The first studies of Western musical history date back to the middle of the 18th century. G.B. Martini published a three volume history titled Storia della musica (History of Music) between 1757 and 1781. Martin Gerbert published a two volume history of sacred music titled De cantu de musica sacra in 1774. Gerbert followed this work with a three volume work Scriptores ecclesiastici de musica sacra containing significant writings on sacred music from the 3rd century onwards in 1784.
Ludwig van Beethoven‘s manuscript sketch for Piano Sonata No. 28, Movement IV, Geschwind, doch nicht zu sehr und mit Entschlossenheit (Allegro), in his own handwriting. The piece was completed in 1816.
In the 20th century, the work of Johannes Wolf and others developed studies in Medieval music and early Renaissance music. Wolf’s writings on the history of musical notation are considered to be particularly notable by musicologists. Historical musicology has played a critical role in renewed
interest in Baroque music as well as medieval and Renaissance music. In particular, the authentic performance movement owes much to historical musicological scholarship. Towards the middle of the 20th century, musicology (and its largest subfield of historical musicology) expanded significantly as a field of study. Concurrently the number of musicological and music journals increased to create further outlets for the publication of research. The domination of German language scholarship ebbed as significant journals sprang up throughout the West, especially America.