​Musicology professor John Richardson interviews the composer Philip Glass (photo by Sini Mononen) 

Most of the research we do at the Department of Musicology in Turku can be listed under the epithet cultural musicology. Broadly defined cultural musicology encompasses a wide range of approaches to studying music that are currently at the forefront of international interest. These include the interpretation, analysis and criticism of sounding music, the study of contemporary music and culture, popular music studies, the sociology of music, ethnomusicology and historical musicology. Our research profile emphasises humanities-based research of the arts, cultural theory and criticism, and interdisciplinarity. We draw on various established research traditions, including art criticism, media studies, cultural studies and philosophy. Contemporary relevance and cosmopolitanism are high among our priorities, along with an interest to explore the interfaces between aesthetics and ethics, and to conduct research that has a tangible social impact. 

We study all musics regardless of genre – everything from classical and popular to folk. Our main areas of specialisation include research on on musical multimedia, film music studies and sound studies, research on music technology and digital culture, ecomusicology and the study of music and identity. This last category includes studies of gender and sexuality, generation, ethnicity, national, regional or local identity as well as questions of multi- and transculturalism. 

These research interests coincide with the general research profile of  the School of History, Culture and Arts Research at the University of Turku, the priorities of the University of Turku’s International Institute for Popular Culture (Professor Richardson is currently IIPC Director), and the research profiles of our international partners in several countries. These include the Georg-August Universität in Göttingen (cultural musicology, ethnomusicology); the Centre for Music Studies at City University, London (film music research, popular music research, ethnomusicology); the Department of Musicology at Oslo University (studies of gender and sexuality, popular music studies); the School of Music at Leeds University (critical theory, ecomusicology, popular music studies); and the Department of Musicology at Copenhagen University (ethnomusicology, music sociology); and Wolverhampton University’s music department (music technology, contemporary classical music).


Updated: 28.8.2013