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The Musicology major is available in the Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music (Music Education).

Musicology is the study of music as a system of organised sound and as a cultural force within society.

  • Musicologists are interested in how music is made, whether composed or improvised, and in the knowledge that underlies its making.
  • They are interested in how people hear music and why they hear it in particular ways.
  • They are interested in what music has meant to people throughout history, and how musical works have been understood in various historical contexts.
  • They are interested in how music is constructed, used, and understood by people in particular places and cultures across the globe.

Musicologists may become experts on a particular musical topic over time, but live their lives in a discipline that is constantly growing in scope, as new music is created and new ways of listening to old music emerge.

Most students at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will study under the guidance of musicology staff in subjects such as music history, music analysis, music skills and research methods, with elective units of study offered by musicology area staff in a variety of topics ranging from early music to contemporary art music and popular music. Students may also specialise in musicology at a postgraduate levels.

Our staff include researchers in a wide range of areas including historical musicology, ethnomusicology, empirical musicology, popular music studies and more. We are active in publishing research in books and journals, participating in and organising local, national and international conferences and symposia, offering musicological expertise to the broader community and more. Find out more about our staff by following the links below.

More information - 

About this major

Concentrate on the development of your skills in research, thinking and writing about music, and combine your music studies with other interests.

Core units of study are also taken in music skills, analysis, history and culture studies and performance, including a final year project, but the course is structured to allow you the flexibility to pursue study in a combination of musical and non-musical disciplines. You may choose units of study taught at another faculty of the University of Sydney or take units of study taught only within the Conservatorium. 

A major requires the completion of 48 credit points as set out in the Learning and Teaching policy according to one of the following patterns of 6 credit point units: 

(a) 2 x 1000-level units, 2 x 2000-level units and 4 x 3000 level units; or 
(b) 2 x 1000-level units, 3 x 2000-level units and 3 x 3000 level units. 
For any individual student’s enrolment a unit of study will only contribute towards one major except where otherwise approved by the faculty Units of study contributing towards one major may not contribute toward any other major completed except where otherwise approved by the faculty.

Graduate opportunities

Musicology students will develop skills in researching, thinking and writing about music. Graduates are prepared for a diverse range of career opportunities, including careers as music educators, creators, researchers and writers.

Career pathways

− artist agent − arts administrator − audio engineer − concert manager − ethnomusicologist − event producer − festival or venue manager − music journalist − music producer − musicologist − orchestra manager − private studio teacher − school music teacher

Courses that offer this major

To commence study in the year

Units of study in this major

To commence study in the year

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.