Bachelor of Music in Performance: Electronic Digital Instrument

EDI principals can declare this major starting in fall 2023. Private instruction and recital preparation classes for EDI principals will be available in the spring 2024 semester.

As an electronic digital instrument performance major at Berklee you will develop the skills needed to demonstrate professional-level proficiency on your instrument. Electronic performance is constantly evolving, adapting to changes in technology that often inspire new musical possibilities. As an EDI player you will develop the technical and musical foundations to perform electronic music in solo and ensemble settings that cover a wide range of musical styles. The EDI performance major embraces all aspects of electronic performance and through a rigorous program of private lessons, labs, and ensembles, faculty challenge students to embrace the gamut of current and emerging practices in developing their unique musical voice.

The EDI performance major will explore every opportunity to embrace the rich musical culture that is Berklee. You will take labs and elective classes that develop the sound design, electronic music production, and DJ skills that will serve as a foundation for your development as a performing artist. In private lessons and recital preparation classes you will work with experienced professionals who embrace a wide range of performance practice, and who will encourage you to develop your own personal style. Students will also engage in a robust ensemble experience working with instrumentalists and singers from across the college, and will have the opportunity to engage in extracurricular and co-curricular concert performances. Throughout your time in the program you will develop a performance portfolio that will culminate in a juried senior recital. All of these experiences will help you develop the musical, technical, and aesthetic background that will prepare you to work effectively with others and to adapt to changes in the professional music environment.

Entrance Requirements

As a second or third semester student declaring performance as your major, you will be asked to participate in a short audition and interview with the Electronic Digital Instrument faculty. Details about this process include the following:

  • For the audition, you will be asked to perform a five minute piece of prepared music in a style of your choosing.
  • The piece should demonstrate your skill as an EDI performer and should not include vocals or other instruments.
  • You will be evaluated on your potential to be an effective participant in the performance major, and criteria will include your ability to play in time, effective use of software and/or hardware instruments, your ability to control synthesis and effect parameters, as well as proficiency in at least two performance controllers.
  • As part of your interview, be prepared to discuss your professional goals and how the performance major will help you achieve those.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will:

  • integrate musical and technical knowledge using a variety of hardware and software into a daily practice routine;
  • demonstrate technical proficiency on a principal electronic performance system of their own design, as evidenced their ability to take on a variety of musical roles in solo and ensemble settings;
  • use a variety of controllers to develop expressive performance techniques;
  • play a wide variety of contemporary musical styles;
  • read conventional and chord-symbol (lead sheet) notation;
  • apply knowledge of musical styles, sound design, production, and DJ practices in structured and improvisational settings; and
  • synthesize and integrate knowledge of historical and contemporary electronic performance practices and their musical roots into performance.


Sample Curriculum by Semester
Curriculum and Courses

There are 30 credits required for this major. 

  • ILRE-375 Recital Workshop for Performance Majors
  • PSH-xxx Health and Wellness for the Musician
  • PSEL-321 Production Styles for the Electronic Performer
  • PFSS-391 Survey of Electronic Performance Styles
  • PIEL-311 Private Instruction—EDI Level 5
  • PIEL-312 Private Instruction—EDI Level 6
  • PIEL-411 Private Instruction—EDI Level 7
  • PIEL-412 Private Instruction—EDI Level 8
  • RPEL-211 Recital Preparation—Level 3
  • RPEL-212 Recital Preparation—Level 4
  • RPEL-311 Recital Preparation—Level 5
  • RPEL-312 Recital Preparation—Level 6
  • RPEL-411 Recital Preparation—Level 7
  • RPEL-412 Recital Preparation—Level 8
  • 10 credits of approved specified electives from the following:

Labs: any ILEL lab course or ISEL instrumental studies course

Electives: any of the following elective courses:

  • EP-223 Modular Functions and Signal Flow (2 credits)
  • EP-225 Control Systems or MTEC-213 (2 credits)
  • EP-322 Advanced Sound Design (2 credits)
  • MTEC-225 Introduction to Sampling in Contemporary Music (2 credits)
  • MTEC-310 Performing Electronic Music with Effects (2 credits)
  • MTEC-312 Sound Design for Electronic Performance (2 credits)
  • MTEC-362 VJ Performance Techniques (2 credits)
  • MTEC-390 Live Playback Engineering and Performance Design (2 credits)