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Department of Music, School of Arts

Urban Soundscapes

Course Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 3
Taught in:
Term 1

This is a new compulsory course for students in their final year of a BA Music degree at SOAS, designed to consolidate the theoretical and methodological learning in ethnomusicology in the first year and second year core courses (Music and Culture; Ethnomusicology: Themes and Variations), and to offer a structured context in which to undertake a practical field project. This course will focus on urban musical practices and soundscapes, including theoretical approaches drawn from contemporary literature in ethnomusicology and associated disciplines, and will enabling students to put classroom learning into practice via a guided individual field study.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

This course seeks to develop students’ critical thinking and understanding of wider issues in the study of music and related theoretical literature, including roles played by music in the production of urban space and identity, practical fieldwork skills (including interview and recording), and wider skills of project design, implementation and writing up.


Two hours per week in Term 1

Method of assessment

One 1,000 words essay (worth 10%), one 3,500 words essay (worth 80%), one in class presentation and one page summary (worth 10%)