Founding of the universities of music
The universities of music have their roots in the 1840s. The majority of them emerged from former conservatoires or municipal music training schools or were founded as new institutions. These foundations took place primarily in the context of the educational expansion of the 1860s and 1870s. Since the 16th century, the historical conservatoires have provided vocal and instrumental training for church music and opera. In the course of time, these developed into renowned training schools for music professions. The basic principles of the conservatoires – the combination of artistic activity or active participation in musical life and professional training – have been transferred to the type of higher education institution known today as a university of music.
The first university of music was founded in Leipzig in 1843 under the name "Conservatorium der Musik". Today, Germany's oldest university of music bears the name Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig. However, the term "Musikhochschule" or "Hochschule für Musik" was not used until more than two decades later: in 1869, the term first appeared in Berlin in the context of the founding of the "Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin" (Royal School of Music in Berlin).
In the 1970s and 1980s, most German universities of music were granted the right to confer doctoral degrees or the right to confer doctoral degrees in the academic disciplines.