MA Music (Performance Pathway) SOAS University of London
Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time
Theoretical and practical grounding in the discipline of ethnomusicology, the opportunity to develop performance and ethnographic skills, in-depth study of global musical styles, and a practical understanding of how music can work in the sphere of social development – just some of what you can expect to develop on the MA Music. The programme has three pathways in Ethnomusicology, Development and Performance, tailored for musicians and musicologists, anthropologists and development practitioners, teachers and composers, as well as those dedicated to developing an in-depth knowledge of a specific music tradition.
You will study with a world-leading group of ethnomusicologists who are all experts in the musical traditions of Africa and Asia. You will be part of a thriving culture of performance, research and active engagement with music around the globe.
The programme will suit those looking for a springboard into further research or employment in a range of music-related fields including journalism, industry, NGOs and education, and often serves as a conversion route for those trained predominantly in western music traditions.
This programme replaces MMus Performance.
Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.
Students must complete 120 credits of taught modules in addition to the compulsory dissertation (60 credits). In addition to these formal elements, students are expected to attend regular postgraduate and public seminars and may also participate in performance ensemble classes and other activities.
Students may be allowed to study for the MA on a part-time basis.
- The part-time MA may be taken over two years, in which case the student takes two 30 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits modules) in the first year, and two 30 credits modules (or equivalent 15 credits modules) and the dissertation in the second year.
- Alternatively, it can be taken over three years, in which case the student can distribute the 120 credits modules evenly in each of the three years. The dissertation can be written in year two or three, but it is strongly recommended that this be undertaken in the final year of the programme. It must be submitted in September of the year in which the student registers for it.
- Dissertation in Music
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List A or List B
Choose modules to the value of 30 credits from List B, List C or List D
List A: Area Modules
- Aspects of Music and Religion in South East Asia
- Atlantic Africa: Players in the Mediation of African Popular Music
- Indian vocal music: Styles and histories
- Music, Exile and Diaspora: the Jews of Arab Lands
- Music, Place and Politics in Cuba
- Musical Traditions of East Asia (Masters)
List B: Additional Music Modules
- Key Themes in Hip Hop Studies
- Music in Development
- Music in Global Perspective
- Sound Recording and Production
- The Music Business (Masters)
- Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology
List C: Modules Taught at King's College
SOAS MA Music students can also take as a credited part of their programme up to 30 credits at Kings College London Music Department, choosing modules from the list on the KCL website. Please note that:
- modules in Performance and Composition are not permitted as part of the agreement; and
- you will need to obtain the written consent of the convenor of the KCL course before enrolling.
Please check with modules tutors at King’s for requirements.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. If you are a current student you can find structure information on the previous year link at the top of the page or through your Department.
A postgraduate degree in Music Performance from SOAS gives students improved competency in performance and a better understanding of global music which will enable them to continue in the field of research or engage in related work. Equally, they develop a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities including interpersonal skills, communication skills, focus, team work, passion and dedication. A postgraduate degree is a valuable experience that provides students with a body of work and a diverse range of skills that they can use to market themselves with when they graduate.
Specific Graduate Destinations
- Helen Evans is an Education Officer for the Asian Music Circuit.
- Jo Shaw (née Hoskin) was gamelan co-ordinator for the London Symphony Orchestra’s educational Discovery programme but is moving on to set up her own Indonesian music and dance programme in southwest England.
- Sarah Hall has worked as India regional director for two different charities.
- Jon Kertzer directed the Smithsonian Global Sound Network and is now working on the business development of the Microsoft MSN Music Service.
- Hélène Rammant is a Producer for BBC Radio 3, specialising in World Music.
- Megan Jones is a Producer in the Music Department of BBC Cymru Wales.
- Katie Vickers (née Hall) is a music Marketing Officer for the South Bank Centre, London.
- Sally Pomme Clayton is a storyteller and lecturer on world oral traditions at Middlesex University.
- Rachel Ireland first served as an executive assistant at the Great Britain-Sasakawa Foundation and is now Executive Officer, Operations for the London-based charity Youth Music.
- Chua Siew Ling is a music officer in the Ministry of Education in Singapore.
- Louise Taylor was an administrator for Folkworks at the Sage Gateshead music centre and has now moved on to a related community post in Newcastle.
- Elie Gussman is an Education Officer for the Asian Music Circuit. London.
- Nobuko Miyazaki is an Education Officer for the Asian Music Circuit, London.
- Many other MMus graduates continue on to do MPhil/PhD research. Others return, enhanced, to their previous careers. For example, Belinda Sykes is Professor of Medieval Song at Trinity College of Music and singer and director of the Arabic and European medieval song ensemble Joglaresa.
English Language Requirements
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