SOAS University of London

SOAS Library

Collection Development Policy - Music

  • Context
  • Collection
  • Coverage
  • E-Resources
  • Future

Context

1. The Department of Music

The SOAS Music Department is the only department in the UK devoted to the study of world music and is an internationally respected centre for research and teaching in Music.

The Department produces its own series of books on music - the SOAS Musicology Series. SOAS also hosts a highly successful, professionally-run Concert Series including Chinese silk-and-bamboo, Japanese, Korean Samulnori, Javanese and Balinese Gamelan, Thai, Middle Eastern, Klezmer, African Mbira, Cuban Big Band and Afro-Cuban Bata and the Annual World Music Summer School.

The SOAS radio station, Open Air Radio, which relies on student volunteers, many of whom come from the Music Department, devotes a lot of air time to world music.

The Department offers undergraduate, MA and PhD programmes.

The Department has 7 FTE academic staff and 78.1 fte students, including 44.8 undergraduates, 21.8 taught postgraduates and 11.5 research students.

For more information see:

2. Centres

2.1 Centre for Music and Dance Performance Research
  • The Centre promotes the study and understanding of performance of sound and movement, particularly within Asian and African artistic practice and explores ethnomusicology and musicology
  • For more information see Centre for Music and Dance Performance Research
2.2 Jewish Music Institute
  • The Jewish Music Institute (JMI), based at SOAS, University of London, encompasses the music of the Jewish people wherever they are and wherever they have been. JMI has a clear mission to preserve and develop this great heritage for the benefit of present and future generations
  • For more information see Jewish Music Institute

Collection

3. History

  • The Library has actively built up collections including audio and audio-visual materials on music and the disciplines of ethnomusicology relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East within its regional collections
  • The Library has supported course reading lists and selectively purchased material on general, cross-regional or global aspects and on the discipline of music and ethnomusicology for teaching purposes

4. Languages

  • English and some European language material on the music and the discipline of ethnomusicology of Asia, the Middle East and Africa
  • Also non-European language material includes works in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Hebrew and other Asian and African vernacular languages
  • See General Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

Print material on general, cross-regional or global aspects on the music and the discipline of ethnomusicology is classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification. All books are prefixed using the following:

  • All main books are prefixed “A”
  • Large books are prefixed "LA"
  • Reference books are prefixed "Ref A"
  • Large reference books are prefixed "L Ref A"

Print material relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East is mostly classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification (with various letter prefixes), but in some regional collections alternative classification schemes are in use [see specific regions for details].

The Audio-Visual collection is classified using an in-house classification scheme. Main collections are prefixed using the following:

  • MV - Sound cassettes
  • MQ/MR - LP Records
  • MY - Compact discs
  • MDVD - DVD
  • MH - Video cassettes
  • MI - Film reels

6. Special Collection

The Archives and Special Collections at SOAS holds:

  • Bake Collection: comprises field-notes and other documentation of South Asian music and folklore produced by Dr. Arnold Adrian Bake (1899-1963)
  • Sewell Collection: Chinese gramophone records with sheets music produced in the early 1950s, collected by William Gawan Sewell (1924-1980)
  • Rosencweig collection: Books, scores, vinyl discs and cassettes covering all aspect of Jewish music, collected by Harry Rosencweig.
  • For more information see Archives

Other special collections in the Library include:

  • Gramophone records of Japanese songs and theatrical music produced between the late 1940s and the early 1950s
  • Slides about Chinese musical instruments and history of ancient Chinese music

7. Formats

  • The Library has built up various formats of collection such as books, periodicals and Audio and Audio-Visual materials
  • The Audio and Audio-visual collection consists of:
    • Sound Cassettes
    • LP Records
    • Compact Discs
    • DVD
    • VHS
    • Reel to Reel tapes

Coverage

Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:
Teaching

The collection aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught within the Department of Music and the Regional & Departmental Centres.

Research

The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below:

8. Detailed Structure

The main thematic/regional subject areas of collecting for the Department of Music are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy

8.1 Africa
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Education and research
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.2 Americas
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Education and research
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music : Judaism
  • Vocal Music
  • Songs
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.3 Central Asia & Siberia
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Islam
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
  • Composers
8.4 China
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory
  • Education and research
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Buddhism
  • Religious music : Islam
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Operas
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
  • Composers
8.5 Europe
  • Education and research
  • Religious music : Judaism
8.6 Japan & Korea
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory
  • Education and research
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Buddhism
  • Vocal Music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
  • Composers
8.7 Middle East
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory
  • Education and research
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Christianity
  • Religious music : Islam
  • Religious music : Judaism
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.8 South Asia
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory
  • History of music
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Buddhism
  • Religious music : Christianity
  • Religious music : Hinduism
  • Religious music : Islam
  • Religious music : Judaism
  • Vocal Music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.9 South East Asia
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory
  • Dance music
  • Folk music
    • Wayang, shadow plays, Gamelan music
  • Popular music
  • Religious music [sacred music]
  • Religious music : Buddhism
  • Religious music : Hinduism
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Dramatic music
  • Musical instruments
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.10 UK
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Education and research
  • Religious music : Judaism
  • Vocal music
  • Songs
  • Instrumental music
  • Instrumental ensembles
8.11 Thematic/ Non regional
  • Musicology [ethnomusicology]
  • Philosophy and theory

E-Resources

9. Major Databases

  • Archival Sound Recordings
  • Garland Encyclopedia of World Music
  • Film and Sound Online
  • JSTOR
  • Oxford Music Online
  • Grove Dictionary of Music
  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature
  • Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • China Academic Journals 中国期刊全文数据库
  • EBSCOhost
  • Index to Theses
  • IngentaConnect
  • ISI Web of Science/Knowledge
  • KISS (Korean Studies Information Service System)
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Project Muse
  • Sage Journals Online

10. Online Subject Guide

For more information see Subject Guide for Music

For regional specific databases SOAS subscribes to see A-Z databases list

Future

11. Trends for the Future

Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies, the Library seeks to retain one print copy of selected scholarly titles and also provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.), where available.
  • For subjects of the theoretical, general or non-regional nature, the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.) is favoured.