School of Oriental and African
University of London
Department of Music
Type of Program and Degrees Offered
BA Music. Music can be either taken as a single subject
undergraduate degree or as joint honours together with one of the many
languages (from Swahili to Japanese) and other disciplines (from Anthropology
to Religions) offered at SOAS. The degree includes training in the discipline
of ethnomusicology, a closer look at musics from around the world, and world
Mmus Ethnomusicology. The Mmus in Ethnomusicology introduces
the themes, issues, and methods of the discipline, and enables the student to
pursue in-depth study of the musical traditions of a selected region or regions
of Asia or Africa. The degree can be studied full or part time and suits anyone
wishing to deepen their understanding of world music, as composers, teachers,
or others, as well as providing a training programme in preparation for further
Mmus Performance. This degree programme has been designed
primarily for practising musicians who wish to specialise in world music
performance while studying for an academic degree. Students study an Asian or
African performance tradition in an innovative package which includes study of
the region’s musical background, performance theory, and practice-based
PhD. The Department of Music has a strong tradition of
research and encourages applicants for research degrees. Research topics do not
need to focus on Africa, Asia, or their diasporas, but can explore other topics
under the broad rubric of ethnomusicology. Current students are tackling a wide
range of topics and approaches including practice-based research.
The Department has two basic objectives: to provide training
of the highest possible standard in the academic discipline of ethnomusicology,
and to pursue in-depth understanding of the musical traditions of Africa and
Asia through teaching and research.
Music staff offices are on the 5th
floor of the main SOAS building. Room 511 contains the Department audio-visual
archive and facilities for Research Students. OpenAir radio Studio is also on
the 5th floor, and our recording studio is on the 4th floor. Rooms 512, 513 and
L4 are small practice rooms. In Sept 2010, we moved into newly refurbished
teaching rooms and large practice rooms on the ground floor. Various other
rooms in the School also hold specialist AV and IT equipment relevant to music.
The large Main Library of the School holds books, journals, and recordings,
including standard major reference works on music such as the New Grove
Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Garland Encyclopedia of World
Music. The New Grove Dictionary, as well as dozens of major music
journals, can also be accessed on-line from computer terminals in the Library
or elsewhere on the SOAS network. The Main Library holds thousands of
audiovisual materials relevant to Asia and Africa. Listening and viewing
facilities are provided in the Library, and most CDs are available on short
loan. Among special items in the Department's collections are: field
recordings, films and slides of South Asian music made by Arnold Bake from the
1920s to 1956, a large working collection of musical instruments from Asia and
Africa, and extensive staff collections. We run a very popular regular term
time concert series, and an annual performance-centred World Music summer school.
See "Related Websites below for URL. We run a weekly departmental seminar
and collaborate with the Institute of Musical Research for seminars, research
training programmes, and workshops. Performance groups include tabla, gamelan,
kora, Thai mahori, and Korean percussion. Students may also study with
London-based teachers/performers informally linked to SOAS. Instruments include
congas, guqin, koto, ’ud, Ewe drumming, and Cuban piano.
Full-Time Faculty in Ethnomusicology
Dr. Lucy Durán. Lecturer in African Music. Music of the
Manding Cultural area; the development of popular music in post-independent
Africa; the interconnections between African and Caribbean music; Afro-Latin
Nick Gray. Lecturer in the Music of South East Asia. Music
of South East Asia, Indonesia, Bali, especially music for the Balinese
shadowplay, composition, improvisation, analysis, music, and religion.
Rachel Harris. Senior Lecturer in Ethnomusicology.
Ethnomusicology; musics of China and Central Asia, especially Uyghur; pop and
globalisation; music and ritual, music, identity, and politics.
Keith Howard. Professor of Music. Ethnomusicology; Music of
East Asia especially Korea; Korean culture and society; composition; music
education; shamanism; music and religion; the music business.
Angela Impey. Lecturer in Ethnomusicology. Music of southern
and eastern Africa; music/sound, memory, and place; music, advocacy, and human
rights; music and gender.
D. Richard Widdess. Professor of Musicology. North Indian
art-music; history of music in South Asia; Newar music; music theory and
Abigail Wood. Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music. Jewish
Music, especially contemporary Yiddish song and klezmer, music in immigrant
communities in Israel; music in Jewish-Christian relations; urban and
Owen Wright. Research Professor of Musicology of the Middle
East. Music of the Islamic Middle East; historical musicology.
Andrew Channing. Senior Teaching Fellow. Founder and artistic
director of the UK’s leading gamelan group, Lila Cita, Andy Channing studied
gamelan in London and at the University of Indonesian Performing Arts. Since
1991 he has taught and performed Balinese and Javanese gamelan throughout the
UK at arts centres, schools, and universities, including SOAS.
Carlos Chirinos. Studio Manager of Open Air Media. Carlos
graduated from our MMus programme in 2006 and now runs the very successful SOAS
online radio station "OpenAir,” as well as teaching on the prize-winning
Undergraduate course "Presenting World Music on Radio.”
Kadialy Kouyate. Senior Teaching Fellow. Kadialy Kouyate
comes from a large West African musical family of djalis who are well known in
Mandinka history. Since 2005 he has been teaching the Kora to undergraduate and
postgraduate students at SOAS.
Sara McGuinness. Senior Teaching Fellow. Sara McGuinness is
well known on the UK Salsa scene, and has played written and arranged for many
of the UK’s top bands. She runs Malecon Productions which provides workshops in
Cuban and related music. She teaches Cuban piano at SOAS and runs an
undergraduate course "Introduction to Sound Recording.” She is also completing
her PhD in the department.
Rowan Pease. Senior Teaching Fellow. Rowan Pease completed
her PhD on Korean pop at SOAS in 2002, and now teaches the very popular "Music
Business” course. She also works in an editorial role on SOAS journals and
served as reviews editor for Ethnomusicology Forum.
Sanju Sahai. Senior Teaching Fellow. Sanju Sahai belongs to
the Benares Gharana of Tabla playing. He has accompanied many of India’s
legendary musicians and collaborated with many international artists. He is
Artistic Director of a South Asian music youth orchestra and has been teaching
tabla at SOAS for many years.
General Program Statement
Department of Music is the leading centre for ethnomusicology in the country,
and the only department dedicated to the study of the music of Asia and
offers an environment where the languages and culture of Africa and Asia
are studied and researched in depth, with the most diverse student profile
in the country, and hundreds of related societies and activities on offer.
Department of Music is ranked amongst the top music departments in the UK
for research and teaching.
library houses a major collection of books and journals on world music, as
well as thousands of audiovisual materials relevant to Asia and Africa.
run a high-profile World Music concert series, and an annual performance-centred
World Music summer school.
Study in London
The capital, as home to many vibrant and diverse communities and diasporas
whose music is our study, and host to a breathtaking array of world music
concerts, workshops and festivals, is in many ways the natural home of
ethnomusicology in the UK. SOAS Music students draw on and actively participate
in the rich musical life of the city.
The teaching staff in the Department possess a range of expertise which covers
five continents and a wide variety of approaches to the study of world music.
Between them, they command years of fieldwork experience, world class
publications, and performance skills.
The Department also supports post-doctoral research fellows who contribute
their expertise to the department’s teaching. Recent projects include Chinese
Buddhist music, North Indian Khyal songs, Central Asian dutar performance, and
"Growing into Music” on children’s learning.
Performance at SOAS
SOAS Department of Music offers the most vibrant and exciting world music
performance programme in the country. Performance is a key part of all degrees.
In-house world music groups include tabla, gamelan, West African kora, Thai
mahori, and Korean percussion. Students may also study with London-based teachers/performers
informally linked to SOAS. Instruments include, among many others, Chinese qin,
Japanese koto, Iraqi ’ud, Ewe drumming, and Cuban piano. SOAS Students organise
their own bands and regular world jam sessions, and recordings can be made and
mastered in our dedicated music studio.
The School offers a range of scholarships to support
postgraduate study at SOAS:
Research Student Fellowship
Awards of the University of London:
Scholarships provided by the British Government:
Arts and Humanities Research Council
Research Students Awards Scheme
Other awards administered by SOAS:
For further details, see Financial Aid under "Related
Lucy Duran for undergraduates.
Keith Howard for MMus
Ethnomusicology. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Gray for MMus Performance.
Richard Widdess for PhD. Email: email@example.com
World Music: http://www.soas.ac.uk/music/summermusicschool/
Financial Aid: http://www.soas.ac.uk/registry/scholarships/
Tour of SOAS: http://www.youtube.com/user/soasuniversity#
OpenAir Radio: http://www.openair.fm
Jewish Music Institute: http://www.jmi.org.uk
British Forum for Ethnomusicology: http://www.bfe.org.uk
The content for School of Oriental
and African Studies (SOAS) was last updated June 25, 2010.