Music History Quiz



9 Questions

What is music history?

What does music history usually refer to?

What are some methods of music history?

What are some examples of what music history produces?

Where are music history courses offered?

Why is a strict categorization of music history impossible?

What is performance practice?

What can biographical studies of composers provide?

What do sociological studies of music focus on?


Overview of Music History

  • Music history is a subfield of musicology that studies music from a historical point of view.
  • Music history usually refers to the history of notated music of Western elites, sometimes called "art music."
  • Methods of music history include source studies, paleography, philology, style criticism, historiography, musical analysis, and iconography.
  • Music history produces peer-reviewed articles, university press-published music history books, university textbooks, new editions of musical works, biographies of composers and other musicians, studies of the relationship between words and music, and reflections upon the role of music in society.
  • Music history courses are offered at the post-secondary level and vary in length, breadth, and depth.
  • The methods and tools of music history are nearly as many as its subjects and therefore make a strict categorization impossible.
  • Archival work may be conducted to find connections to music or musicians in a collection of documents of broader interests or to more systematically study a collection of documents related to a musician.
  • Performance practice draws on many of the tools of historical musicology to answer the specific question of how music was performed in various places at various times in the past.
  • Biographical studies of composers can give us a better sense of the chronology of compositions, influences on style and works, and provide important background to the interpretation of works.
  • Sociological studies focus on the function of music in society as well as its meaning for individuals and society as a whole.
  • Historical musicology has been criticized for its exclusion of disciplines and musics, as well as its exclusion of popular music.
  • Terminology, methodology, and ideology problems affect even works sympathetic to popular music.


Test your knowledge of music history with this informative quiz! From the methods and tools of music history to the various studies and criticisms, this quiz will challenge your understanding of the subject. Explore the subfield of musicology and learn about the history of notated music of Western elites, while also examining the role of music in society. Whether you're a music scholar or simply curious about the subject, this quiz is a great way to expand your knowledge of music history.

Ready to take the quiz?

Start Quiz