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Institut für Musikforschung

Studium Ethnomusikologie (english Version)

Welcome to Ethnomusicology at the University of Würzburg!

What is Ethnomusicology?

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. We focus within, 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

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

Bachelor of Arts Minor in Ethnomusicology (60 ECTS)

This three-year (six-semester) program integrates music studies and sociocultural studies from interdisciplinary and global perspectives. Students acquire basic practical and theoretical knowledge about diverse music-cultures and practices from around the world and their sociocultural significances. In analyzing a variety of musical idioms – from traditional to contemporary, elite to vernacular, and European to non-European to transcultural – students will gain insights into different transmission, performance, and creative practices as well as globally aware approaches to musical analysis. In exploring the relationships between music and identity, race, gender, economics, religion, migration, ecology, and other social issues, students will become critically aware of the social influences on music-making and the impacts of music-making on society. Ethnomusicological qualitative research methods will be introduced, along with interdisciplinary perspectives from across the humanities and social sciences. The integration of theory and practice is a central component of the program. In addition to academic seminars, students have the opportunity to carry out independent and practical Applied Ethnomusicology projects and to creatively engage with diverse musical traditions in ensemble courses (currently offered in Franconian, American, Arabic, and West/Central African musics). This cross-cultural and interdisciplinary foundation will allow students to approach future work in the cultural, social, public, and/or educational sectors with a breadth of artistic and cultural understanding and critical thinking abilities. The BA program also prepares students for the MA program in Ethnomusicology.

At the BA level, Ethnomusicology can be studied at the Institute for Music Research at the Julius-Maximilians-University as a minor subject with 60 ECTS points. The core required courses make up 20 ECTS points and comprise the Ethnomusicological Perspectives on Music and Society lecture class and student project and the Musical Traditions of the World lecture class and student project. The remaining 40 ECTS credits are chosen by students from four elective categories: Ethnomusicological Theory, including academic courses on select socio-musical topics and regional musical studies; Ethnomusicological Praxis, including practical music-making courses and Applied Ethnomusicology projects; Sociocultural Studies; and Interdisciplinary and Regional Studies. In principle, the 60-credit BA program in Ethnomusicology may be combined with any 120-credit program offered at the University. Recommended options are to combine Ethnomusicology together with Musicology, Music Pedagogy, Political and Social Sciences, Museum Studies, Digital Humanities, Geography, or Philosophy and Religion, or language or area studies programs such as South Asian Studies, British and American Studies, or Russian Language and Culture.

Study abroad possibilities: Students are encouraged to study abroad in their third, fourth, or fifth Bachelor-semester, if they wish. Visit the International Office or contact Dr. Martin Dippon for more details.

Language of Study: Instruction is offered in a combination of English and German. (Note that classes offered through by programs, for example in Musicology or Folklore Studies, may have different language requirements).

Eligibility requirements: Eligibility requirements are based on the points listed in section 5(1) ASPO (including a general or relevant subject-related higher education entrance qualification).

There are no basic and orientation tests.

Proficiency in German is required and proficiency in English (at level B2 or higher) is highly recommended. Basic musical experience and general knowledge of one or more musical traditions (whether classical, traditional, popular, European or non-European music) is recommended.

Detailed information:

To Apply:

Online Formular für Bewerbungen (for applicants with a high school diploma from a German school)

International Office (for applicants with an international high school diploma)

Students may begin their studies in either winter semester or summer semester.

Questions? Contact Fabio Dick, MA and International Office (for international students).

Master of Arts in Ethnomusicology (120 ECTS and 45 ECTS)

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 is now offered as both as a single-subject and a two-subject degree. If pursuing a double major, students complete 45 credits in Ethnomusicology classes and 45 credits in a second discipline. The final independent research project – which may draw on research, practice-based reseach, archival research, and/or mixed methods – comprises 30 ECTS-credits. 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, Political and Social Sciences, European Ethnology/Folklore Studies, Museum Studies, and area studies programs such as American studies, Indian studies, and Chinese studies.

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

Language of Study: Instruction is offered in a combination of English and German. Students must have at least B2 or equivalent 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 and often require level C2 in German.)

Eligibility requirements

-  a BA with 180 ECTS-credits or equivalent
-  15 ECTS-credits of courses related to music (practical or theoretical/academic)
-  10 ECTS-credits of courses related to culture and/or society (focusing on any culture or cultures, from any perspective in Ethnomusicology, the humanities, and/or the social sciences)
-  15 additional ECTS-credits of music-related and/or culture -related courses
-  English and German language skills at Level B2 or higher
For detailed entrance requirements see th "Fachspezifische Bestimmungen":
FSB, Teil 1, § 4 (45 ECTS),
FSB, Teil 1, § 4 (120 ECTS).
(For the entrance requirements to the old 2015 curriculum, see  FSB, Teil 1, §4.)

Application links

Online Formular für Bewerbungen  (with a german degree)
International Office  (with an international degree)

Questions? Contact Fabio Dick, MA for questions regarding eligibility, application procedures, and the structure of the doctoral programs. Contact Prof. Juniper Hill for  questions regarding PhD research proposals.

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 Fabio Dick M.A. for questions regarding eligibility, application procedures, and the structure of the doctoral programs. Contact Prof. Juniper Hill for questions regarding PhD research proposals.

Interested applicants should send a CV; a three page proposal presenting the research questions, theoretical framework, and methodology of their proposed doctoral work; and a short bibliography of scholarship most directly relevant to the proposed research.


Academic instruction is given by Prof. Juniper Hill  and lecturer Fabio Dick, MA. Practice-based instruction is offered by a variety of guest artists. Recent artist-in-residence instructors include David Saam and Franz Josef Schramm in local Franconian traditional music and dance, André Mabiala in West and Central African music, and Mohcine Ramdan and Aktham Abou Fakher in Arabic music.

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, Museum Studies, and various area studies programs in American/British, Indian, and Chinese Studies.

We also frequently invite emerging and established scholars in Ethnomusicology to deliver guest classes. Recent visiting instructors include Dr. Kathleen Van Buren, Dr. Griffith Rollefson, Dr. Maurice Mengel, Dr. Zeynep Helvaci, Dr. Monika Schoop, Dr. Nepomuk Riva, and Dr. Vladimir Ivanoff.

Affiliated/visiting scholars include Prof. Elizabeth Markham, Prof. Rembrandt Wolpert and Professor emeritus Dr. Max Peter Baumann.


Recent Ethnomusicology class offerings include:

Core Classes (offered regularly):
Einführung in die Ethnomusikologie
Theorizing Music as Social Process  
Ethnographic and Qualitative Research Methods
Research Seminar in Ethnomusicology
Mikrofonaufnahmetechnik und Audio-Editing
Applied Ethnomusicology Seminar

Elective classes (continuously vary):
Einführung in außereuropäische Kunstmusiken
Power, Politics, and Identity in South African Music
Finnish Folk Music from Ancient to Avant-Garde
Latin American Music and Culture
Musik und Religion in Indien
Papua-Neuguinea: Musik und Sound
Sinti und Roma – Gefühl von Grenzenlosigkeit in musikalischen Ausdrucksformen
Volksmusikforschung in Franken – Traditionszusammenhang, Repertoire, Potenzial
Musik(en) der Türkei in Geschichte und Gegenwart
Ethnomusikologie und Human-Animal Studies: Tier-Mensch Beziehungen durch Musik
Welten Elektronischer Tanzmusik: Eine subkulturelle Analyse
Weltmusikfestivals: Transkulturelle Begegnungen
Let's Do Gender! Gender und Queer Studies in der Musikforschung
Popular Music and Culture in Theory and Method
Popmusik aus soziokulturell und Musikanalyse Perspektive
Community Music
Applied Ethnomusicology Project

Practical classes (may vary):
American Shaped Note Singing
African Music: West and Central African Drumming
Fränkisch Singen, Tanzen, und Spielen
Arabische Ensemble und Arabische Laute Oud


Ethnomusicology Events

Ethnomusicology Events

Program Winter 2019/2020 (PDF)
Program Summer 2019 (PDF)
Program Winter 2018/19 (PDF)
Program Summer 2018 (PDF)

Resources for Ethnomusicology Students

For the 2015 Version go to this page.

Nomenclature: MHB = Modulhandbuch; SFB = Stdienfachbeschreibung; FSB = Fachspezifische Bestimmungen