Honing, H. (2006). On the growing role of observation, formalization and experimental method in musicology. Empirical Musicology Review, 1(1), 2-5.


In the last two decades an important shift has occurred in music research, that is, from music as an art (or art object) to music as a process in which the performer, the listener, and music as sound play a central role. This transformation is most notable in the field of systematic musicology, which developed from "a mere extension of musicology" into a "complete reorientation of the discipline to fundamental questions which are non-historical in nature, [encompassing] research into the nature and properties of music as an acoustical, psychological and cognitive phenomenon" (Duckles & Pasler, 2001). Three recent strands of music research will be briefly discussed, namely empirical, computational, and cognitive musicology. They will be interpreted in the context of the "cognitive revolution" in the humanities and the sciences.

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