20 June 2017
SOAS University of London’s renowned music summer school starts this week with an array of practical workshops, taster sessions and inspiring master classes. From flamenco rhythms on the cajónto to studying Senegalese Sabar drumming, students can take their pick from a range of versatile courses this summer.
The SOAS World Music Summer School is run by the Department of Music at SOAS: the UK’s only music department specialising in world music. The Department was recognised for its ‘world-leading’ research and ‘outstanding impacts’ in the 2014 the Research Excellence Framework, which assesses the quality of research carried out in UK Higher Education Institutions.
Above: Kora lesson. SOAS Undergraduate Music student Daisy Burt (left, with kora) studying Mande music on location in Bamako, capital of Mali in January 2017, with leading Malian singer Hawa Kasse Mady Diabaté (middle) and Lafia Koné on guitar.
The course programmes take place throughout June and July this year. This year, the summer school includes a taster course in the concepts and patterns of Middle Eastern music with Maya Youssef, an award-winning Syrian Kanun player from Damascus. In the workshop, Middle Eastern music theory and modulations (maqam) will be taught through an original, playful system where core elements of select maqams turn into colourful pieces of Lego.
The courses taking place offer students the rare opportunity to learn traditional Korean music; learn the sweet-sounding seven-tone Balinese gamelan, explore the world of classical Indian singing and get their hands on the 21-stringed Mandinka kora from Senegal. There is also a seminar on war, fear, empathy and music run in partnership with Musicians Without Borders.