Master of Arts
Cultures of Modernity in Music and Sound

Cultures of Modernity in Music and Sound

The degree program Cultures of Modernity in Music and Sound focuses on questions regarding the configuration and conception of music and tone and the practices, discourses, media related to them, as well as questions regarding music’s place in modern societies within the context of globalization. “Modernity” is understood here in the sociological-historical sense, a sense that originated around 1800, in contrast to the aesthetic-artistic sense of modernism. Given this sense of modernity, the focus of the degree program is less on certain varieties of music than on the social, cultural, technological and media-historical conditions and processes (e.g. industrialization and media transmission) in which humans play music and produce tones, and are influenced by both.

Students deepen their scientific knowledge of music and tone and learn to critically analyze the limitations of academic theories and discourses. Additionally, students broaden their methodological competencies, which enables them to autonomously develop scientific ideas and implement them in self-organized research projects. By delving into aspects of musical globalization students are also sensitized to intercultural communication.


Possible lines of work:

Media (radio, television, online music portals), press (music criticism), music publishers (proofreading, editing), music and media industry, the cultural and creative economy (music and sound production and distribution, culture and event management ), musical theater (dramaturgy, director assistance), music libraries/archives, industry and trade associations, foundations, academia (research management, teaching/research at universities, research institutions).

Open admission
Master of Arts
4 Semester
Winter semester

Examination Regulations (German versions are legally binding)

University degree (German or non-German) in musicology or a related discipline with a largely academic orientation.

German language proficiency (DSH level 2, CEFR level C1, as per DSH exam. regulations)

At the University of Bonn, multilingualism and cultural diversity are considered to be valuable resources that complement subject-specific qualifications. This is why, in addition to curricular language modules, students have access to a diverse range of language-learning offers, including the independent-study offers at the Center for Language Learning (Sprachlernzentrum, SLZ) in which they can autonomously learn a foreign language or enhance existing language skills. Furthermore, students can apply for the “Certificate of Intercultural Competence” free of charge, which promotes extra-curricular and interdisciplinary activities of international or intercultural nature.

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