The Music Department boasts a distinguished tradition of musicology stretching back over a century, and now plays host to world-leading historical musicologists, analysts and theorists working across disciplinary boundaries. Today, the Department has a concentration of expertise relating to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on music and musical life in the German-speaking world, France, Great Britain, Ireland, and the British, German and Japanese Empires. As an MA student in Musicology, you’ll be a part of this cutting-edge research environment.
What will you do?
Get to know your discipline, and why it matters
Within the core Contemporary Musicology module you’ll work closely with internationally-renowned staff and your peers to develop a firm grounding in current debates in the discipline (such as decolonisation, gender, interdisciplinarity and the limits of musicology, the canon and aesthetic value) as well as an overview of tools and theoretical approaches (such as voice theory, mobility studies, New Materialism, archival skills).
Explore your interests in more detail
You’ll do a large-scale independent research project within the broad remit of musicology, benefitting from expert one-to-one supervision: students in the past have done everything from a study of Soviet ballet scores; heteronormativity in Broadway musicals; King Crimson; gender and the nineteenth-century harp. At the same time, you can choose additional taught modules that play to your interests (for example, Advanced Music Analysis), or that broaden your horizons, including modules in other departments and in the Centre for Foreign Language Study. That way you can develop breadth and depth, and learn specialist skills, depending on your needs. For full details on the course structure, see here.
Be part of the academic community
When you join Durham, you become part of the research community and work very closely with the academics in your pathway and with a dissertation supervisor, as well as finding that other staff are at your disposal. Feel free to contact individual lecturers whose specialisms relate to your interests: take a look here. You’ll also join Masters and PhD students across the pathways in reading groups and the postgraduate seminars, and the whole department meets regular to hear presentation from visiting scholars in our Research Forum. For more about the musicological research environment at Durham, including the interdisciplinary networks, conferences and publications hosted at the university, see here.
What do our students think?
For more details on course structure, how to apply etc, see here.