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The How and Why of Music

The Centre for Systematic Musicology promotes research and teaching in all areas of systematic musicology, focusing on music psychology and cognition. The centre also promotes interdisciplinary interactions among systematic musicology, its “parent disciplines” (e.g. psychology), and other musical disciplines (e.g. philosophy). We contribute to international research in systematic musicology through publications, the creation and maintenance of infrastructures, and the promotion of synergetic collaborations among humanities, sciences and musical practice. Centre members regularly give keynote or invited lectures at international conferences and talk with the media about their research.

The Center for Systematic Musicology is home to the three of the five internationally best-known music researchers in Graz, as measured by the citation frequencies of their publications in Google Scholar (current on 13 March 2019) and considering only publications of which the researcher in question is sole or first author. The most frequently cited publications of the centre's three main researchers according to this method are:

Parncutt, Richard, & McPherson, G. (Eds.). (2002). The science and psychology of music performance: Creative strategies for teaching and learning. Oxford University Press. Citations: 360

Schiavio, Andrea, & Høffding, S. (2015). Playing together without communicating? A pre-reflective and enactive account of joint musical performance. Musicae Scientiae, 19(4), 366-388. Citations: 53

Seither-Preisler, Annemarie, Johnson, L., Krumbholz, K., Nobbe, A., Patterson, R., Seither, S., & Lütkenhöner, B. (2007). Tone sequences with conflicting fundamental pitch and timbre changes are heard differently by musicians and nonmusicians. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33(3), 743-751. Citations: 62

Many other frequently cited publications by these authors can be found in Google Scholar.

The second most internationally recognized music researcher in Graz according to this method is from the Department of Electronic Music and Acoustics (IEM) of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz (KUG):

Nierhaus, Gerhard (2009). Algorithmic composition: paradigms of automated music generation. Springer Science & Business Media. Citations: 320

The above list should also include the following colleague from the Department of English Studies, University of Graz:

Wolf, Werner (2002). Intermediality revisited: Reflections on word and music relations in the context of a general typology of intermediality. Word & Music Studies, 4(1). Citations: 125.

What does this mean for students?

According to this evaluation, the Centre for Systematic Musicology is the best place in Graz to become a music researcher. It is the leading place in Austria to study systematic musicology and one of the leading centres of this kind in Europe and the world. 

If you are writing a thesis or dissertation at any level (Bachelor, Master, Doctorate) and considering the possibility of a research career, it is in your interest to choose one of us as your supervisor. We will help you:

  • to plan, develop and present your research to increase the chance that large numbers of international colleagues will read and cite it in the future;
  • to identify research questions that many international colleagues find interesting, or for which there is growing interest; and
  • to formulate tentative answers to your research questions (theses or hypotheses) that are likely to find increasing acceptance among experts in the future.

We will also give you a good grounding in empirical research methods (experimental design and statistical analysis). From us you will learn the art of writing a good empirical or theoretical paper and getting it published in a righ-ranked journal.

If you are interested in working in our centre, don't hesitate to visit and talk to us. We will be happy to discuss your research ideas!

Richard Parncutt, Annemarie Seither-Preisler and Andrea Schiavio, March 2019


Office and Library
Merangasse 70, EG A-8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8162
Fax:+43 (0)316 380 - 9757

Our library is now opened again on:

Monday: 10:00 - 12:00am
Wednesday: 2:00 - 4:00pm
Friday: 10:00 - 12:00am

Please be aware of the current hygiene rules displayed at the entrances!

In urgent cases outside the office hours please contact us via sysmus@uni-graz.at.


Head of the Centre Prof. Dr. Richard Parncutt Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8161



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