Founded in 1965 by Professor Alexander Ringer from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, the Musicology Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was the first department of its kind in Israel. Within a decade of its existence it boasted distinguish faculty members such as Israel Adler, Bathja Bayer, Josef Tal, Dalia Cohen, Ruth Katz (both Cohen and Katz were the 2012 recipients of the Israel Prize in music), Amnon Shiloah, Jehoash Hirshberg, Roger Kamien and Don Harrán. Then as in nowadays the Department seeks to advance interdisciplinary research of music as a multifaceted phenomenon whose manifestations proliferate across social, political, and ethnic borders. Classes in the Musicology Department focus on three major fields: historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory. Among the current faculty members are leading scholars in the fields of European art music (from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century), psycho-acoustics and cognition, Jewish musics, popular and folk music, musicological historiography, aesthetics, semiotics, and more.
Several departmental ensembles expose students, faculty, and other members of the academic community to various musical repertories, both as participants and as audiences: all first-year students, for example, take part either in the University Orchestra or in University Choir. The Department occasionally organizes performance workshops and hopes to relaunch the year-round workshop devoted to the study and performance of Gamelan music. Moreover, our Monday Concert Series has been running for more than four decades, featuring students, professors, and some of the leading musicians in the country—(almost) every Monday at 13:00 (free admittance; view the season at a glance here, or listen to some live recordings here)
Providing opportunities for an ongoing intellectual dialogue, the Departmental Seminar and the various colloquia organized and sponsored by the department constitute an important part of the scholarly discourse held at the university, featuring both graduate students and faculty from within the department, as well as visiting scholars and composers from Israel and abroad. Finally, the department maintains a strong alliance with the Jewish Music Research Center. Founded in 1964 by Israel Adler, it is an academic institution fully dedicated to the documentation, research and publication of scholarly materials about Jewish music.
Undergraduate students can major in Musicology or combine it through their undergraduate studies (please note that some electives require preliminary knowledge of music theory and/or harmony). Students wishing to benefit from both performance and intellectual aspects of music may take one of the joint programs offered by the Musicology Department and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. The Department also offers seminars at the MA and PhD levels and seeks to cultivate expert musicologists who will not only be able to teach at the highest level, but also to produce original research.