Department of Music
SOAS is the only Music department in the UK devoted to the study of world music.
Our degrees cover world music especially from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and their diasporas; and the discipline of Ethnomusicology.
Department of Music in partnership with BBC Radio 3
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London have teamed up with BBC Radio 3 for the 2013 World Routes Academy. The scheme, now in its fourth year, provides talented young world music artists based in the UK with the chance to explore their musical roots by learning from and performing with a great musician from their country of origin. Further information...
At SOAS you can study the music of the world from the heart of London
London is home to many vibrant and diverse communities and diasporas whose music is our subject, and is host to a breathtaking array of world music concerts, workshops and festivals. It is in many ways the natural home of ethnomusicology in the UK. Our students draw on and actively participate in this rich and varied musical life.
SOAS is an internationally respected centre for the study of Asia and Africa
Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, SOAS has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and has a staff-student body comprising more than 100 nationalities. The SOAS Library houses a major collection of books and journals on world music, as well as thousands of audio-visual materials. Music department students draw on the rich life of SOAS in many ways, participating in the diverse array of seminars held around the school, studying joint degrees, learning a language to support their doctoral research, or taking ‘open option’ courses from other departments.
The SOAS Music Department is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching in Music
The Music Department achieved excellent scores in all the recent Research Assessment Exercises. We boast a faculty of internationally distinguished academic staff, who publish their research in books, articles, and reference works. They also produce CDs, host radio programmes (e.g. BBC Radio 3), and even find time to play music. We produce our own series of books on music, the SOAS Musicology Series.
Performance is central to degree programmes in Music at SOAS
SOAS gives you the opportunity to study almost any Asian or African musical performance tradition for which a suitable teacher is available in London. In the BA, Performance is compulsory in year 1 and optional in years 2 and 3. Performance can be taken as an option in the MMus Ethnomusicology, and we run a MMus Performance for those who wish to make performance the focus of their degree. Several of our research students are now pursuing practice-based research based on their own performance experience.
SOAS has a very active musical life
We host a highly successful, professionally-run Concert Series. We have many active student ensembles including Chinese silk-and-bamboo, Japanese, Korean samulnori, Javanese and Balinese gamelan, Thai, Middle Eastern, Klezmer, African mbira, Cuban big band and Afro-Cuban bata. We organise an annual World Music Summer School, in which students can become involved. The SOAS radio station, SOAS Radio, relies on student volunteers many of who come from the Music Department, and it devotes a lot of air time to world music.
The Department of Music now belongs to the School of Arts which Inaugurated in September 2012, the School of Arts incorporates one other department and one centre.
Telephone +44 (0)20 7898 4012
Fax +44 (0)20 7898 4699