According to the German Federal Statistical Office, there were a total of 33,650 enrolments in the field of music/musicology in the winter semester 2020-21 (major and minor subjects), an increase of around 650 compared to the previous year (+2 %). Thus, the number of enrolled students in the degree programmes for music professions was not negatively affected in the first winter semester completely affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic.
However, the decline in student numbers in the musicology degree programmes continued. With almost 6,750 enrolments, musicology now has significantly fewer students than programmes for music teaching in state school system. Music teaching has recently increased by 4 % to almost 8,000 enrolments, making it the second most popular music subject in Germany. Other music education subjects - music teaching at music schools and freelance / rhythmics - counted about 4,200 enrolments in recent years.
The number of students enrolled in instrumental and orchestral music subjects in the winter semester 2020-21 was more than 9,500, an all-time high in the 20-year period under review. Jazz and popular music, among others, have also increased significantly since 2000-01. With almost 1,700 students, jazz and popular music had the same number of students as voice. Composition was studied by 457 students, conducting by 327.
The increase in study programmes for studio engineers was temporarily accompanied by an increase in the number of students in this subject area. The university statistics recently reported 524 students studying studio engineering, about the same number as in the degree programmes for church music.
The figures are based on administrative data on first-time enrolment and returnees, obtained and submitted to the state statistical offices by the schools concerned and from thence to the Federal Statistical Office. The table includes the total number of students, i.e. those with music as a major subject (figures in parentheses) and those with music as a minor. This has an especially noticeable impact on degree programmes for music teaching in the state school system, music teaching at music schools and freelance, and musicology and music history. All figures refer to the winter semester (WS) and include all students enrolled in music programmes, i.e. excluding those on leave, preparatory students and auditors. When interpreting the data, it should be borne in mind that the state statistical offices sometimes use conflicting classification systems for school subjects, which can lead to anomalies in the series of figures. Similarly, the inclusion of music as a major and minor subject may cause students to be counted more than once. As a result, the figures at best represent orders of magnitude.
- Incl. students at the tertiary-level schools of church music in Aachen (WS 2001-02 to WS 2006-07), Görlitz (up to WS 2007-08) and Regensburg (from WS 2002-03) as well as Bayreuth, Dresden, Halle, Herford and, from WS 2016-17, the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin.
- Incl. Gesamthochschulen (‘comprehensive universities’. i.e. university cum technical university) up to WS 2001-02.
- The graphs show the total share and the sum of students in both programmes music teaching at music schools and freelance, and rhythmics.
- Figures for WS 2017-18 could not be taken into account, since at least one school submitted faulty administrative data that led to considerable distortions in the numbers of students in certain subjects at the national level.
- Excl. students in departments of performing arts, film, television and theatre studies (incl. set design, stage direction etc.).
- Degree programmes in composition and conducting are more likely than other degree programmes to be attended as postgraduate coursework.
- Excl. students at Popakademie Baden-Württemberg which is not covered by the Federal Statistical Office.
- Incl. course offerings in studio engineering at the Musikhochschulen in Berlin (UdK) and Detmold, as well as the bachelor’s programme in music production and audio design at SRH Berlin School of Popular Arts (from WS 2010-11), the bachelor‘s programme in ‘Sound and Music Production’ at Darmstadt Hochschule (from WS 2013-14), and course offerings of the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts (from WS 2016-17) and the Robert Schumann Hochschule Düsseldorf (from WS 2018-19). It should also be noted that, from WS 2002-03 to WS 2004-05, students in ‚Musikübertragung’ (sound transmission, i.e. studio engineering) at Detmold Musikhochschule were mistakenly categorised under ‘Music Education’. The number of students enrolled in this subject in Detmold during this period amounted to roughly 30 to 40 per semester, a figure that should also be taken into account when interpreting the data.
- Plus students at several music academies, conservatories, private colleges, polytechnics and tertiary-level schools of church music, which are not covered by the Federal Statistical Office at all (the most recent figures amounted to approx. 1,300 students in eleven such institutions in WS 2013-14). Also not included are those students whose degree programmes for music professions are not classified as belonging to the field of music/musicology according to federal classification guidelines.
Compiled and calculated by the German Music Information Centre from figures supplied by the Federal Statistical Office.