Master's degree profile

The History of Jazz and Popular Music master's degree profile is dedicated to the scholarly study of the various genres and styles of jazz and popular music in the past and present, their historical and current production, distribution, and reception practices, as well as their social, cultural, regional, ethnic, economic, and media contexts.

The study program focuses on

  • comprehensive music-analytical competencies with regard to the music dimensions of sound, rhythm, melody, harmony, form, song lyrics, as well as dimensions of visual and performative design; for this purpose, courses on analysis methods and transcription are provided, including computer-assisted procedures for data analysis and visualization;
  • the conception, implementation and evaluation of empirical research projects (qualitative and quantitative surveys, case studies, participant observation, content and discourse analysis, etc.) in the context of music sociology and cultural studies issues;  
  • a critical deepening of specialized knowledge and methods on the basis of current research questions, e.g. on the recent history of jazz and African-American music, on research into singing and rhythm, or from sociology of music, music aesthetics, sound studies and digital humanities.

The overarching goal of the master's program is to enable students to work independently as scholars in various areas of music research. The program is designed to qualify students for jobs at universities and in research projects, as well as numerous professional opportunities in the media (print media, radio, television, Internet) and in the music industry (record labels, music publishers, etc.), among others.

The curriculum in the Master's program in Musicology with the study profile History of Jazz and Popular Music is composed of approximately equal parts of profile-specific courses and courses from other areas of Historical and Systematic Musicology as well as Transcultural Music Studies.