Internship: Music Research

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Course Information
Internship Seminar
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 
20 classroom contact hours; 100 hours of documented research work
  • A background in music history

IES Vienna offers serious music students the opportunity to explore musicology from a practical perspective by assisting IES Abroad Vienna music faculty on some of their projects.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • ƒ plan approaches to research questions;
  • ƒ use the music research facilities of Vienna, especially at the National Library;
  • ƒ identify, locate, read and summarize musicological texts in English and German;
  • ƒ transcribe original manuscripts;
  • ƒ tackle firsthand some of the tasks of a music historian.
Method of presentation: 
  • Independent readings
  • Research
Required work and form of assessment: 

There will be weekly meetings to help define tasks and monitor the progress of various projects. Interns are expected to document their work in detail, keeping track of hours, topics, contact information, call numbers, urls and other relevant information pertaining to their work. The internship requires 10 hours of documented work a week. The internship serves as an introduction to musicology from many angles. Hence, the assignments are wide ranging.

  • Assisting with the preparation of a scholarly article or book: fact-checking, running down footnotes, drafting bibliographies, online research, locating appropriate sources, photocopying library resources, acquiring copyright permissions, and preparing musical score examples.
  • Serving as an assistant at the International Gustav Mahler Society: entering data into databases, preparing photocopies for library holding, corroborating card catalogs with their digital equivalents, and preparing an image archive. Work on conceiving a re-design of the homepage, raising money, and publicity campaigns round out a look at the inner workings of an arts-based non-profit organization in Europe.
  • Mandatory writing requirements:
    • research an upcoming concert, prepare a professional program note, attend the concert, and then write a review of the concert,
    • transcribe and translate an original letter in Gothic script,
    • transcribe a copy of a music manuscript while reporting on its content and role in the conception of the composition as a whole; to conclude the exercise, the student has the chance of examining the original manuscript at the National Library,
    • at the end of the semester write a brief essay summarizing experiences and the results of the completed work.
    • Time is also spent discussing musicology as a career option, the academic scene, applying to graduate schools, and similar topics.

All of these components contribute to the final grade. The grade reflects the student’s effort, accuracy, expressive abilities, both written and oral, and approach to research problem-solving; the challenge lies in posing the most appropriate questions in order to find fruitful approaches to frequently difficult research assignments.

Required readings: 

Depend on topics of research.