Research colloquia 'Music before 1600'

If it is indeed true that temporally or geographically distant cultures become more distant and alien the longer and more intensively we study them, then this idea is true not least of European music between 800 and 1600. Especially because we learn much about ourselves by discerning such examples of otherness, however, the consideration of the music history of this period seems worthwhile and fascinating. For many of the things that seem normal when we engage with music today—though they are beyond questioning only very rarely—were tried and tested from the ninth century onwards: music notation, for example, whose possibility and limits were considered with much care within a culture that was dominated by oral practice for a long time; a music theory that related to practice and joined together the performance and composition of music, as well as its theoretical reflection, in a fruitful—but not always easy—relationship; and the creative engagement with forms of polyphonic music, which determined Europe’s much-studied music historical 'Sonderweg' for many years to come, even though it initially remained a relatively isolated phenomenon.

The research colloquia engage with recent issues in this field of musicology through papers and discussions, affording space to the ‘other’ within European music history.

In addition to young researchers, external speakers and invited respondents of international renown come to our colloquia. By presenting new research projects and discussing recent developments, the colloquia provide the framework for international exchange. Participants from all disciplines are welcome to participate, actively or passively, in this new forum for music before 1600.

Further information: