Musicology at the Conservatorium has a long and distinguished history. Today this area includes a graduate specialist program with an undergraduate pathway.

Musicology at the Conservatorium

Musicologists research the history of music. They use diverse primary sources – newspapers, letters, diaries, concert programs, and more – to situate musicians and listeners within rich historical and social contexts.

At the Conservatorium, musicology is an interdisciplinary area with longstanding links to the wider humanities at the University of Melbourne, as well as with the Grainger Museum and Lyrebird Press. It sponsors a distinguished speaker series and organises weekly postgraduate seminars. It is also closely allied with Ethnomusicology and popular music studies.

Study Musicology

Undergraduate Bachelor of Music students can apply to major in musicology, taking a guided program of specialised study that leads to a written dissertation on a topic of their choosing. Our students develop knowledge and expertise that provides a basis for independent critical enquiry and research-based writing, as well as the ability to understand and present complex concepts. Graduate student study options include the Graduate Diploma (by coursework) and research higher degrees (MMus and PhD).

Undergraduate students from other areas of the University can learn about Western art music and popular music styles through related breadth study subjects such as Music and Politics, Music and Film, and Rock Music.

Musicology courses

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Musicological Society of Australia Conference 2020

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Conservatorium events


Joining the band: How new music technologies are helping students with disability access music education

25 August 2022
Dr Anthea Skinner is a musicologist with a lived experience of disability. Inspired by her own experiences growing up, Dr Skinner has launched the Adaptive Music Bridging Prog...

Four new faces at the Melbourne Conservatorium in 2020

23 December 2019
2020 promises to be an exciting year at the Melbourne Conservatorium, with milestone anniversaries, an incredible array of public performances, and teaching, research and musi...

Five questions for Dr Erin Helyard, Senior Lecturer (Historical Performance and Musicology), University of Melbourne

27 November 2018
As part of our ongoing Staff Stories, Dr Erin Helyard discusses conducting, his favourite writers and the trait he most deplores in others.As told to Kelly Southworth....