

Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2013). Musikwissenschaft. In G. Rippl, & S. Winko (Eds.), Handbuch Kanon und Wertung: Theorien, Instanzen, Geschichte (pp. 371-386). Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler.

Pietschmann, K., & Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (Eds.). (2013). Der Kanon der Musik. Theorie und Geschichte. Ein Handbuch. München: edition text + kritik.


Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann

Prof. Dr. Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann



+49 69 8300479-200


Dr. Annette van Dyck-Hemming



+49 69 8300479-204