Main Research Areas

The UNESCO Chair "Transcultural Music Studies" realises an international, project-based and application-oriented music research. The aim is to establish a North-South-South academic network.

Research is conducted into living musical practice, the knowledge of it and the diverse events in which it is integrated. The interest is in the social conditions of musical activities as well as the musicians. Music-cultural attributions are taken into closer focus, as are the historical contexts from which musical traditions were developed and musical styles and genres were formed. Historical and contemporary processes of cultural transfer are fundamental here and shape the methodological approaches of our research. All this applies to global phenomena as well as to more local contexts.

Aspects such as intangible cultural heritage and music, music and migration or music as an expression of transcultural processes receive special attention in our research. The work is often related to urgent social and cultural-political questions of our time, in the sense of a public musicology that must constantly make itself aware of its social role and responsibility.  

Research in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Brazil, Colombia, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey, among other countries, is evidence of the intensive and collaborative research-oriented work of the Chair of Transcultural Music Studies. With the "Transcultural Music Archives", the UNESCO Chair provides researchers in ethnomusicology and related disciplines with a digital research infrastructure for the storage, annotation and exchange of digital instantiations of their original field recordings.