Courses

Below you will find the course descriptions of Musicology. The programme consists of compulsory courses, electives and a Master's thesis. Alternatively, you can choose to do an internship, study abroad or do additional course work. Read more about the curriculum

 

Compulsory

Humanities Today (compulsory)

In Humanities Today, students from different ICON research master programs are invited to explore the current state of the Humanities, the questions, concepts, and methodologies that animate our respective fields. What are some of the common concerns and interests among Humanities disciplines? What are some of the important differences? What can be gained from inter-disciplinary dialogue within the Humanities, and what are some of the major obstacles? What can we learn about our own field by engaging in conversation with students and scholars from other, related fields? Each week is structured around a plenary lecture by one of the core faculty members in the participating RMA programs. In preparation for the lecture we will discuss, in interdisciplinary groups, a series of key texts.

Career orientation:
Students are familiarized with contemporary research, which is helpful for shaping their future research profile on the academic job market and beyond.

Current Musicology (compulsory)

This seminar critically surveys the current state of the field. Students focus on epistemological and heuristic problems facing musicologists today and on the methods available to address them.
Over the last decades, the complexity of ways in which music has existed and exists in a globalizing world has resulted in significant realignments within musicological research. Traditional paradigms of musicology such as Eurocentric history, philology, source studies, or music analysis based on autonomy aesthetics have lost their dominance; musicologists now routinely integrate methods and techniques introduced from other disciplines (e.g., literary and cultural studies, anthropology, or art history) into their work, and explore music as a performative and media-based art within a broad range of multidisciplinary and transcultural contexts. Moreover, the impact of (digital) technology and of science and scientific methodologies on the field is on the rise, transforming research, and therefore will receive due attention. Using examples from a variety of historical periods, geographical regions, and musicological subject areas, this course provides an overview of the state of play in musicological research today, alongside critical reflection on the discipline of musicology within a continually changing environment.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the MA Applied Musicology and RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Perspectives on Music Historiography (compulsory)

Using examples from a variety of historical periods, geographical regions, and musicological subject areas, we review the most common historiographic models in the field of musicology in the past and now, including their advantages, limitations, and historical etiologies, and explore possible alternatives. Where once the discipline of musicology – as all others - knew distinct limits, today the boundaries appear fluid, or even to vanish entirely. Musicology expanded from researching the great composers, their patrons, culturally acknowledged masterworks, and the manuscripts and prints associated with them to incorporate, for example, issues of race, class, and gender, hybridization, popular forms of music, and the impact of media on music, all in an interdisciplinary or even transdisciplinary context. However, the deconstruction of inherited research paradigms also led to a destabilization of traditional canons of scholarly values and virtues. Can we write a history without heroes?

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Musical Encounters and Confrontations: Postcolonial Perspectives on Music, 1600-Present (compulsory)

European colonial domination has played a profound role in shaping the identities and cultures of the colonizers as well as of the colonized. In this course, students critically engage with the enduring effects of colonialism on today’s societies and musical cultures. The course reading list focuses on how various music practices are influenced by, revolt against, and perpetuate the power divide between “the West and the rest,” as well as power relations within Western societies.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the MA Applied Musicology and RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Elective RMA Musicology I (compulsory)

In a tutorial, you undertake guided reading and original research under the supervision of an established scholar on a mutually-agreed topic including: (1) E. Wennekes: Dutch music(al culture); music and image; (2) R. Ahrendt: 17th- and 18th-century music, esp. opera; music and migration; music and diplomacy, conflict, and/or international relations; (3) E. Jas: Renaissance music; Josquin des Prez; (4) M. Kamp: Digital music and music technology; ludomusicology; music aesthetics; phenomenology of music; (5) R. Marinescu: medieval music; monophony, satire and narrative in late-medieval France; (6) J. Koslovsky: music analysis; history of music theory.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Digital Humanities: Applications for Musicologists (compulsory)

In this course theoretical and practical aspects of musical recording analysis are discussed. Within the theoretical framework questions are tackled about when and to what extent recording analysis is useful in musicological research, and what kind of knowledge can be gained by it. A number of cases of digital tool-assisted recording studies are examined, and their uses and contributions to various subfields of musicology (e.g. performance studies, popular music studies, ethnomusicology) are discussed. Special attention is devoted to the various methods of analysis and visualisation that digital tools afford.

The practical aspect of the course is devoted to learning to work with the Sonic Visualiser software—a tool developed by and for musicologists for the purposes of analysing and visualising digital recordings. Students will work through a tutorial during class, and develop their own research question based around SV and a (set of) musical recording(s) of their choice. The results of this research will be presented in class with the help of a poster.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Research Design for Musicologists (compulsory)

This course offers examples of good research design (call for papers for academic conferences, individual paper abstracts, research grant applications) and trains students in putting them into practice in their own work. You will be introduced to the do's and don'ts of applying for funding, how to write a successful conference abstract, and how to hone your presentation skills.

Career orientation: Conference abstract writing, research grant preparation and presentation.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Singing of Heaven and Earth (compulsory)

This course examines a selected topic or a small group of topics and methodologies currently relevant in research concerning music before 1800. The course reconstructs (parts of) the musical repertoire and the music cultures of (late) medieval and/or renaissance Europe as transmitted to us in a wide range of sources, many of which seem befuddling at first. We start with an introduction to the basics of early-music notation and learn how “music” was conceptualized in pre-modern Europe. We then expand to include narrative, visual and documentary evidence allowing us to place music and sounds in the appropriate historical and social contexts. Particular attention will be placed on the texts and para-texts directly accompanying the music that we study. In addition to highlighting the ceremonial and dramatic functions of pre-modern music in both the sacred and the secular spheres, we pay close attention to the exchange of musical ideas, the use of musical notation and other methods of transmission, the role of music patronage, and technologies of memory, book-making, and print in a predominantly oral culture. Topics examined in this course in the past include musical riddles, the medieval song and its links to the courtly love ethos, the problematic relationship between humans and animals in late medieval music theory, and how medieval authors conceptualized animals.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Digital Music Cultures (compulsory)

Although visual culture has raised much academic interest, new media and digital culture would not exist without sound. Digitalization transforms music: the development of digital instruments and sampling techniques has changed the sound and composition of music definitively. Digital sound and music are also omnipresent in the soundscape of our daily lives: headphones and portable stereos, for instance, give a personalised soundtrack to each day, ringtones and background music add sound to the public sphere, and cloud-based streaming services profess the availability of any music, anywhere, anytime.

The first half of this course will consist of a series of seminars, centring on occurrences of music in the digital age. For each seminar we will read and discuss literature representative of the debates surrounding each topic. The seminars will be prepared for in the form of a small assignment each week, and discussions will be led by groups of students after a short introductory lecture outlining the issues at stake. The second half of the course consists of each individual student focusing on an extensive academic paper, first through gathering literature and sending in an abstract, then by presenting in a conference-like setting during the seminars, and finally by submitting their finished article.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Thesis RMA Musicology (compulsory)

The thesis is the capstone of the RMA programme. The student practices research skills through writing a thesis consisting of original research, produced under the guidance of a research supervisor. The thesis applies the research skills learned throughout the programme to produce a significant piece of original research.
The RMA thesis is a scholarly text in which you contribute, on the basis of independent research, to a debate within your discipline. It is structured around a central research question (set out in the introductory sections) to which it provides an answer (set out in the conclusion). The central research question is clearly formulated at the beginning and its relevance to scholarly discussions within the discipline set out. The body of the text shows how you went about trying to answer this question, why you proceeded the way you did, and what your findings were. In your conclusion you analyse your findings in the light of your original question and explain the broader implications of your conclusions. The thesis is written in correct and clear English; it will normally be around 30.000 words long and should be no longer than 40.000 words (including notes and bibliography).

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Research School I (compulsory)

This is a course or seminar offered by one of the national research schools relevant for the student's research master and/or research specialisation. The contents and scheduling of these courses and seminars will be communicated by the research school.

Depending on your individual profile you are required to complete a minimum of either 5 or 10 EC selected from the courses or seminars coordinated by the research schools. Credits for courses and seminars (including special Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter Schools) vary, but the number of credits must add up to the minimum of required total EC’s for research school courses.
After completion of a course, students receive a certificate from the research school, with which the course title, grade and credit can be registered via the Student Desk. Information about registration will be provided by the research schools.

Research School II (compulsory)

This is a course or seminar offered by one of the national research schools relevant for the student's research master and/or research specialisation. The contents and scheduling of these courses and seminars will be communicated by the research school.

Depending on your individual profile you are required to complete a minimum of either 5 or 10 EC selected from the courses or seminars coordinated by the research schools. Credits for courses and seminars (including special Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter Schools) vary, but the number of credits must add up to the minimum of required total EC’s for research school courses.

After completion of a course, students receive a certificate from the research school, with which the course title, grade and credit can be registered via the Student Desk. Information about registration will be provided by the research schools.

Electives

Cultural Institutions: An Interdisciplinary Seminar

This course investigates one or several case studies of institutions that played or play a significant role in cultural patronage such as courts, private associations, or corporate entities. It is interdisciplinary in the sense that it takes into account the full range of components (material, social, financial, religious, political, historical) that interact in a given cultural institution that has given or is giving rise to a significant musical repertoire. We also pay attention to the element of individual agency within an institutional framework, and apply recent research paradigms to seemingly established or seemingly innovative institutions that are or have been vital in sponsoring culture in both past and present. Potential subject matter extends from the inner workings of medieval courts to today's corporate and crowd-funded cultural projects, with an emphasis on the role of music in all this.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Computational Musicology

This course provides an overview of current developments in digital musicology within the larger context of digital humanities. A basic introduction to computing and information science as well as a basic introduction to empirical research methodologies is part of the course. Understanding the computer as a machine and as tool will explicitly be addressed. The broader field of digital humanities will be surveyed, and the unique opportunities and challenges specific to musicological inquiry highlighted. Topics as music information retrieval, computational ethnomusicology, digital music representations and visualizations, computational models of music cognition, performance modeling, and digital editions will be discussed alongside topics from digital humanities in general. The concepts of tool, model, and modeling will be of central importance. These are related to two fundamentally different kinds of computer-aided research. We will spend considerable time on understanding data mining, which comprises a variety of methods – from naive classifiers to deep learning – to automatically construct a generalized model from a (large) number of example objects. This paradigm underlies many computational music studies.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research, training in computer-based research methods, understanding computers as research tools.

This course is for students in the RMA Musicology. The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coordinator. You do not have to contact the Programme coordinator by yourself.

Tutorial RMA Musicology I

In a tutorial, you undertake guided reading and original research under the supervision of an established scholar on a mutually-agreed topic including: (1) E. Wennekes: Dutch music(al culture); music and image; (2) R. Ahrendt: 17th- and 18th-century music, esp. opera; music and migration; music and diplomacy, conflict, and/or international relations; (3) E. Jas: Renaissance music; Josquin des Prez; (4) M. Kamp: Digital music and music technology; ludomusicology; music aesthetics; phenomenology of music; (5) R. Marinescu: medieval music; monophony, satire and narrative in late-medieval France; (6) J. Koslovsky: music analysis; history of music theory.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Tutorial RMA Musicology II

In a tutorial, you undertake guided reading and original research under the supervision of an established scholar on a mutually-agreed topic including: (1) E. Wennekes: Dutch music(al culture); music and image; (2) R. Ahrendt: 17th- and 18th-century music, esp. opera; music and migration; music and diplomacy, conflict, and/or international relations; (3) E. Jas: Renaissance music; Josquin des Prez; (4) M. Kamp: Digital music and music technology; ludomusicology; music aesthetics; phenomenology of music; (5) R. Marinescu: medieval music; monophony, satire and narrative in late-medieval France; (6) J. Koslovsky: music analysis; history of music theory.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Elective RMA Musicology I

In a tutorial, you undertake guided reading and original research under the supervision of an established scholar on a mutually-agreed topic including: (1) E. Wennekes: Dutch music(al culture); music and image; (2) R. Ahrendt: 17th- and 18th-century music, esp. opera; music and migration; music and diplomacy, conflict, and/or international relations; (3) E. Jas: Renaissance music; Josquin des Prez; (4) M. Kamp: Digital music and music technology; ludomusicology; music aesthetics; phenomenology of music; (5) R. Marinescu: medieval music; monophony, satire and narrative in late-medieval France; (6) J. Koslovsky: music analysis; history of music theory.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Elective RMA Musicology II

In a tutorial, you undertake guided reading and original research under the supervision of an established scholar on a mutually-agreed topic including: (1) E. Wennekes: Dutch music(al culture); music and image; (2) R. Ahrendt: 17th- and 18th-century music, esp. opera; music and migration; music and diplomacy, conflict, and/or international relations; (3) E. Jas: Renaissance music; Josquin des Prez; (4) M. Kamp: Digital music and music technology; ludomusicology; music aesthetics; phenomenology of music; (5) R. Marinescu: medieval music; monophony, satire and narrative in late-medieval France; (6) J. Koslovsky: music analysis; history of music theory.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.

Entry requirements:
the following courses must be completed: MCRMV16010 Tutorial RMA Musicology I and MCRMV16011 Tutorial RMA Musicology II and MCRMV16012 Elective RMA Musicology I

Internship and study abroad

Study Abroad / Across the Border

In order to apply for an exchange, you have to prepare a study plan which must be approved by the programme coordinator of your Master programme.
You should be aware that application for studying abroad is a complicated and time-consuming process and that you should start the process on time.

For more information:
http://students.uu.nl/en/academics/study-abroad
http://students.uu.nl/en/academics/study-abroad/faculty-information/humanities

Internship RMA Musicology

In an internship you learn how to apply in practice the research skills that you acquired in earlier course work. An internship for a Research MA invariably includes a significant component of original research, such as cataloguing new or previously unresearched sources, helping develop new research techniques, or exploring cutting-edge methodologies, always under the guidance of an experienced supervisor. You also get to know the work environment of a research institute, research library, or scholarly archive. A successful internship not only functions as a crucial bridge to entering the workforce but also provides you with the raw material for your MA thesis.

Career orientation:
Training in written and oral presentation of research.