Our Chair of Music says:
Who we are:
Our research and teaching focusses on musical cultures and sonic practices from Asia, the Middle East and Africa, and their global diasporas. We are unique in our core principle that these regions deserve to be foregrounded in the study of music. We benefit from our location in central London, a global stage for musicians, artists, and producers, which contributes to an unforgettable and enriching student experience. We are deeply committed to critical investigation into the place of music and sound in society, and our work examines how music speaks to other disciplines, from history to development studies. We want to foster the kind of critical thinking that we believe our graduates should have in order to navigate the possibilities and challenges of our changing world. As such, we stand against racism, antisemitism and all forms of cultural, ethnic and religious chauvinism as has been outlined in the SOAS Charter.
Our academic staff:
Our colleagues are at the forefront of research on the music of Asia, Africa and the Middle East and their diasporas, and we offer a unique range of courses. Critical listening, creative practice, and industry-facing skills are integral to our programmes. We are world-renowned for our unique courses on ethnomusicology and music in development, and we are exploring new ways to study digital sound arts, capitalising on the interdisciplinary environment of the School of Arts, where we work alongside colleagues in art history, film and screen studies and creative and cultural industries.
Our academics are actively involved in international music and research projects and bring extensive industry experience to their work, encompassing radio and music production and heritage and sustainability.
On campus, we are home to a stunning collection of musical instruments and state of the art recording facilities. We also host the SOAS Concert Series and work closely with the Global Music Academy to bring music from around the world into schools across the UK.
We are also delighted to welcome Dr Saeid Kordmafi to the department, who will be overseeing performance across our programmes in 2021/22.
Some of our recently published books include:
- Lucy Duran, producer of album (2021), Tirana 100. Tirana -Tirona AllStars. Album commissioned by the Municipality of Tirana to mark the 100th anniversary of Tirana as capital of Albania.
- Julian Fifer, Angela Impey, Peter G. Kirchschlaeger, Manfred Nowak, and George Ulrich (eds), The Routledge Companion on Music and Human Rights (New York, Routledge Companion Series and Routledge SOAS Studies in Music, 2021).
- Rachel Harris, Soundscapes of Uyghur Islam (Indiana University Press, 2020).
- Caspar Melville, It’s A London Thing: How Rare Groove, Acid House and Jungle Remapped the City (Manchester University Press, 2020).