Musicology/Ethnomusicology Major

Major/Minor/Specialisation !B-MUS-MAJ+1002 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Year and Campus: 2014


Musicology: Professor Kerry Murphy

Ethnomusicology: Professor Catherine Falk


Contact Centre
T: 13 MELB (6352)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre


Musicology is a lively area of activity at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. All staff (many of whom are notable alumni) are actively engaged in research, and staff and students regularly present papers at National and International conferences. Musicology asks questions about why we like music, its importance and its functions. It examines not only music but also musicians within their social and cultural environment.

Ethnomusicology considers the whole context – social, cosmological, economic, political, historical, contemporary, environmental and epistemological – through and within which music is imagined, discussed and made.

In the Musicology/Ethnomusicology Major, students develop knowledge, skills and practices that provide a basis for independent critical inquiry and research-based writing, as well as the ability and self-confidence to comprehend and present complex concepts.

The Musicology and Ethnomusicology Major offers a highly flexible course structure, with opportunities to blend academic and performance-based activities through participation in ensemble and chamber music activities.

The majors are also a pathway to specialised study at honours or graduate level.

Learning Outcomes:


Structure & Available Subjects:

All BMus students undertake a common first year experience.

Specialising in musicology/ethnomusicology involves undertaking research methods subjects and a variety of academic electives that lead to the writing of a dissertation in the Bachelor of Music (Honours).
Applied Skills electives can also complement the specialisation, particularly in Ethnomusicology where learning to perform music outside the western traditions is an important part of the process of becoming an ethnomusicologist.

Degree Flexibility

The BMus is a highly flexible degree, enabling students to design a degree pathway to match their musical interests and pathways. The Musicology/Ethnomusicology major allows students to take advantage of this degree flexibility to tailor subject selections, retaining capacity to move between specialisations and keeping graduate study and career options open.

Did you know...?

  • Students can commence the Musicology/Ethnomusicology major at either the start of second year or third year.

Students are encouraged to seek course advice regarding tailoring of their subject selections and course structure.

Subject Options:

Musicology/Ethnomusicology Major - second year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Year Long

PLUS one of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Academic Electives, Music Studies Electives or Applied Skills Electives 43.75

Breadth/Free subjects 25.00

Musicology/Ethnomusicology Major - third year

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1

Students take Music Research AND/OR The Ethnography of Music


Academic Electives, Music Studies Electives or Applied Skills Electives 62.50 [50.00]

Breadth/Free subjects 25.00

Links to further information:
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Music

Download PDF version.