BA Music and...
Duration: 3 or 4 year degrees
2016 Entry Requirements
- A Levels: BBB
- including GCSE Music
- IB: 31 (554 at HL)
- BTEC: DMM
- Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
- Scottish Highers: BBBBB
- Scottish Advanced Highers: BBB
- Irish LC: 300 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
- Advanced Placement: 3 4 4 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
- Euro Bacc: 75%
- French Bacc: 13/20
- German Abitur: 2.5
- Italy DES: 75/100
- Austria Mat: 2.5
- Polish Mat: Overall 70% including 3 extended level subjects
Minimum Entry Requirements: A level Music, or equivalent is required for the single-subject degree. A level Music is not required for the combined Music programme, but evidence of both academic ability and active involvement in musical performance or composition is essential.
Interview Policy: Candidates not normally interviewed but encouraged to attend Open Days or contact the Department with enquiries
This programme is a unique opportunity to study the musical traditions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and their global diasporas. Students are taught the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African musics. In years 2 and 3 they are encouraged to focus on the music of specific regions and to consider cross-regional themes. Performance is a central component of the degree. Students have the opportunity to develop expertise in a great variety of musical performance traditions.
SOAS has the only Music department in the UK devoted to the study of world music. We have a very active musical life, including concert series, student ensembles and a successful summer school in which students can become involved. Students are taught in the heart of London, home to many vibrant and diverse communities and to a breath-taking array of world music concerts, workshops and festivals. Our students actively participate in this rich and varied musical scene.
Graduates possess not only musical and cultural expertise, but also a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers in professional and creative industries. The programme leads into careers and vocational pathways including arts management, festival administration and curating, music journalism, teaching, performing and composing, album production, and management and consultancy within the music industry in Europe, Asia and Africa.
This two-subject degree allows more scope for studying language or other non-musical aspects of particular cultures than the single subject BA Music. See the ‘Combinations’ tab for the list of subjects that can be taken. Some two-subject programmes are completed in three years while others take four years and include a year abroad. The single-subject degree allows greater concentration on music, including Western music and Performance.
May be combined with
- African Studies, (WT35 BA/MSAF)
- Arabic+, (TW63 BA/MSA)
- Burmese++, (TWH3 BA/MSBU)
- Chinese+, (TW13 BA/MSCH)
- Development Studies, (LW93 BA/MSDVS)
- Geography **, (LW73 BA/MSGE)
- Georgian, (TW93 BA/MSGN)
- Hebrew+, (QW43 BA/MSHE)
- History, (VW3 BA.MSH)
- History of Art/Archaeology, (VW33 BA/HAAM)
- Indonesian++, (TWHH BA/MSI)
- Japanese+, (TW21 BA/MSJ)
- Japanese Studies, (TW2H BA/JSMu)
- Korean+, (TWLJ BA/MSKO)
- Linguistics, (QW33 BA/LGMS)
- Middle Eastern Studies, (TW6H BA/MESMS)
- Persian, (TWQ3 BA/PMS)
- Social Anthropology, (LW63 BA/SAMS)
- South Asian Studies (3 years), (WTH3 BA/SASMS)
- South Asian Studies (4 years) +, (TW33 BA/SASMS)
- South East Asian Studies, (WTHH BA/MSSEA)
- Study of Religions, (VW63 BA/SRM)
- Swahili+, (TWN3 BA/SWMS)
- Thai++, (WT33 BA/THMS)
- Turkish+, (TWP3 BA/TUMS)
- Vietnamese++, (WTJ3 BA/VMS)
+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with option of one year abroad
** Taught at King’s College London
First-year courses cover the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African musics. Students additionally receive aural training (e.g. in transcription) and follow lessons in one or more Asian or African performance traditions. The Department is linked with nearby King’s College, University of London. Qualified SOAS students may take one or two half-units in Western music at King’s, and King’s students may take courses in ethnomusicology at SOAS, subject to approval from the appropriate tutors.
In Years 2 and 3, the student will usually focus on the music culture of a selected area or areas: Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Jewish music. They may also choose from the general and performance courses on offer.
- Students are required to take courses to the value of 12 units over the duration of their degree, or 4 units per year. A full-unit course is taught over both terms, while a half-unit course is taught over one term only.
- Up to 2 units (for a three-year degree) or 3 units (for a four-year degree) may come from "open option courses" (courses outside of this programme - e.g. language or non-music courses). However, open option courses may not be taken in year 1.
- At least 5 units of Music courses must be taken in total.
Two-subject students take Sounds and Cultures 1 OR 2, Music and Culture, Introduction to Music Analysis, and Performance 1a OR Performance 1b.
Two-subject students take the compulsory 15 credit course Ethnomusicology Themes & Variations. They must also take one unit chosen from the "Area Courses" list. Remaining units can be selected from any of the course groups listed below, with up to one unit from an open option course, or music courses at Kings College.
Two-subject students take the compulsory half unit course Urban Soundscapes. They must also take at least a half unit chosen from the "Area Courses" list. Remaining units can be selected from any of the course groups, with up to one unit from an open option course, or music courses at Kings College.
Year 1 Compulsory Courses
- Introduction to Music Analysis - 155800070 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
- Music and Culture - 155800060 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
- Performance 1a - 155800061 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
- Performance 1b - 155800062 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
- Sounds and Cultures 1: Africa, the Jewish World, West and Central Asia - 155800071 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Sounds and Cultures 2: East, Southeast and South Asia - 155800072 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
Year 2 Compulsory Course
- Ethnomusicology: Themes and Variations - 155800065 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
Year 3 Compulsory Course
- Urban Soundscapes - 155800083 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Atlantic Africa: (P)Layers of Mediation in African Popular Music (UG) - 155800079 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Classical singing in India: continuity and change - 155800093 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival - 155800074 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Music and Religion in South East Asia - 155800080 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Music and Religion in South Asia - 155800086 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Music in Africa - 155800022 (1 Unit) - Full Year
- Music of Central Asia - 155800059 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Music of the Middle East and North Africa - 155800068 (1 Unit) - Full Year - Not Running 2015/2016
- Music, Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa - 155800092 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Musical Traditions of East Asia - 155800078 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Pop and Politics in East Asia - 155800077 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Popular and Fusion Music in South East Asia (UG) - 155800081 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Popular Music & Politics in Israel - 155800075 (0.5 Unit)
- Raga: concept and practice (PG) - 15PMUH020 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- The World of Cuban Music - 155800058 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Composition - 155800082 (0.5 Unit) - Full Year
- Gender and Music - 155800073 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Global Hip-Hop - 155800084 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2 - Not Running 2015/2016
- Introduction to Sound Recording - 155800069 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Music, Shamanism and Healing - 155800055 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Presenting World Music On Radio - 155800076 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- The Music Business - 155800053 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Extended Essay in Music 1 - 155800066 (0.5 Unit) - Term 1
- Extended Essay in Music 2 - 155800067 (0.5 Unit) - Term 2
- Independent Study Project in Music - 155800026 (1 Unit) - Full Year
Teaching & Learning
Year abroadIf you are studying a language as part of your combined honours degree, you will usually study for 4 years, with year 3 spent abroad.
Teaching & Learning
The Department of Music has been highly rated for teaching and research in all recent assessment exercises, and is regularly ranked amongst the top Music departments in the UK in Good University Guides.
Music students have access to the large Main Library of the School which holds numerous books, journals and recordings relevant to the study of ethnomusicology and world music, as well as the nearby British Library Sound Archive and other London libraries and museums.
The SOAS Library holds copies of standard reference works on music, such as the current edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. The Grove dictionary and the RILM database can also be accessed on line from computer terminals in the Library or elsewhere on the SOAS network. Listening facilities are provided in the Library, and most CDs are available on short loan. Among special items in the Department’s collections are:
- field recordings, films and slides
- a large working collection of musical instruments from Asia and Africa
- extensive staff collections relating to specific research interests
As a graduate who specialised in Music at SOAS, you will have gained competency in one or more world music performance traditions, intercultural awareness and understanding of global music and the world music industry. Familiarity with a specific region will have been developed through the study of its music. You will have the opportunity to develop practical vocational skills in sound recording and radio presenting. Graduates leave SOAS not only with musical and cultural expertise, but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities, including interpersonal skills, communication skills, focus, teamwork, passion and dedication. Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.
Specific Graduate Destinations:
- Nana Klimek (BA Music Studies) works at HeadNod Talent Agency in London.
- Rick Wilson (BA Music Studies), among other activities, collaborates with former MMus student Sally Pomme Clayton, providing music for her story-telling performances.
- Leni Koupis (BA Music Studies) is a fund-raiser and charity concert organiser for the Free Tibet Campaign.
- Nami Morris (BA Music & Korean) works in the External Affairs Division of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
- Mira Sengupta (BA Music Studies) has composed music for three radio plays for LBC and has worked as a concert promoter.
- Many other graduates proceed to postgraduate study at SOAS or elsewhere. Others return, enhanced, to previous careers: Nigel Gomme as a composer and arranger, Fiona West as a music producer, David Wright as a jazz saxophonist, etc.
For more information about Graduate Destinations from this department, please visit the Careers Service website.
How to apply
How to apply
- How to Apply
- UCAS website
- Request a prospectus
- Got a question - use our enquiry form (opens a new window)
- Funding options
- English language requirements
- Tuition Fees
- Admissions Contacts
Application Deadline: 2016-04-22 00:00
A Student's Perspective
Marina Di Giorgi
SOAS is a great place to study Ethnomusicology. It has the flavour of the world spread through the music made by the students, lecturers and guests.