The Institute of Musicology in Bern is recognized both nationally and internationally in its research. A central focus lies in music history, on music theater, and opera research, with particular reference to repertoires from the 18th to the 20th century. In addition, music historiography is explored through the relation of music and nationalism. Source critique plays a central role both for editorial philology and for interdisciplinary pursuits in the field of digital humanities.

The professorship for Cultural Anthropology of Music, established in 2009, has additionally led to an internal extension, as well as to strong cooperation with other socio-cultural and cultural disciplines. Ethnomusicological research focuses on the transformation of music cultures in the context of globalization, migration and nationalism, music and gender, soundscape research, and issues of applied ethnomusicology.