January 19, 2022 Musicology No Comments

How do you find a musicologist?

First, which sort of musicologist are you looking for? There are two. (basically.)

  1. A musicologist who studies music as it relates to the culture and society of the people who have made the music over the centuries? This would be an ethnomusicologist.

  2. A musicologist who applies music analysis and research to ascertain the truths in matters of originality, plagiarism, and copyright infringement?

When one asks, “How do I find a Musicologist?” they usually mean, “How do I find a ‘forensic musicologist?” perhaps to get some advice, obtain an opinion, or get a complete musicologist’s report about a case of plagiarism or infringement. A forensic musicologist is a musicologist who applies their knowledge and expertise to legal and criminal cases. Forensic musicologists may be called upon to provide expert testimony in court cases involving music-related issues, such as plagiarism or copyright infringement. This includes identifying and authenticating musical works and recordings and determining authorship and ownership of copyrighted material. 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.

Musicologize provides these services. You can schedule a 15-minute call on Musicologize’s Forensic Musicology Services page here. We’ll call you back whenever you schedule the call.

You can also just pick up the phone and call (212) 217-9512. Worst that can happen is you’ll go to voicemail and we’ll call you right back.

You might also check the websites of professional organizations for musicologists such as the American Musicological Society or the Society for Music Theory, which include directories of forensic musicologists. Forensic musicologist, Brian McBrearty (owner: Musicologize) is a member of both.

An ethno-musicologist, more generally, 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 such musicologists are academics working in higher education and research institutions. Many also contribute to scholarly journals such as the Journal of the American Musicological Society.

To find a research musicologist, search 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. 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 available for consultation or research. Another way is to check the Yellow Pages or online business directories for your area’s musicologists or musicology consulting services.

Written by Brian McBrearty