A study or rough guess-timate of how music was played before the time of any public record. Musicians and composers alike study musicology for ideas on performance practice and to learn about their ancestors. Ways musicology is studied include: mysticism, speculation, and estimation. These speculations are then used to influence musical performances today. (See Examples)
Scholarly choral director: "Thank you to all 60 of you for joining this Handel choir. To get a better handle on Handel, We must cut the group down to 16 because that's how it was performed when Handel was alive do to how musicology has taught us."
Tenors: "We can sing the female parts"
Scholarly choral director: "Excellent. Ladies, that will be all see you next year. Musicology is practicology I always say."
Sarah Brightman: "If I sing like a boy soprano for this Requiem, that makes performance correct right?"
Maestro: "If you sing it in tune and without your wobble. The musicologists would much enjoy it."
Anna Netrebko: "I read a singing for dummies book that says opera singers must sound older. Should I sing like that to be historically correct when singing L'Orfeo?"
Musicologist: "Yes...the neo-expressionism of the blah blah--somewhere on a train to hackensack...the dividend of 42...later that evening when I arrived home...musicologist of the week....and that is why opera singers should sound mature."
Anna Netrebko: "I'm so glad it's okay to sing really far back in my throat so that I sound more mature and no one understands a word I'm saying!!"