Research Area

History of German-speaking Musicology ca. 1810-ca.1990

Particularly in the last few years many music institutes and academic music departments in German-speaking countries have initiated examinations of their own histories, focusing on influential institutional figures or closely scrutinizing particular periods. Some larger research projects are presently taking an overarching perspective. As a supplement to these projects, the MPI for Empirical Aesthetics intends to inaugurate a project bringing together existing approaches and historical appraisals with its own research into a history of institutionalized German-language musicology at universities and research institutions.

Collections of information will here be developed in steady cooperation with both professional experts and an academic advisory board. Cross-disciplinary and long-term full-length studies, article collections, lexicons, and handbooks will place the acquired knowledge in a range of contexts and will facilitate further research.

Academic advisory board

The project will be supported by an external academic advisory board with the following members:

  • Prof. Mitchell Ash, Professor of Modern History, University of Vienna
  • Prof. Wolfgang Auhagen, Professor of Systematic Musicology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg
  • Prof. Gernot Gruber, Austrian Academy of Science, Institute for Art- and Music Historical Research, Division of Musicology
  • Prof. Lars Christian Koch, Director, Departement of Ethnomusicology, Media Technology, and Berlin Phonogram Archive, Berlin State Museums
  • Prof. Laurenz Lütteken, Professor of Musicology, University of Zurich
  • Prof. Wolfgang Sandberger, Director, Brahms-Institute, Lübeck University of Music
  • Prof. Thomas Schipperges, Professor of Musicology, Eberhard Karls University, Tübingen

Research areas

History Research Network

In cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung  a research network will be developed and maintained, together with aWebsite.

Historiographical Foundations

Development of biographical and institutional-historical lexicons, and of handbooks on themes and media.

Historical Research Database

Identification and entry of interconnected data on individuals, institutions, media, themes, and methods in the history of musicology.

Research in musicological historiography

Based on existing work and initiatives, new research will explore and systematize the history of musicology and music research in the German-speaking areas further.


Wald-Fuhrmann, M. & Keym, S. (Eds.) (2018). Paths to Musicology. Founding Phases in International Comparison. Kassel: Bärenreiter Verlag. Stutgart: J.B. Metzler. Kassel: Bärenreiter Verlag. Stuttgart: J.B. Metzler

Annette van Dyck-Hemming and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (2016). Vom Datum zum historischen Zusammenhang. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen einer fachgeschichtlichen Datenbank [From data to history. Drawbacks and opportunities of a historiographical database]. In S. Bolz, M. Kelber, I. Knoth & A. Langenbruch (eds.), Wissenskulturen der Musikwissenschaft. Generationen – Netzwerke – Denkstrukturen[Knowledge cultures in musicology. Generations - Networks - Paradigms](pp. 261-278), Bielefeld: transcript.