It is the scientific and academic study of music. It covers the study of all kinds of music from all over the world; through art music to folk songs, through European music to non-Western music. Away from the study of music per se, musicology also includes following:
• the study of many musical forms & the evolvement of music notation• the study of distinct musical instruments• the study of the elements of music & music theory• the study of musicians , composers & performers• the study of how music is perceived & how it affects or influences a listener
Musicology is the scholarly study of music; as academic disciplines go, it's a quite recent field of study, with its origin in 19th century Germany. What are musicologists, & what do they do? Fundamentally, in the scientific study of music, they are scholars engaged whether western classical or of non-western music. The study of non-western music is called as Ethnomusicology. Ethnomusicologists learn the music of China, Iran, and other countries, and folk music around the world.
Historical musicology deals with the history of distinct composers, western classical music and their lives, musical instruments, the development of music over the centuries, and research of several kinds. Music theory deals with technical analysis of music; harmony, counterpoint, how composers composed their music. If you read the sorts of analysis that music theorists write, it's like as densely technical as anything in mathematics and Science!
Two inventions were made that would greatly help choirs to sing in harmony and to sight-sing during the Medieval period. These inventions were formed by a choirmaster and monk named Guido de Arezzo. His innovations signaled modification on how music must be taught and prompted other theorists to generate other ways of teaching notation and theory.
Interest on the distinct aspects of music grew and many works on this subject were published during the Renaissance. It includes Musica getutscht ("Music Translated into German”) by Sebastian Virdung.
More books regarding music history were published, specifically European music history during the 18th century. Some of the published works during this period include "On Song and Sacred Music" by Martin Gerbert and "History of Music" by G.B. Martini.Interest on the music of past grew through the works of vast composers like Felix Mendelssohn by the 19th century.
Nowadays, colleges and universities offer courses or degrees in musicology helping students to appreciate music further by studying on the life and works of past composers.
Distinct musicologists have distinct areas of specialization; some study the ancient music of the Middle Ages & renaissance, and do research in attempting to determine how it must be performed, since information on that is extremely sketchy. Performance practice is the field of research to how music was carry out in the past, and involves the revival and use of old instruments, which are quite distinct from those of today. There is a lot controversy over this.
Other musicologists might specialize in the music of the time of Bach and Handel etc, or Baroque music, or Mozart and Haydn (Classical Period), or 19th or 20th century music. Various musicologists have discovered long lost works from the past through composers well-known and obscure, sometimes discovering them in monasteries or archives.
Various musicologists teach at music schools, or universities, & learn musicology on the graduate level, generally obtaining PHDs. In scholarly journals they publish articles and write books on distinct biographies and composers. It’s definitely a “Publish or Perish” field.
Today's leading musicologists are Richard Taruskin, one of the leading authorities on Russian music and composers such as Stravinsky. He has written monumental multi-volume history of music which came out a few years ago, and often writes articles for the New York Times that is very interesting always, and at present teaches music history at the University of California at Berkely. Anything he writes down is well-worth reading.
H.C. Robbins Landon is supposed the foremost authority on the music of Joseph Haydn, and has written a biography in many volumes. Lewis Lockwood of Harvard is one of the leading experts on Beethoven. Professor emeritus at Harvard named Joseph Kerman is specialist on opera.
Musicologists frequently examine composer's sketches and manuscripts to discover information about them, resolve if works are authentic creations of a composer or not, and help the music printing industry through correcting errors that have crept in to the printed versions. It is a kind of detective work, and it is quite fascinating. Different ones frequently disagree vehemently with each of other on details and issues, and sparks could fly in their correspondence.
Musicology is not of necessity dry as dust pedantry; it's a field of continuous fascination.
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