Field units and committees of the Society for Music Research

Within the Society there are a number of field units and committees, who collaborate in specific areas of research and common concerns. More information is available on the left sidebar.

Guidelines for the work of field units

a) Field units are a cornerstone of the topic-related and institutional work of the Society for Music Research. They enable the exchange of ideas between researchers and the communication of their concerns and questions, as well as results of their work to the GfM. The Society distinguishes between permanent field units, which primarily represent institutional interests, and field units for specific research topics, methods or subdisciplines of musicology that are henceforth called “methodological and topic-related research units” (see Overview).

b) According to paragraph 5(2) of the charter of the GfM, the general assembly decides about the formation of new field units, which must have been proposed jointly by both the wider managing committee and advisory committee. A detailed description of the aims and work plans of the field unit must be submitted. A minimum number of ten members must have declared their interest to contribute to the work of the field unit.

c) In order to be able to react to topic-related and methodological developments in a flexible manner, methodological and topic-related research units are created for the duration of four years. This limit is also in place for existing research units that were founded on or after October 15, 2011. Research units may suggest a renewal to the general assembly, which should take place approximately one year before the termination of the research unit.

d) For a membership in a field unit it is mandatory to be a member of the Society for Music Research. Research units welcome guests.

e) Each research unit elects a speaker and a deputy speaker for a tenure of four years. It is recommended that tenures of speakers are not bound to the duration of existing methodological and topic-related research units, in order to ensure the continuity of work in specific cases. Members of the GfM are eligible for election.

f) All field units should organize assemblies in a timely fashion (typically within the annual conferences), and should communicate new information to members of the units. The topic-related work should be demonstrated in conferences and publications.

g) A forum formed by speakers of all field units and the enlarged managing committee of the GfM meets in regular time periods with the purpose to exchange information between field units. For a potential continuation of the work of a field unit after the typical four-year tenure, the advisory committee of the GfM shall consult the forum.

h) It is obligatory for all speakers of field units to share information with other members of the GfM. For this purpose, there are specific areas on the homepage of the Society. All points of special interest should be reported by the speakers of field units or their deputy speakers orally at the general assemblies.

Committees and field units in the Society for Music Research


Committee for international studies


Permanent field units

1. Musicology in universities

2. Musicology in conservatoires

3. Independent research institutes

4. Perspectives for young researchers


Methodological and topic-related research units

1. Practice of performance and research on interpretation

2. German-Spanish musical relations

3. Women and gender studies

4. Church music

5. Ethnomusicology and Comparative Musicology

6. Research on musical instruments

7. Music Theory

8. Musicology and Music Education

9. Sociology and Social History of Music

10. Systematic Musicology


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