Deutsch Intern
    Institut für Musikforschung

    Welcome to Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies at the University of Würzburg!

    What are Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies?

    Ethnomusicology is the study of how people make music in different cultural environments around the world. We explore diverse musical systems, learning methods, and creative processes in traditional, popular, and art music practices both at home and in more distant locales. We try to understand how varying beliefs, values, social issues, politics, and other extra-musical factors influence musical processes and musical meaning. We also examine the importance of music and music-making in our lives and in society, both to improve our general understanding and to enable us to have a positive impact in our communities. In Transcultural Music Studies, we focus between and beyond national borders and ethnic boundaries. We examine historical and contemporary modes of intercultural contact, conflict, exchange, and sharing, and the resulting flourishing of musical innovations as well as efforts of musical preservation. We also explore how expression, communication, and creativity—despite their myriad manifestations—are common needs shared by all humans.

    Study Opportunities in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies

    Students have multiple opportunities to study Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies in the Institute of Musical Research at the University of Würzburg.

    Ethnomusicology Classes at the Undergraduate Level

    At the bachelor’s level, all BA students in Musicology and Music Pedagogy take the class Introduction to Ethnomusicology as part of their core curriculum. All undergraduate students in the Institute for Music Research have the opportunity to take numerous elective classes offered by the Ethnomusicology Program (Lehrstuhl), many of which are cross-listed with Musicology modules (for example, in Summer Semester 2018, Ethnomusicology modules were cross-listed with the following Musicology modules: MIK, MUR, SOZ, PER1, PER2, STA1, STA2, STA3, SP2, GLOP, GEG1, GEG2, FIB, HT5, HT8, SP2, HIST1, HIST 2, INT, IK1, IK2, IK3, IK4, HT9). See the Course Catalog (Vorlesungsverzeichnis) for current offerings.

    Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies

    In this two-year (four-semester) program, students develop a strong foundation in ethnomusicological and cultural theories and in ethnographic and qualitative research methods, with an emphasis on enabling and guiding students in conducting their own original fieldwork and contributing to international theoretical discussions. Students have the opportunity to explore and deepen their knowledge of multiple world music traditions and examine a variety of socio-musical issues and questions. We also emphasize Applied Ethnomusicology and encourage community engagement. This program prepares students to pursue advanced academic work in Ethnomusicology as well as more applied work in the public, cultural, and education sectors.

    The MA program in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies is currently offered as a two-subject degree. Students must complete a total of 120 ECTS credits: 45 credits comprise Ethnomusicology classes, 45 credits comprise classes in a second discipline, and 30 credits comprise the final independent research project (which may be completed in Ethnomusicology or in the second discipline). In theory, Ethnomusicology may be combined with any other program offered at the University (as long as the other program permits such a joint program). The most popular options are to combine Ethnomusicology together with Musicology, Music Pedagogy, and European Ethnology/Folklore Studies. A proposal is currently in progress to offer a single-subject MA in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies in the future, in addition to the double-subject MA program.

    Study abroad possibilities: Students are encouraged to study abroad in their third semester if they wish. Visit the international office or contact Dr. Konstantin Voigt for more details.

    Language of Study: Instruction is offered in the combination of English and German. Students should have the ability to understand reading assignments, lectures, and seminar discussions in both languages. Students have the option to complete their oral presentations and written assignments in either English or German, as they prefer. (Note that classes offered through by programs, for example in Musicology or Folklore Studies, may have different language requirements.)

    Eligibility requirements: see FSB, Teil 1, §4.

    Application links: Studienangelegenheiten

    Questions? Contact: Juniper Hill, Lisa Herrmann-Fertig, International Office for international students. 

    PhD in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies

    Students may apply to pursue a PhD in Ethnomusicology and Transcultural Music Studies either through the Philosophy Faculty or through the Humanities Graduate School. Visit our Ethnomusicology Research pages to learn more about current and recent research projects, current and recent research students, and supervision possibilities.

    Application links: Graduate School of Humanities, University of Würzburg, Philosophische Fakultät.

    Questions? Contact Lisa Herrmann-Fertig for questions regarding eligibility, application procedures, and the structure of the doctoral programs. Contact Prof. Juniper Hill for questions regarding PhD research proposals.


    Instruction is given by Prof. Juniper Hill  and lecturer Lisa Herrmann-Fertig. Ethnomusicology students may also be interested in the Sound Studies and Audio-Video Recording and Editing taught by Dr. Oliver Wiener, the contemporary music classes offered by Professor Elena Ungeheuer, and the music sociology classes offered by Prof. Eckhard Roch, as well as in other classes offered by the Musicology, Music Education, European Ethnology/Folklore Studies, and various area studies programs. We also frequently invite emerging and established scholars in Ethnomusicology to deliver guest classes. Recent visiting instructors include Dr. Maurice Mengel, Dr. Zeynep Helvaci, Dr. Monika Schoop, Dr. Nepomuk Riva, and Dr. Vladimir Ivanoff.

    Recent Ethnomusicology class offerings include:

    DrSummer semester 2018

    • Theorizing Music as Social Process Part I: Romantic Nationalism to Symbolism to Ethnicity
    • Theorizing Music as a Social Process Part II: From Subcultural Identities to Revival to Globalization
    • Weltmusikfestivals: Transkulturelle Begegnungen (Word Music Festivals – Transcultural Encounters)
    • Sinti und Roma – Gefühl von Grenzenlosigkeit in musikalischen Ausdrucksformen (Sinti and Roma – Feeling of infinity in musical expressions)
    • Volksmusikforschung in Franken – Traditionszusammenhang, Repertoire, Potenzial (Folk Music Research in Franconia- Traditional Context, Repertoire, Potential)
    • Latin American Music and Culture
    • Musik(en) der Türkei in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Contemporary and Historical Musics of Turkey)

    Winter Semester 2017-2018

    • Einführung in die Ethnomusikologie (Introduction to Ethnomusicology)
    • Ethnomusikologische Feldforschung - Methoden und Praxis (Ethnomusicological Fieldwork – Methods and Practice)
    • Let's Do Gender! Gender und Queer Studies in der Musikforschung
    • "Objekte im Netz": digitalisierte Instrumentenkunde (Sound Studies)
    • Nahöstliche Musikpraxis im Spiegel der Zeit
    • Theorie der Vergleichenden und Historischen Ethnomusikologie 1 – Transkription
    • Notiert wird nicht das Wichtige, sondern das Notwendige: Einführung in außereuropäische Notationsformen
    • Finnish Folk Music from Ancient to Avant-Garde

    Ethnomusicology Events

    Program Summer 2018 (PDF).

    Resources for Ethnomusicology Students

    (coming soon)

    Data privacy protection

    By clicking 'OK' you are leaving the web sites of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and will be redirected to Facebook. For information on the collection and processing of data by Facebook, refer to the social network's data privacy statement.

    Data privacy protection

    By clicking 'OK' you are leaving the web sites of the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg and will be redirected to Twitter. For information on the collection and processing of data by Facebook, refer to the social network's data privacy statement.


    Institut für Musikforschung
    Domerschulstraße 13
    97070 Würzburg

    Phone: +49 931 31-82828
    Fax: +49 931 31-82830

    Find Contact