The Institute of Musicology has one chair each in the fields of comparative and systematic musicology and two chairs in historical musicology.

Among the special features of its research work is that it includes the entire history of music from its beginnings – with a particular emphasis on the Middle Ages and the Renaissance – to the present day, whereby special attention is given to the musical history of Austria in its international context.

However, the institute is also greatly interested in musical approaches from outside Europe, particularly from South America, the parts of Africa where Bantu languages are spoken, and Madagascar. The variety and breadth of research interests and the resulting cooperation of different approaches to research, and methods stemming from the fields of history, philology and hermeneutics, ethnology, cultural anthropology as well as science and technology have been shown to promote insights and hold great promise for the future.

The expansion into the fields of systematic musicology which has taken place has created a completeness in terms of the areas covered which is seldom found in the German-speaking area, and acknowledges the fact that modern musicology has to extend its research and teaching far beyond the field of so-called serious music.