BA Music (combined)

General

2 locations available

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time


This programme is a unique opportunity to study the musical traditions of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and their global diasporas. Students are taught the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African music. In years 2 and 3 they are encouraged to focus on the music of specific regions and to consider cross-regional themes. Performance is a central component of the degree. Students have the opportunity to develop expertise in a great variety of musical performance traditions.

SOAS has the only Music department in the UK devoted to the study of world music. We have a very active musical life, including concert series, student ensembles and a successful summer school in which students can become involved. Students are taught in the heart of London, home to many vibrant and diverse communities and to a breath-taking array of world music concerts, workshops and festivals. Our students actively participate in this rich and varied musical scene.

Graduates possess not only musical and cultural expertise but also a portfolio of widely transferable skills sought by employers in professional and creative industries. The programme leads into careers and vocational pathways including arts management, festival administration and curating, music journalism, teaching, performing and composing, album production, and management and consultancy within the music industry in Europe, Asia and Africa.

This two-subject degree allows more scope for studying language or other non-musical aspects of particular cultures than the single subject BMus Music. Some two-subject programmes are completed in three years while others take four years and include a year abroad. The single-subject degree allows greater concentration on music, including Western music and Performance.

May be combined with:

  • African Studies, (WT35 BA/MSAF)
  • African Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Arabic+, (TW63 BA/MSA)
  • Chinese+, (TW13 BA/MSCH)
  • Development Studies, (LW93 BA/MSDVS)
  • Hebrew+, (QW43 BA/MSHE)
  • History, (VW3 BA.MSH)
  • History of Art/Archaeology, (VW33 BA/HAAM)
  • Japanese+, (TW21 BA/MSJ)
  • Japanese Studies, (TW2H BA/JSMu)
  • Korean+, (TWLJ BA/MSKO)
  • Middle Eastern Studies, (TW6H BA/MESMS)
  • Middle Eastern Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Persian+, (TWQ3 BA/PMS) ( + Compulsory Year Abroad which is split between 2 countries)
  • Social Anthropology, (LW63 BA/SAMS)
  • South Asian Studies (3 years), (WTH3 BA/SASMS)
  • South Asian Studies (4 years) +, (TW33 BA/SASMS)
  • South-East Asian Studies, (WTHH BA/MSSEA)
  • South-East Asian Studies (including a year abroad)
  • Study of Religions, (VW63 BA/SRM)
  • Turkish+, (TWP3 BA/TUMS)

+ 4-year degree with (compulsory) one year abroad
++ 3 or 4-year degree with the option of one year abroad

Employment

As a graduate who specialised in Music at SOAS, you will have gained competency in one or more world music performance traditions, intercultural awareness and understanding of global music and the world music industry. Familiarity with a specific region will have been developed through the study of its music. You will have the opportunity to develop practical vocational skills in sound recording and radio presenting. Graduates leave SOAS not only with musical and cultural expertise but also with a portfolio of widely transferable skills which employers seek in many professional and creative capacities, including interpersonal skills, communication skills, focus, teamwork, passion and dedication. Studying a combined honours degree gives students to blend a solid grounding in another discipline or subject area which enables them to place the knowledge they gain as part of their degree within a specific regional, cultural or disciplinary context.

Specific Graduate Destinations:

  • Nana Klimek (BA Music Studies) works at HeadNod Talent Agency in London.
  • Rick Wilson (BA Music Studies), among other activities, collaborates with former MMus student Sally Pomme Clayton, providing music for her story-telling performances.
  • Leni Koupis (BA Music Studies) is a fund-raiser and charity concert organiser for the Free Tibet Campaign.
  • Nami Morris (BA Music & Korean) works in the External Affairs Division of Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.
  • Mira Sengupta (BA Music Studies) has composed music for three radio plays for LBC and has worked as a concert promoter.
  • Many other graduates proceed to postgraduate study at SOAS or elsewhere. Others return, enhanced, to previous careers: Nigel Gomme as a composer and arranger, Fiona West as a music producer, David Wright as a jazz saxophonist, etc.

Structure

General Structure

First-year modules cover the basic principles of ethnomusicology and survey a variety of Asian and African music. Students additionally receive aural training (e.g. in transcription) and follow lessons in one or more Asian or African performance traditions. The Department is linked with nearby King’s College, University of London. Qualified SOAS students may take 15 or 30 credits modules in Western music at King’s, and King’s students may take modules in ethnomusicology at SOAS, subject to approval from the appropriate tutors.

In Years 2 and 3, the student will usually focus on the music culture of a selected area or areas: Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, Jewish music. They may also choose from the general and performance modules on offer.

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.

Degree Detail

  • Students are required to take modules to the value of 360 credits over the duration of their degree, 120 credits per year. A 30 credits module is taught over both terms, while a 15 credits module is taught over one term only.
  • Up to 60 credits (for a three-year degree) or 90 credits (for a four-year degree) may come from the list of "open option modules" (modules outside of this programme - e.g. language or non-music modules). However, open option modules may not be taken in year 1.
  • At least 150 credits of Music modules must be taken in total.

Year 1:

Two-subject students take Sounds and Cultures, Music and Culture, Introduction to Music Analysis, and Performance 1a OR Performance 1b.

Year 2:

Two-subject students take the compulsory 15 credits module Ethnomusicology Themes & Variations. They must also take one module chosen from the "Area Modules" list. Remaining modules can be selected from any of the modules groups listed below, with up to 30 credits from an open option module, or music modules at Kings College.

Year 3:

Two-subject students take the compulsory 15 credits module Urban Soundscapes. They must also take at least a 15 credits module chosen from the "Area Modules" list. Remaining modules can be selected from any of the modules groups, with up to 30 credits from open option modules, or music modules at Kings College.

Modules Details

Year 1

Compulsory Module

  • Sounds and Cultures
  • Introduction to Music Analysis
  • Writing Across the Arts

and

Choose one of the following modules:

  • Performance 1a: gamelan
  • Performance 1b: ensembles

and

Second Subject

Students take 60 credits from the second subject.

Year 2

Compulsory Module

  • Ethnomusicology: Themes and Variations

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Area Modules below to the value of 15 credits.

and

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

or

Guided Option

Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.

or

From the list of Music modules at King's College London at 30 credits.

and

Second Subject

Students take 60 credits from the second subject.

Year 3

Compulsory Module

  • Urban Soundscapes

and

Choose a module(s) from the List of Area Modules below to the value of 15 credits.

and

Open Options

Choose related Language or Non-Language open option modules to the value of 30 credits.

  • Language Open Option Modules
  • Non-Language Open Option Modules

or

Guided Option

Choose a module(s) from the List of Modules below to the value of 30 credits.

or

From the list of Music modules at King's College London at 30 credits.

and

Second Subject

Students take 60 credits from the second subject.

List of Modules (subject to availability)

  • Area Modules
    • Classical singing in India: Continuity and change
    • Mughal Arts: Sound, Text, and Image
    • Music and travel on the Silk Road
    • Music in Africa: Critical Listening - The Mande World
    • Music in Africa: Musical crosscurrents in East Africa and the Indian Ocean
    • Music, Religion and Society in the Middle East and North Africa
    • Music, Religion and Society in South Asia
    • Musical Traditions of East Asia
    • Raga: concept and practice
    • Jaffa: Music and Urbanism in the Contested Middle East
    • Pop and Politics in East Asia
    • The World of Cuban Music
    • Klezmer Music: Roots and Revival
  • General Modules
    • Arts, Culture and Commodification: Themes in the Global Creative and Cultural Industries
    • Composition
    • Critical Readings in Arts and Cultures
    • Curating Global Arts
    • Gender and Music
    • Directed Study in Creative Industries
    • Global Hip-Hop
    • Introduction to Sound Recording
    • Presenting World Music On Radio
  • Project Modules
    • Extended Essay
  • Performance Modules
    • Performance 2
    • Performance 3

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

To apply for an undergraduate degree at SOAS (including students wishing to transfer from another university) you must apply through the UK's central universities application organization, UCAS. An application form and details of courses can be found on their website. UCAS charges an applicant's fee for handling the application.

You can apply to up to five choices of higher education institutions or course on the UCAS form. How you utilise the choice is up to you. In other words, you could apply to do the same subject, for example, economics, at five different universities, or five different courses at the same university, or any combination of subject and institution. Nor do you have to use up all five choices. Whatever you choose you should list your choices in the order they appear in the UCAS handbook.

Entry Requirements

A-Level Music or equivalent is required for the single-subject degree. A level Music is not required for the combined Music programme, but evidence of both academic ability and active involvement in musical performance or composition is essential.

  • A-Levels: AAB - ABB including GCSE Music
    IB: 35 (665 at HL)
  • Interview Policy: Candidates not normally interviewed but encouraged to attend Open Days or contact the Department with enquiries.

Alternative entry requirements

  • BTEC: DDM
  • Access to HE: Minimum of 30 Level 3 Credits at Distinction
  • Scottish Highers: AAABB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: AAB
  • Irish LC: 340 points from 5 Higher level subjects at grade C1 or above
  • Advanced Placement: 4 5 5 (Two semesters - UCAS Group A) plus US HSGD with GPA 3.0
  • Euro Bacc: 80%
  • French Bacc: 14/20
  • German Abitur: 2.0
  • Italy DES: 80/100
  • Austria Mat: 2.0
  • Polish Mat: Overall 75% including 3 extended level subjects

English Language Entry Requirements

You must be able to show that your English is of a high enough standard to successfully engage with and complete your course at SOAS. Please note that we take our English language requirements seriously and failure to meet them exactly may well result in your application to SOAS being rejected. It is not possible to negotiate if your scores are below our required levels, with the expectation that because they are 'close enough' they will be accepted. It is important that you plan appropriately, well in advance, so that your English language test comes in good time and so that you have time to retake the test if necessary. We do not accept reasons of inconvenience or financial hardship for not submitting or retaking an English test.

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated October 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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