Music Essay

771 WordsOct 30, 20134 Pages
Music history, sometimes called historical musicology, is the highly diverse subfield of the broader discipline of musicology that studies music from a historical viewpoint. In theory, "music history" could refer to the study of the history of any type or genre of music (e.g., the history of Indian music or the history of rock). In practice, these research topics are often categorized as part of ethnomusicology or cultural studies, whether or not they are ethnographically based. The terms "music history" and "historical musicology" usually refer to the history of the notated music of Western elites, sometimes called "art music" (by analogy to art history, which tends to focus on elite art). The methods of music history include source studies (esp. manuscript studies), paleography, philology (especially textual criticism), style criticism, historiography (the choice of historical method), musical analysis, and iconography. The application of musical analysis to further these goals is often a part of music history, though pure analysis or the development of new tools of music analysis is more likely to be seen in the field of music theory. (For a more detailed discussion of the methods see the section on "Research in Music History" below) Some of the intellectual products of music historians include editions of musical works, biography of composers and other musicians, studies of the relationship between words and music, and the reflections upon the place of music in society. Although most performers of classical and traditional instruments receive some instruction in music, art pop, or rock and roll history from teachers throughout their training, the majority of formal music history courses are offered at the college level. In Canada, some music students receive training prior to undergraduate studies because examinations in music history (as well as music

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