We cultivate the appreciation of the specialist traditions of historical musicology, which Freiburg scholars have helped to shape, as well as the opening of the discipline to new subjects and methods.  

The historicity of all forms of music - as creative and craft practice, as "fine art," as a form of reflection, as social interaction, and as cultural identity - is the professional paradigm of the Department of Musicology. Understanding and communicating musical phenomena in their historicity is the goal of study and teaching:

  • We ask about the history of musical structures and in this we agree with the historically oriented music theory at the Hochschule für Musik, which is a leading institution in this field.
  • We ask about the history of musical and music-related texts. Paleography and philology are central elements of research and teaching in Freiburg. Helping to shape the digital turn in these fields is one of the current goals of the department.
  • The history of music-related media also interests us in its material diversity. We work on scrolls, codices, printed matter, but also on sound recordings and the instruments of musical production and reproduction.
  • In addition to its philologically ascertainable textual status, music is at its core action and performance. The closeness to the Hochschule für Musik offers space for reflection and practice-oriented research and learning, for example in the field of historical performance practice.
  • As a correlate of the sensuality of music, the history of listening and the history of music aesthetics are among the subjects to which music research in Freiburg is devoted at the University and the Hochschule für Musik.
  • We also ask about the history of the ritual, social, and communicative functions of music, and thus about its cultural location.
  • The history of gender relations and social power structures in institutions of musical life, in works of art, practices and historiography is therefore an important subject.
  • The same applies to the history of regionality and globality of music. Developing and conveying an understanding of (post-)colonial structures in the context of European music as well as of the historicity of non-European musical cultures is the prerequisite for being able to perceive music history as an interwoven - as "entangled history".

If historicity is the paradigm, then the overview of larger periods of time forms the premise. Therefore, the Musicology Department represents as a core competence of European music from its late antique and medieval foundations to the recent past in its entire breadth, counterpointed by objects of historical ethnomusicology. We understand this portfolio as a building block in the context of music-related research in Freiburg, which is intended to combine productively with the artistic, music-theoretical and pedagogical foci of the Hochschule für Musik and the cultural-scientific foci of the Center for Popular Culture and Music (ZPKM), and to complement the knowledge of other subjects of the ALU to the universitas.