The essay discusses objectives and developments of modern musical philology and its interdisciplinary contexts. The authoress takes as a point of departure the notion of musical text, whose status and outlines needs redefining in order to allow for the meaning of the text to be developed. Musical philology looks at the text and its existence through time from three complementary points of view: the author's elaborative process; the process of tradition; and the phenomenon of reception. The methodological evolution and gradual critical enrichment of the discipline can clearly be seen in the main research fields of philology in the second half of the 19th century. Several important areas can be outlined here, which have been heavily developed but are still far from exhausted: the relationship between text and notation and between writing and orality; the historical and cognitive value of traditional variants of the text; the developments of author-focused philology (including issues of authenticity and attribution); intertextual phenomena; relationships between textual traditions and reception of musical works; and finally, relationships between medieval music philology and the current of New Philology. The persistence of outdated or unrigorous methodologies notwithstanding, musical philology has been enriched in the last decades by important contributions, which have helped to revitalize its perspectives and interests.