Have you ever heard someone mention that they were a "Musicologist"? One may wonder what that exactly is? Some form of a music psychologist? Actually, they are one who studies and researches the theory behind the art. Are you familiar with the past VH1 show "Behind The Music?" The musicologist is the true "Behind The Music" - they break down the context and culture.
Does a musicologist need a degree? Some may say that a musician definitely does not need a degree to be named a professional musician. If they've succeeded in meeting their dreams in their reality, then what is a degree? So many legendary musicians have no degree at all. However, the debate as to whether a degree is necessary is a topic for another day.
Just like any position in music, one is able to attain a degree in performance or film composition, the student is also able to attain a degree as a musicologist. However, in our opinion, one does not need text on paper to claim that they are a musicologist. Another avenue to this title is to put your boots in the mud and really soak up the entire culture of your art of choice. If you have lived it, loud and clear, we would like to say that you're able to wear that title proudly.
So, let's delve into the world of what makes up a musicologist. Musicology "traditionally belong to the humanities, although music research is often more scientific in focus (psychological, sociological, acoustical, neurological, computational). Historical musicology, ethnomusicology, and systematic musicology are approximately equal in size. Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its cultural context. Systematic musicology includes music theory, esthetics, pedagogy, music acoustics, the science and technology of acoustical musical instruments, and the musical implications of physiology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and computing. Cognitive musicology is the set of phenomena surrounding the cognitive modeling of music."
So, what does all of that even mean? A musicologist studies the cause and effects of the art itself. This includes the history, the psychology, the archeology, the acoustics, the math and the culture behind it.
The musicologists are incredibly crucial to us and they are a musician themselves in their own special way, as the interpreter and the one who studies is so very important to us because they are able to create and hold a mirror to us. We are able to see ourselves and the heavy meaning of our art within the reflection of their studies.