This is a sponsored Post on PCDN.
The MA Music in Development is a unique degree that is available on a one-year full-time, or two/three-year part-time basis. The degree builds on the understanding that music and associated expressive practices are significant sites where local knowledge, social constructs and cultural subjectivities are negotiated and affirmed. Positioned at the intersection between ethnomusicology and cognate disciplines (e.g. anthropology, media, and development studies), the degree places emphasis on cultural listening, and explores how music is used in different contexts as a framework for self-representation and critical citizenship, as oral history and political testimony, as public education and as a catalyst for personal and societal change.
When I began the MA in Music Development course at SOAS I had already started to develop a career that focussed on working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people in the UK and internationally. Through academic research and lively discussion the course has given me a much richer global perspective as well as an opportunity to reflect deeply on my own practice. The practical elements of the course have been hugely beneficial to my public presentations and the funding bid writing process which has led to a number of new projects.
Jim Pinchen Composer, multi-instrumentalist and music educator, England, Music in Development 2016-2018
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
The degree supports careers in the charity sector, in arts and cultural policy, in local and international development, (e.g. EU, UN), where creativity, cultural diversity and heritage are increasingly recognized as essential to all development strategies.
I have always looked to combine my two interests: culture and international development. The MA in Music and Development was a really fulfilling experience, which allowed me to explore in depth the relationships between the two subjects. What I did not know when I was still a student is that the course would prepare the way for a career at the UN. Sabrina Salis, Sardinia, Music in Development 2013-2014 [Project Officer, UNESCO Amman Office]
For further details, see https://www.soas.ac.uk/music/programmes/ma-music-in-development/ or contact Angela Impey [email protected]