SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts


Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Compulsory for MMus Performance (where part-time students must take it in year 1) and an optional “minor” course for MMus Ethnomusicology. The tradition chosen should relate to the same geographical region as a student’s major regional music course. It is the student’s responsibility to elect both the tradition and an appropriate teacher, and to arrange regular lessons throughout the academic session; all choices must be approved by the Performance Convenor, and reimbursement for lessons will be made up to a financial limit agreed at the beginning of the academic session. Recent students have learnt mbira, tabla, congas, guqin, koto, ’ud, sitar, saz, Ewe drumming, Yoruba singing, Persian singing, klezmer, and others. Students are expected to keep a Learning Diary.

Prerequisite for Performance as Research.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • To develop performance skills on the chosen instrument /vocal style to a high standard. To develop physical dexterity and control (technical mastery of the instrument/voice), together with the necessary powers of sustained concentration and focus.
  • To develop awareness of the basic compositional principles of the music in question
  • To develop familiarity with the repertoire
  • To be aware of and be able to reproduce the appropriate performance style
  • To develop awareness and understanding of the cultural conventions and symbolic meanings associated with the repertoire, instruments and genres studied


By arrangement

Method of assessment

Exam 80% (performance and oral), portfolio 20%

Assessment is in two parts:

  1. a practical examination, consisting of a public recital of 20 minutes of music and normally including three or more pieces, demonstrating a reasonable degree of progress, and followed by oral examination at which the student answers question about the tradition, its music, and the questioning;
  2. a portfolio of written work, which may take the form of one or more of the following: a well-annotated version of the Learning Diary, an organological study, a musical analysis, a teaching package or pedagogical account, or other work, the exact format to be agreed with the Sub-convenor. Its total length should normally be 3,000 words (or equivalent in other media). It must be submitted by the final School deadline for coursework.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules