SOAS World Music Summer School, London:
Based In London, UK, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is a college of the University of London and the only Higher Education institution in the UK specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. SOAS takes pride in offering an exciting Summer School of World Music.
Afro-Brazilian Percussion: Pandeiro
The pandeiro is one of the most popular music instruments played in Brazil. It is a frame drum used in different styles of Brazilian music as well as playing a prominent role in Carnival. From basic to advanced level, this workshop will focus on different playing techniques for rhythms such as Samba, Baiao, Frevo and Funk. Students will also learn traditional songs which can be accompanied on the pandeiro. Instruments will be provided. With Adriano Adewale.
Afrocuban Batá Drumming & Orisha Songs
Batá drumming is considered to be one of the great cultural treasures of the African Diaspora. The cornerstone of Cuban percussive arts, batá drumming is over 500 years old, and was brought to the island by Yoruba bondsmen during the Atlantic Slave trade. The drums accompany songs in praise of the Orisha, the deities and nature spirits of the Afrocuban religion Santeria. This course will cover some of the more popular rhythms and teach a spread of songs for several important Orishas. With Crispin Robinson.
This is a unique opportunity to learn to play the sweet-sounding seven-tone Balinese gamelan based at SOAS. A gamelan is an elaborate percussion orchestra, comprising bronze gongs and metallophones which play complex interlocking melodic and rhythmic patterns led by a pair of drums. This particular gamelan, a semar pegulingan saih pitu, is unusually beautiful and is the only one of its kind in the UK. Students will be encouraged to play all of the instruments in the ensemble and will learn to play a traditional piece of Balinese music. With Andy Channing.
Chinese Guqin Music
A 4-day course to study the guqin zither with Professor Zeng Chengwei of the ‘Shu’; school from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, southwest China. The sophisticated guqin, with a history of over 3,000 years, is one of China’s most significant classical instruments. It is the first of the four quintessential Chinese arts for the self-cultivation of scholars and cultured individuals, alongside qi (Weiqi or Go, a board game), shu (calligraphy) and hua (brush painting). The course combines classes, workshops and an evening concert. Open to all levels. In association with the London Youlan Qin Society. supported by The Prince's Charities Foundation (China) PLUS! Evening concert with Prof. Zeng Chengwei: Thu 21 June, 7pm, BGLT
Cuban Music Big Band
Whatever your instrument, here’s a chance to play some classic Cuban styles: Son, Mambo, Cha Cha Cha, Latin Jazz… The course will look at rhythms, structure, arrangement & improvisation within those musical forms. All levels & instruments welcome, arrangements will be customized to the instruments present! With Sara McGuinness & Elpidio Caicedo.
Darbuka: Middle Eastern Percussion
The darbuka, a hand-drum common throughout the Arab cultural sphere, originated from the Middle East around 2000 years ago. A skilled player can tease a complex range of sharp and deep sounds from this goblet shaped drum. It is an easy instrument to learn and yet has a surprising emotional range. The course will introduce basic playing techniques & essential rhythms, as well as an overview on Middle Eastern percussion. Beginners welcome, instruments will be provided. With Louai Alhenawi
Eastern European & Balkan Gypsy Music
This course explores the beauty and charm of Gypsy and folk music from the Balkans and surrounding areas. Learning various pieces by ear and from sheet music and concentrating on technical aspects such as embellishments, phrasing and articulation, you will learn how these tools are used to create the passion and soul of this style of music. It will also explore the modalities/tonalities, time signatures, improvisation and accompaniments that are typically associated with this music. All instruments welcome. With Gundula Gruen.
Discover Georgian Polyphony and many more aspects of traditional Georgian culture: Learn about the famous Sacred Chants, have a go at a folk song and dance, watch a film screening and even enjoy a traditional dish for lunch! Led by master of Georgian Polyphonic music Davit Tsintsadze, with changouri master Bacho Tsiklauri, and actor-singer Mikheil Javakhishvili, this engaging trio will also perform traditional Georgian songs as part of this very special day.
The tabla drums with their unique melodic sound are the backbone of Classical Indian music, in particular Hindustani (Northern Indian) music. This course is an introduction to basic drumming techniques and rhythmic structures (taal) of Indian music, including both theoretical basics as well as hands-on drumming. Suitable for beginners, instruments will be provided. With Sanju Sahai.
Bring your instrument (any!) and learn to play Middle Eastern music, based of the melodic concept
of maqam. The course will introduce maqam theory and scales, typical rhythms and ensemble pieces
arranged for the group. For fluent players on any instrument. With Louai Alhenawi.
Thought to be one of the oldest wind instruments known and made from eucalyptus branches naturally hollowed by termites, didgeridoos play an important role in the Australian Aborigine’s rich spiritual culture. As a drone instrument the didgeridoo cannot produce melodies but is capable of an astonishing variety of sounds and percussive rhythms. Beginners welcome, instruments will be provided. With Jonathan Cope.
Come and discover the joys of klezmer with two of the UK’s top teachers and performers, Ilana Cravitz (fiddle) and Merlin Shepherd (clarinet). Over the course of the week you'll learn how to play the soulful and celebratory music of Jews from Eastern Europe from the last century. Open to all instruments and ages.
Beginners: We’ll be looking at tunes, ornamentation and accompaniment, as well as dance steps to go with the melodies that form this rich & enjoyable musical tradition.
Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent; no klezmer experience necessary.
Advanced: An intensive advanced course in Klezmer style, ornamentation, rhythm and improvisation. The perfect chance to advance in your knowledge and experience of this traditional Jewish music style. Minimum instrumental proficiency Grade 5 or equivalent; previous klezmer experience essential.
The Mandinka kora is a unique instrument with 21 strings. It sounds a bit like a harp, but its intricate playing style is closer to flamenco guitar. Kadialy Kouyate comes from the south of Senegal and belongs to the great line of Kouyate griots. He is a gifted performer but also highly regarded as a kora teacher, regularly teaching under- & postgraduate courses at SOAS. This is a taster course for beginners. Instruments will be provided. With Kadialy Kouyate.
An ancient instrument, the mouth or jews harp exists in many forms across nearly every continent. Often disregarded as a less ‘serious’ instrument the mouth harp is capable of extreme subtlety and a wide repertoire of sounds and melodies. Open to all - everyone can play! With Jonathan Cope.
Mongolian Overtone Singing
Khöömii is an amazing style of overtone/harmonic singing where one person sings two or more distinct pitches at the same time. It originates among the nomads of Central Asia, particularly the mountain regions of Mongolia and Tuva. Listen to your own overtones as you discover the unknown depths and heights of your voice through these enchanting sounds. With Michael Ormiston & Candida Valentino.
Mongolian Music Day
Discover the traditional music of Mongolia through a unique and rare collection of Mongolian musical instruments, from the Morin Khuur (horse-head fiddle) to the Khenreg (shaman drum) and much more, including vocal music styles. The workshop will introduce basic playing techniques of the instruments, and opportunities for everyone to have a go. The day will also feature live demonstrations by the course leader and filmed performances by Mongolian musicians. With Michael Ormiston.
Songs from a Russian Wedding
No stranger to social singing at weddings and gatherings, Polina Skovoroda grew up in a home where songs were frequently sung at table after eating borsht and drinking homemade wine. Come and share the experience: this day-long course will explore old and new Russian folks songs around the Wedding – this mysterious and joyous event filled with ritual and exorcism songs, bride's weeping songs, honouring songs, dance songs. Enjoy the beautiful and rich Russian harmony singing - with attention to tradition, history and style. Music lovers of all backgrounds and levels are welcome, no experience necessary. Teaching by ear. With Polina Skovoroda.
Senegalese Sabar Drumming
The Sabar drum is played with a stick and palm technique. A form of drumming once reserved for Senegalese royalty, today, Sabar music is found at all kinds of social events such as weddings, births, as well as popular events such as wrestling matches. Sabar rhythms also define the popular Mbalax sound behind many great Senegalese artists such as Youssou N'Dour and Baaba Maal. All levels welcome, instruments provided. With Modou Diouf.
Shakuhachi: The Universe within a Single Tone
The focus of this shakuhachi course will be exploring and going deeper into the understanding and possibilities of koten honkyoku. In particular, we will look into the different repertoires of the two teachers and the use of the music in meditation. We will also investigate the possibilities of creating something new with the idiom of honkyoku. For participants with prior experience. With Kiku Day & Adrian Freeman.
World Music in the Classroom
A day course covering the theory and practice of teaching world music performance in the classroom. The programme features lectures and hands-on sessions, including an introduction to resources; the place of world music within the GCSE curriculum, and a choice of practical workshops in African & Asian music traditions leading to take-home lesson plans. For music teachers and practising musicians with teaching aspirations. Taught by a team of SOAS Department of Music staff and teaching associates.
Certificate in Teaching World Music Performance
For the first time, SOAS Department of Music is providing a certificate in teaching World Music Performance. The Certificate will be awarded to students who successfully complete the day course World Music in the Classroom, plus any one of our full-length courses in a specific musical style.
World Music Choir
A taster course for the SOAS World Music Choir running during the academic year. All music is learned by ear and by repetition, all voices are welcome, and no experience is necessary. Most of the pieces are sung in their original languages, a-capella and often in three or four part harmony. The repertoire might include pieces in African and Eastern European languages and from the Maori and Sami cultures. With Judith Silver.
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