mu·​si·​col·​o·​gy ˌmyü-zi-ˈkä-lə-jē How to pronounce musicology (audio)
: the study of music as a branch of knowledge or field of research as distinct from composition or performance
musicological adjective
musicologist noun

Examples of musicology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ted Albrecht, a professor emeritus of musicology at Kent State University in Ohio and author of a recent book on the Ninth Symphony, described the scene. Gina Kolata, New York Times, 6 May 2024 Schwartz considered studying musicology, but a professor, citing his then-rudimentary German, discouraged him. Jeffrey Arlo Brown, New York Times, 6 Dec. 2023 After a vivid opening number, the story begins in a recording studio in Havana, Cuba, where a young musicology student and bandleader, Juan de Marcos (Luis Vega), has come to ask a life-changing favor of the legendary singer Omara Portuondo (Natalie Venetia Belcon). Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 18 Dec. 2023 At present, there are 14 PhD students receiving funding from the school, with eight in musicology and six in composition, according to Chasalow. Globe Staff,, 25 Aug. 2023 Here is something small — but not necessarily small to me: Faculty members are spreading the word that Brandeis University, one of America’s most prestigious colleges, has abolished its PhD programs in composition and musicology . . . Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 28 Aug. 2023 Brandeis University has informed faculty members in its music department that the university’s doctoral degree programs in composition and theory, and musicology, would be put on hiatus this fall, with the intention of eventually closing them. Globe Staff,, 25 Aug. 2023 The initial report from Ten Asia pointed to an anonymous source with knowledge of basic musicology. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 22 Aug. 2023 House earned a doctoral degree in musicology and master's degrees in applied piano and musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jana Hollingsworth, Star Tribune, 28 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'musicology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian musicologia, from Latin musica music + -logia -logy

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of musicology was in 1845

Dictionary Entries Near musicology

Cite this Entry

“Musicology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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