Middle East & Central Asia
Explore the library
- Middle East, Central Asia and Islamica subject guide
- Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica subject guide (for the ancient history of Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia etc., Ancient Egypt & the Byzantine Empire, and modern Israel / Palestine)
- All users on-campus; SOAS students and staff only off-campus
Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies
MECAS is a bibliographic database, which provides access to a wide range of material relating to the study of countries and peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia.
On campus use / Off-campus use
Music in the Afghan North 1967-1972
A research project undertaken by Mark Slobin at the Wesleyan University. This website presents his research and illustrates its findings, consisting of photography, moving picture clips, sound clips and written text.
Afghan Music Project
The Afghan Music Project is a website focusing on a group of young musicians from Afghanistan. Although it is largely a site to advertise this recording, there is a lot of useful information such as video showing the recording process and the difficulties faced by the musicians.
Oman Centre for Traditional Music
The OCTM was established in 1984 in order to collect and preserve Oman’s musical heritage. The website presents a history of Omani music including 23,000 photographs and nearly 600 audio-visual items.
Jewish Music Research Center
The Jewish Music Research Center (JMRC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem was founded by Professor Israel Adler in 1964. JMRC’s work is concentrated to study the musical cultures of Jewish communities of the past and present. The site offers biographies of the musician and song of the month including audio and video clips, where available. The site also provides access to the JMRC Thesaurus of Jewish music, which can be either searched or browsed.
Jewish Music Institute
The Jewish Music Institute (JMI) is an independent arts organisation, which aims to bring Jewish music to the mainstream British cultural arena for people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. The website explains what Jewish music actually is, including details about Ashkenazi (Hebrew for Germany) music; Sephardic (Hebrew for Spain) music; Israeli music; suppressed music; synagogue music; and western classical music.
Yiddish sheet music
This is a digital resource that draws from the John Hay library collection at Brown University. The collection is made up of public domain (pre-1923) titles from the collection of Menache Vaxer, a Yiddish writer and Hebraist of Russia. The Collection's focus is on the Yiddish-language musical stage, and includes many photographs of performers (often in costume) and composers.
Jewish Music WebCenter
Gateway to Jewish music resources with a guide to research books held in U.S. libraries.
The Aga Khan Music Initiative
The Aga Khan Music Initiative was launched in 2000 to develop musical heritage of Central Asia and the Middle East. The site contains useful information such as instruments glossary and links to Central Asian music videos.
Classic music of Uzbekistan
This site offers comprehensive information about history of Uzbekistan music. You will find lists of artist, a glossay of instruments and examples of music files.
The music of Azerbajian builds on folk traditions that reach back nearly 1000 years. This site is a good place to taste its rich history. The site provides biographies and music files of famous Azeri singers and composers.