Master in Musicology


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Studying Music In-depth

Our Research Master’s in Musicology will train you in advanced research while giving you academic insight into the theoretical and artistic principles underpinning music across history and cultures. You will also investigate the contextual circumstances influencing the production, distribution, and reception of music.

Western Music from the Middle Ages to the Present; Music and Media

The Musicology program at Utrecht University focuses on Western music from the Middle Ages to the present, the impact of media on the reception and conceptualisation of music, and digital musicology. Interdisciplinary work is central to the program, and there are particularly strong links with Medieval and Renaissance Studies, New Media & Digital Culture, Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Computational Humanities, as well as Game Research.

Hallmarks of Research

Our current research focuses on late medieval music from the 13th to the early 15th centuries, Renaissance Franco-Flemish polyphony, music and migration, Baroque opera, Dutch music since the 17th century, music and its epistemologies from the late 18th century to the present, 20th-and 21st-century art and popular music, the complex relationship between music and politics (in particular, during the 19th, 20th and 21st century), the interaction between music and media (in particular, film and digital media, but also the materiality and semiotics of notations), and the impact of digital research tools on musicology. This research is firmly embedded within the taught components of this program, which are further enhanced by guest lectures and masterclasses led by international experts.

After Graduation

  • You will possess a thorough knowledge of the field of musicology.
  • You have acquired sophisticated knowledge of a research specialism, either within the field of musicology, and/or an interdisciplinary subject.
  • You are equipped with the academic and professional skills needed to identify, define, analyse, and solve research problems.
  • You have learned to conduct independent research in the field of musicology and to report on this research at an advanced level.

This program will give you the specialist knowledge, insight and skills necessary to pursue further study at PhD level or a career as a researcher. Many alumni pursue academic careers in international musicological research.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the program are equipped to operate in the international field of musicology and, in particular, the field of their research specialism. They often continue their studies at the doctoral level and subsequently pursue careers in academic teaching and research. Graduates who do not wish to pursue doctoral studies have found employment in museums, libraries, archives, publishing houses, and as teachers or freelance consultants in the cultural sector.

Academic Careers

After successfully completing the Research Master's program in Musicology, you will be able to formulate a PhD research proposal on a particular aspect of musicology. You will have a clear idea of the positioning of your own research within the context of the international musicological research.

You will also be qualified to compete successfully for admission to a doctoral program in Musicology in Europe, the USA, and elsewhere. Graduates of the program have been successfully admitted, among others, to doctoral programs at the UCLA, Berkeley, University of Toronto, Royal Holloway, University of London, Duke University, Cambridge University, University of Oxford, and, of course, Utrecht University.

Alumni stories

  • Renée Vulto is a PhD student at Ghent University
  • Stefan Udell is a PhD student at the University of Toronto
  • Rutger Helmers is Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam.

Professional Careers

Below you find some examples of jobs that require expertise in the field of musicology or other academic skills.

  • Marieke Lefeber is Curator at Museum Speelklok and a Junior Researcher at the Meertens Institute, Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences.
  • One alumna works as a free-lance pianist, musicologist, culture consultant and Head of Research at Delivering Happiness Holland.
  • Another former student works as an ELT Consultant for the Netherlands at Oxford University Press.

Last updated May 2020

About the School

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of int ... Read More

Founded in 1636, Utrecht University is an esteemed international research university, consistently positioned number one in The Netherlands, 14th in continental Europe and the worldwide top 100 of international rankings, and member of the renowned European League of Research Universities. Read less