How do you find a musicologist?
The first question is, “what type of musicologist are you looking for?”
For example, are you looking for the type of musicologist that studies the culture and society of the people who have made music over the centuries, which would be an ethnomusicologist? Or are you looking for the type of musicologist that applies music analysis and research to illuminate concerns of originality, plagiarism, and copyright infringement?
Chances are good that when one asks, “How do I find a Musicologist?” they mean, “How do I find a ‘forensic musicologist.’” A forensic musicologist is a musicologist who applies their knowledge and expertise to legal and criminal cases. This can include identifying and authenticating musical works and recordings, as well as determining authorship and ownership of copyrighted material. Forensic musicologists may also be called upon to provide expert testimony in court cases involving music-related issues, such as plagiarism or copyright infringement. They may also use their skills to identify and analyze sound recordings in criminal investigations, such as identifying a voice or a specific sound or sample on a recording.
To find a forensic musicologist, you can start by searching online. Clicking here will open a Google search for “forensic musicologist” in a new tab. You can also check the websites of professional organizations for musicologists, such as the American Musicological Society or the Society for Music Theory, which often have directories of forensic musicologists.
A musicologist, more generally, is typically a person who studies music as a scholar or researcher. This can include analyzing and interpreting the works of specific composers or musical traditions in the context of history, society, philosophy, and aesthetics. Musicologists study the history of music and its cultural and societal aspects. Most musicologists work in higher education and in research institutions. Many are also writers and contribute to scholarly journals such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society.
To find a research musicologist, you can start by searching online for musicology departments at universities or colleges in your area. Many universities have musicology programs, and the faculty in those programs are often musicologists. Additionally, you can also check the websites of professional organizations for musicologists, such as the American Musicological Society or the Society for Music Theory, which often have directories of members who are available for consultation or research. Another way is to check the yellow pages or online business directories for musicologists or musicology consulting services in your area.
Brian McBrearty is a member of both the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory.