Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Musikwissenschaft

Prof. Dr. Fabian Holt

holt photo


Lehrstuhlvertreter Theorie und Geschichte der populären Musik

Institut für Musikwissenschaft und Medienwissenschaft
Am Kupfergraben 5, Raum 311
10117 Berlin


Sprechstunde: Di 14–16 Uhr
Telefon (direkt): +49(0)30–2093-5914
Telefon (Sekretariat): +49 (0)30–2093–2917/2720
E-Mail: fabian.holt[at]


Research interests:

My research combines history and ethnography with media and social theory for the purpose of thinking critically about music's significance and conditions in modern societies. Popular music is a product and medium of strong forces in modernity and thus provides musicology with key perspectives on those forces that shape music cultures around the world. I currently work on two themes: 1) Emerging transnational sensibilities, dynamics, and geographies in European popular music, and 2) The relationship between media and performance in music. I conduct fieldwork around Western Europe and in the United States and explore mainstreams and edges in popular culture through studies of musics such as art jazz, folk music, indie rock, and EDM pop. I like the idea that musical scholarship can both involve expert analysis of individual forms and traditions and stimulate reflexivity about a valuable part of human life.


Brief CV and employment history:

  • 2002           Ph.D. in musicology (University of Copenhagen)
  • 2002–2005  Research Assistant Professor (University of Copenhagen)
  • 2003–2004  Post-Doctoral Fellow (University of Chicago)
  • 2006–         Associate Professor, Roskilde University
  • 2011–2012  Visiting scholar (Columbia University)


Dissertation and books:

  • 2001 The Cool Tradition in Jazz (in Danish)
  • 2007 Genre in Popular Music (University of Chicago Press)
  • 2013 Musical Performance and the Changing City (Routledge, coedited with Carsten Wergin)
  • 2017 The Oxford Handbook of Popular Music in the Nordic Countries (Oxford, coedited with A.-V. Kärjä)
  • (Forthcoming) Live Music Theory (University of Chicago Press)



winter semster 2017/2018

  • SE The musical history of cool
  • SE Concepts and issues in popular music research
  • VL Music in globalizing Europe
  • Research Colloquium: Popular Music Theory and History


summer semester 2017

  • SE Voice and Popular Song
  • SE The Political Economy of Music
  • VL The History and Theory of Live Music
  • Research Colloquium: Popular Music Theory and History