Thinking about music has long been a part of our European culture. Questions on the origin of music, its laws and its influence on the human soul, have attracted the attention of musicians, as well as philosophers and other scholars, since antiquity. In the Bachelor’s degree study programme Musicology at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University Bratislava, students are introduced to all three basic areas of the discipline: music history, ethnomusicology (the theory of folk and traditional music) and systematic musicology (including music theory, aesthetics, psychology, acoustics and several other areas).
Traditionally, a great deal of attention is paid to “classical” music, but students are also introduced to folk lore, popular music, jazz and recent musical movements. There are also practical music subjects, such as Collegium musicum, piano play and playing scores, as well as courses in the practical application of musicology: computer musicology, music criticism, music management, concert and opera dramaturgy and music museology. Students have the opportunity to undertake internships in music institutions, agencies and festivals, as well as additional pedagogical study.
Courses in Slovak and English are taught by the department’s lecturers and external lecturers – domestic and foreign experts from academic departments and from practice. Every year several of our students take study stays abroad (within the Erasmus+ programme and other scholarship programmes).
The Bachelor’s degree study programme in Musicology is accredited as a single-disciplinary, but also in combination with other disciplines: ethnology, history and German studies. Students in double majors have a study plan in the Department of Musicology that is appropriately adapted and streamlined with respect to the combination.
BASIC STUDY PREREQUISITES AND REQUIREMENTS
Graduates of conservatories, as well as of grammar schools and various other secondary schools, who have been educated in music at an elementary art school, come to study Musicology. These are given very good training in music and music-theoretical skills at the Bachelor’s degree level, so that with a little effort they can successfully catch up with conservatory students in this area.
An interest in music and culture is a crucial prerequisite for study. The future Musicology student will, obviously, do well to improve his/her recognition of heard intervals and chords (also with the help of apps available under the heading “solfeggio”) and his/her reading of music notation by listening to a lot of different music and studying the literature on music (a few tips are given at the end of this information). A good knowledge of foreign languages: primarily English, secondly German, and possibly Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, etc., also improves the chances of spending time productively during study and chances of finding a good employment in practice.
PROFILE AND EMPLOYMENT OF GRADUATES
Graduates of the Department of Musicology in Bratislava are successfully employed in various professional fields, both in Slovakia and abroad (the possibility of their employment abroad is increased by the fact that some subjects are taught in English). Some of them teach at universities, secondary schools and primary and primary art schools. Others become radio and television editors, editors in professional magazines, as well as in the cultural departments of daily newspapers, dramaturgs, promoters and managers of music institutions, theatres, agencies and festivals. Some graduates will find their place in scholarly workplaces, such as the Institute of Musicology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, or in specialised libraries, archives, museums and regional cultural institutions. Graduates of Musicology also have an exciting path to independent cultural activities in civic associations and non-profit organisations. Finally, there are those for whom musicology becomes more of an extension study, one of the stepping stones on their way to maturity and a successful career as practicing musicians.
ENTRANCE EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS
Applicants will be admitted to the Musicology study programme on the basis of a general aptitude test as part of the National Comparative Exam, which is provided by www.scio.cz, s. r. o.
READING TIPS FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS
Burlas, Ladislav: Formy a druhy hudobného umenia (Forms and Types of Musical Art). Bratislava, SPN 1967; Žilina, Žilina University 2006.
Suchoň, Eugen – Filip, Miroslav: Stručná náuka o hudbe (A Brief Theory of Music.). Bratislava, Opus 1987.
History of Music:
Hrčková, Naďa (ed.): Dejiny hudby I–VI (History of Music I-VI). Bratislava, Orman (vol. I, 2003), Ikar (other volumes, since 2005).
Burkholder, Peter – Grout, Donald Jay – Palisca, Claude V.: A History of Western Music. New York, W. W. Norton & Company 2014.
Ross, Alex: Zbýva je hluk (What Remains is the Noise). Prague, Argo 2012.
Elschek, Oskár – Elscheková, Alica: Úvod do štúdia slovenskej ľudovej hudby (An Introduction to the Study of Slovak Folk Music). Bratislava, Music Centre 2005.
Music, neurology, psychology:
Sacks, Oliver: Musicophilia. Prague, Dybbuk 2015.