SOAS University of London

Department of Music, School of Arts


Module Code:
Module Not Running 2021/2022
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Taught in:
Term 1

The aim is to develop the composition vocabulary of students. Students must compose three pieces reflecting the music traditions of Asia and Africa. Several exercises will be set in the early part of the course, and the first submission will be a set exercise. The second and third submissions will be “free compositions”, and students will be required to rehearse one or more performers to give a public performance of the third composition. Taught through individual and group tutorials. 


Students wishing to take this course must demonstrate expertise and experience in the skills that are expected at postgraduate level by submitting a portfolio - prior to the beginning of the course - containing either one larger work or two or more smaller works (preferably in contrasting styles), in the form of musical notations and/or CD/DVD/video recordings.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

that s/he has developed a compositional vocabulary and technique, commensurate with postgraduate standards, reflecting exposure to musical (and, where appropriate, dance and/or theatre) traditions of Asia and Africa. Evidence for the achievement of this level of expertise will be demonstrated through the completion, in the first instance, of exercises exploring form, melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, etc, and, subsequently, original compositions for instruments and/or voices in contrasting styles.


  • One hour Lecture, one hour Seminar per week in Term 1, and two hour-long tutorial sessions in Term 2

Method of assessment

  • One 2-3 minutes free composition and 500 words commentary (worth 30%)
  • One 8-10 minutes free composition, one 1 000 words commentary and a performance exam in May/June (worth 70%)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules