SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts

Music in Selected Regions of Africa: Contexts and Structures

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2016/2017
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

This course aims to provide a framework for an understanding of music originating in the African continent. Students are introduced to selected musical cultures as well as issues and approaches, with a critical look at African musicology. 

The course addresses both “traditional” and “popular” musics, covering some of the best documented musical genres from Africa, as well as current musical trends, and some of the leading artists. 

Term 1 presents a series of case studies of music in ritual and sacred contexts such as spirit posses¬sion, court ritual, initiation societies, and life cycle ceremonies. 

Term 2 focuses on new African musics and the music industry in and outside Africa, in the context of economic, political and social change in the 20th and 21st centuries.


Three hours per week

Method of assessment

One 1 500 words essay (15%);One 3 500 words essay (20%); One 4 000 words essay (35%); One  oral exam (10%); One listening test (20%).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules