SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Ethnomusicology in Practice

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Provides an overview of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. It considers major theoretical issues, utilising an extensive reading list to provide a broad coverage of published work.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The exact content will vary slightly from year to year, depending on the input from core lecturers and the requirements of students, but lectures always cover: 

  • the transcription and analysis of music; musical instruments and the human voice; 
  • musicians as agents of production; underlying concepts; 
  • fieldwork and the ethnography of musical performance; 
  • music in relation to history, anthropology, and linguistics; 
  • the history of ethnomusicology; 
  • music and gender; 
  • music and trance; 
  • “world music”.


Two hours per week

Method of assessment

One exam (worth 30%);one 1 500 words review (worth 10%);one 3 000 words essay (worth 20%);one fieldwork project (worth 20%);one 3 000 words essay or radio programme or transcription and analysis project ( 20%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules