The study profile

In the teaching area and Master's profile "Transcultural Music Studies" (TMS), the approaches of comparative musicology/ethnomusicology are continued at the Department of Musicology Weimar-Jena, in that students here have the opportunity to become acquainted with and examine music research in the context of current questions of cultural globalisation and of different transfer processes.

Globalisation on the one hand and the constitution of identity and the highlighting of difference in mutual articulation with culture, become visible, but above all audible, through music. Tracing and understanding these processes is one of the central concerns of Transcultural Music Studies.

In Transcultural Music Studies, the objects of research are examined from multiple perspectives and in relation to context and location. It is thus about musicological pluralism of perspectives – and thus about a fundamental interest in all forms of music making and music reception.

Music is primarily studied as performance and in its specific social and cultural context. It is about musical performance, i.e. living performance in a comprehensive sense, whereby field research emerges as a privileged form of data collection (recording, filming, interviews, participant observation, etc.). Transcultural Music Studies is thus concerned with music in which, in addition to the sounds it produces, the music-making and musically thinking human being himself is at the centre of epistemological observation.

For musical analysis, this means that the sources that make it possible are manifold (sound carriers, alternative notations, reports, iconography, photos, films, internet, etc.). In a sense, sources can be part of the process of finding an understanding of music and can be processed in the analysis itself. Tried and tested methods of neighbouring disciplines in the social sciences are used, whereby Transcultural Music Studies is also dedicated to critical, e.g. gender-related or so-called World Music, or Global Music Studies.

Regularly offered are not only lectures by guest lecturers, but also cooperation projects and international field research excursions.

Focal points in the Transcultural Music Studies curriculum include:

  • Musical ethnography / field research
  • Transcription and visual transmission of musical sound
  • Musicology and dance
  • Iconography, film analysis
  • Musical instrumentology
  • Music and Globalisation
  • Music as Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Performance Studies
  • Virtual Music Archive
  • World Music
  • Cultural Theories