Courses

e.g. AR or AR-211
e.g. Film or "Bass Lab"

Contemporary Arranging

Course Number
AR-511
Credits
3
Course Chair
Magda Giannikou (Valencia) and Marco Pignataro (Boston)
Semesters Offered
Spring, Summer
Required Of
None; elective course in all graduate programs
Electable By
All graduate students
Prerequisites
Written approval of program director
Department
CPRF
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Description

In this course, students explore the musical concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony and form as applied to the principles and techniques of writing and arranging for the rhythm section (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, basic percussion) and a lead-line in a solo instrument, two horns (trumpet, alto or tenor sax) or voice. Students learn about the conceptualization process of combining individual components to create a musically satisfying arrangement. Students also learn various contemporary musical styles and the musical concepts that comprise them, including writing from the bottom up (groove-driven) and top down (working with a melody in a lead instrument or voice). Students will complete writing assignments that incorporate combinations of acoustic, electronic, and/or MIDI instruments.

Popular Music Institute 1

Course Number
BPMI-401
Credits
1
Course Chair
Don Gorder
Semesters Offered
Fall
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
Written approval of course instructor
Department
MBUS
Location
Boston Campus
Description

The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) is a one-year program (fall, spring, and summer) that provides practical access to high levels of the music industry with a focus on the concert festival circuit. Students will learn how to navigate careers in the ever-changing music industry as they hone their skills in communication, marketing, promotion, and live music. Curriculum activities are designed in collaboration with today's top industry figures to reflect contemporary trends and practices in the music industry.

BPMI students will:

  • find and develop artists;
  • budget a tour;
  • book and promote concerts;
  • place festival holds;
  • design merchandise;
  • develop press releases; and
  • build and maintain all social media platforms, and much more.

The capstone of the curriculum includes opportunities for students to participate at prestigious festivals and industry conferences.  Students will be required to travel to festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, the Governors Ball, and Music Midtown, where they will act as artist managers, production and tour managers, and artist media representatives. Students will also be required to attend and work at high-level concert and touring industry events in the USA. 

Popular Music Institute 2

Course Number
BPMI-402
Credits
1
Course Chair
Don Gorder
Semesters Offered
Spring
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
BPMI-401
Department
MBUS
Location
Boston Campus
Description

The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) is a one-year program (fall, spring, and summer) that provides practical access to high levels of the music industry with a focus on the concert festival circuit. Students will learn how to navigate careers in the ever-changing music industry as they hone their skills in communication, marketing, promotion, and live music. Curriculum activities are designed in collaboration with today's top industry figures to reflect contemporary trends and practices in the music industry.

BPMI students will:

  • find and develop artists;
  • budget a tour;
  • book and promote concerts;
  • place festival holds;
  • design merchandise;
  • develop press releases; and
  • build and maintain all social media platforms, and much more.

The capstone of the curriculum includes opportunities for students to participate at prestigious festivals and industry conferences.  Students will be required to travel to festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, the Governors Ball, and Music Midtown, where they will act as artist managers, production and tour managers, and artist media representatives. Students will also be required to attend and work at high-level concert and touring industry events in the USA. 

Popular Music Institute 3

Course Number
BPMI-403
Credits
1
Course Chair
Don Gorder
Semesters Offered
Summer
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
Written approval of course instructor
Department
MBUS
Location
Boston Campus
Description

The Berklee Popular Music Institute (BPMI) is a one-year program (fall, spring, and summer) that provides practical access to high levels of the music industry with a focus on the concert festival circuit. Students will learn how to navigate careers in the ever-changing music industry as they hone their skills in communication, marketing, promotion, and live music. Curriculum activities are designed in collaboration with today's top industry figures to reflect contemporary trends and practices in the music industry.

BPMI students will:

  • find and develop artists;
  • budget a tour;
  • book and promote concerts;
  • place festival holds;
  • design merchandise;
  • develop press releases; and
  • build and maintain all social media platforms, and much more.

The capstone of the curriculum includes opportunities for students to participate at prestigious festivals and industry conferences.  Students will be required to travel to festivals such as Lollapalooza, Osheaga, the Governors Ball, and Music Midtown, where they will act as artist managers, production and tour managers, and artist media representatives. Students will also be required to attend and work at high-level concert and touring industry events in the USA. 

The Composer's Toolkit: Shaping Sound in Time

Course Number
CM-103
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
None
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This course will introduce students to fundamental elements of compositional thought and structure. In a series of weekly assignments, students will create short experimental passages of composed sound focused on isolated parameters of music in order to compare the effect of different strategies. Examples of the basic parameters that students will work with: linear/non-linear, pulse/non-pulse, noise/pitch, register (high/low), timbre (bright/dark), texture (dense/sparse), dynamics, and articulation. Through these experiments, students will experience how different choices affect our perception of time, musical flow and space. The course is designed to be approached by anyone at any level of compositional experience, as indicated by the low course number. The course will benefit musicians with any amount of composition experience.

Introduction to Composition

Course Number
CM-201
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Spring Only
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
None
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description

This is a foundational course for potential composition majors and other interested students which introduces composition techniques in a stylistically open way. It is designed to help students expand their individual writing styles by exploring abstract and non-traditional methods in composition. Students create notated and graphic scores for a variety of scenarios, learn to compose with sound and timbre in creative ways, and develop basic musical ideas into larger forms. Students develop their creative process through weekly writing exercises for solo instrument, chamber music, band, voice, and/or electronic sounds, and collaborate on reading through their scores in class.

Tonal Harmony and Composition 1

Course Number
CM-211
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
All except MUED majors
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
PW-111
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Description

Functional tonal harmony analyzed and composed in various musical textures. Emphasis on voice leading, melodic writing, and figured bass.

Tonal Harmony and Composition 2

Course Number
CM-212
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
All except MUED majors
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
CM-211 or CM-251
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Valencia (Spain) Campus
Description

Continuation of CM-211. Advanced tonal harmony and intermediate compositional procedures. Emphasis on harmonies with sevenths, other upper extensions, chromatic alterations as well as modulation.

Techniques of Tonal Writing

Course Number
CM-221
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
COMP and FILM majors
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
CM-212 or CM-252, and CP-210
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description

Specific techniques of traditional tonal composition. Conclusive and nonconclusive phrases; antecedent-consequent phrase relationships; open-ended phrase relationships; sequencing; modulation; large-scale tonal relationships; thematic variation and development. Application of these techniques in writing, using models from the classical period.

Guitar Composition Techniques for Performers/Composers

Course Number
CM-225
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring
Required Of
None
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
CM-211 or CM-251
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description
Intermediate and advanced approach to guitar composition techniques. The course is designed for performers/composers and provides a comprehensive demonstration of the capabilities of the instrument and the most successful ways to compose for it through analysis, live performances, improvisation, and mostly elementary and advanced compositional techniques. Also covers performance techniques, extended compositional approaches (guitar and other instruments), resources and technologies of basic composition techniques, and mainly guitar music of the 20th century and beyond.

The Russian Art of Modulation

Course Number
CM-227
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall Only
Required Of
None
Electable By
COMP, FILM, and CWPR majors
Prerequisites
CM-212 and CP-210
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description

During this course the students will explore and master the technique of modulation to the keys both closely related and distant. Using the concepts of three degrees of kinship between keys and the major-minor (minor-major) systems, the students will acquire the skill of gradual modulation as well as sudden modulation, as it was taught in Russia. This practical/theoretical approach will both contrast and complement current methods of handling this more advanced area of harmony, and will thus bring about for the student additional practical applications of these concepts.

Instrumentation and Score Preparation

Course Number
CM-231
Credits
2
Course Chair
Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered
Fall, Spring, Summer
Required Of
COMP and FILM majors
Electable By
All
Prerequisites
CM-212 or CM-252
Department
COMP
Location
Boston Campus
Description

The technical aspects involved in creating finished, professional scores. Score layout; instrumental/vocal ranges and performance characteristics; special playing techniques and limitations; breath and bowing considerations; choice of key, meter, beat, and subdivision values; use of slurs, articulation marks, dynamics, tempo variation, and other devices for indicating expressive nuance; proper underlaying of vocal text; calligraphy; creating a practical piano reduction; and extracting parts.

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