- Students with a demonstrably strong background in music performance and evidence of a serious and sustained interest in development and creative communication. An undergraduate training in ethnomusicology, music psychology or music sociology would be an advantage, although a 2.1 pass in any social science degree would be acceptable. Under exceptional circumstances, significant fieldwork experience may off-set the absence of formal academic qualifications in this area.
Months of entry
This unique programme has been designed for students wishing to combine an interest in music and related cultural performance with advocacy and social development practice. Students will build critical understanding of how music’s agentive and imaginative capacities act in different contexts - e.g. human rights, forced migration, health, and environmental justice - to communicate needs and interests, and to mobilize action.
Students will have the opportunity to build the programme around their specific interests by drawing on optional modules from a range of disciplines, while also developing an understanding of the musical practices of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The programme is particularly suitable for students wishing to deepen their understanding of social and cultural theory and to develop applied research skills. It appeals to those wishing to develop a career in the international NGO sector, in arts-based public sector programmes (e.g. UNESCO) and in arts policy. Students interested in research may proceed to MPhil/PhD in ethnomusicology or allied disciplines.
Scope and Syllabus
Music in Development explores the role of music within the broad framework of Culture for Development. It builds on the premise that music and associated performance modalities represent significant discursive sites where local knowledge, social structures and cultural subjectivities are negotiated and affirmed. Drawing on the theoretical intersections between advocacy/activist ethnomusicology and a range of cognate disciplines – e.g. anthropology, gender and development studies – it aims to build critical understanding of how music’s agentive and imaginative capacities act in different contexts to communicate needs and interests, and to mobilize action.
The course places particular emphasis on the politics of listening and focuses on the role of sound and performance in the following capacities:
- As a framework for self-representation and critical citizenship
- As a source of oral history, memory and local knowledge
- As public education and community mobilization, and
- As a catalyst for personal and societal change
The syllabus is partially led by students, who together will shape its thematic trajectories. The following represent some of the areas of interest from previous years of study:
- Music, Human Rights and Social Movements
- Music, Violence and Conflict Resolution
- Forced Migration, Displacement and Cultural Identity
- Music, Local Knowledge and Sustainable Livelihoods
- Music, Health and Wellbeing
- Musical Memory and the Politics of Repatriation
Information for international students
For details, including English language requirements, please see SOAS website
Fees and funding
For details of postgraduate fees, please see SOAS website
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- Postgraduate Enquiries
- +44 (0)20 7898 4700