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History of SysMusGraz

The Centre for Systematic Musicology at the University of Graz, Austria was opened on 9 October 2009 in Wallgebäude (Merangasse 70) by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Gernot Kocher. Twelve years earlier, Rudolf Flotzinger, professor of musicology at the University of Graz from 1971 to 1999, had established and advertised Austria's first full professorship in systematic musicology. The position was filled by Australian music psychologist Richard Parncutt in 1998. The term "systematic musicology" dates to an article on the structure of musicology published by Austrian musicologist Guido Adler in 1885.

These developments belong to Austria's unique and special musical and academic histories. Austrian composers are international household names: Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, Strauss, Bruckner, Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern. Austria’s past intellectuals include Sigmund Freud, Erwin Schrödinger, Lise Meitner, Karl Popper, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Kurt Gödel and Konrad Lorenz. Czech-Austrian pacifist Bertha von Suttner was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace prize in 1905. But Austria also has a horrifying history as part of the "Third Reich" from 1938 to 1945. One consequence was a shift in global centres of musical and academic excellence toward North America.

Today, Austrian universities and researchers are contributing to global research of all kinds at the highest level. The University of Graz is Austria's second university, and SysMusGraz is Austria's leading research group in systematic musicology - one of a handful of leading European research centres in that area.

Graz has four universities: general, artistic, technical, and medical. Musicology and its many subdisciplines are represented by five independent departments within two of those universities: Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz (Uni Graz, one department) and University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Kunstuniversität Graz; KUG, four departments). In 2006, these five departments, together with SysMusGraz, created a single BA/MA program called "Musikologie". The program is unusual in its disciplinary diversity, bringing together expertise in historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, music philosophy, jazz and popular music studies, music acoustics, and computational approaches. The biggest contribution to the program's interdisciplinarity comes from SysMusGraz, with its focus on empirical and theoretical psychology and deep interdisciplinary interaction.

In 2009 Richard Parncutt became head of the Center for Systematic Musicology and Bernd Brabec de Mori became a research assistant and lecturer. In 2014 Annemarie Seither-Preisler became Associate Professor. Andrea Schiavio came to us as FWF Postdoc in 2017. Peter Schneider became Senior Research Fellow in 2022 und Markus Christiner came to us as PostDoc to the Center.


Office and Library
Glacisstraße 27, 1st floor A-8010 Graz
Phone:+43 (0)316 380 - 8162

Library Opening Hours:
Wednesday: 10am - 1pm
Friday: 11am - 2pm

Only during the semester, on days when there is teaching.


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



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