Electronic digital instruments have long been capable of offering artists a new range of musical expression, from Moog analog synthesizers to computers, performance controllers, and mobile devices. Berklee now offers the electronic digital instrument (EDI) as one of the many principal instruments you can study.
As an EDI principal, you will explore an array of electronic musical styles and develop high-level techniques using your unique electronic music system configuration. We aim to expand your capabilities to develop as a nimble, versatile, and innovative electronic musician.
Those who choose EDI as their principal instrument can declare any major—except performance and music education—at this time. No matter what major you end up pursuing, you will complete at least four semesters of private instruction, labs, and ensembles with this instrument. This fulfills your performance core requirement.
This program is designed for electronic musicians who create and perform music live in real-time. EDI principals will develop proficiency in specific areas, depending on their choice and configuration of a performance system.
Although students coming into the program may be highly developed in one or more ways of performing, the goal of the EDI program will be to expand their capabilities in other areas, adding to their skill level as innovative, versatile electronic musicians who are able to perform in a range of musical settings.
What Is an EDI?
The electronic digital instrument (EDI) is a system based on three components:
- A computer
- User-configured software
EDI instruction is done using Ableton Live software, and students are required to own the current version of Ableton Live Suite.
- Any combination of the following controller capabilities:
- Grid control (e.g., Ableton Push 2 or Novation Launchpad)
- Keyboard control (e.g., Novation Launchkey, Arturia KeyStep Pro), or
- Mix control (e.g., Novation Launch Control, AKAI APC40 mkII)
Combined, these act as a single instrument capable of a wide range of musical expression.
What Will I Learn?
Upon completion of the performance core program with an electronic digital instrument, you will be able to:
- design and configure a versatile, responsive, and musically expressive electronic performance system;
- synthesize and integrate knowledge of musical styles to develop effective electronic performance strategies;
- play in a variety of electronic performance modes using a variety of controllers;
- use common types of synthesizers;
- produce audio assets from a variety of sources, and use them in a live performance;
- demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
- perform in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as arranging, mixing, remixing, and real-time compositional musical roles using all parts of one’s performance system.
If you successfully audition and are accepted at Berklee, you will be able to matriculate with the electronic digital instrument as your principal instrument. Learn about the admissions process.
During orientation, you will audition with the Electronic Production and Design Department to get your ensemble ratings, which are used for course placement. Read more about placement auditions.
EDI principals can currently declare all majors except for performance and music education.
Curriculum and Courses
Students will take labs, instrumental studies courses, and ensembles that either currently exist or will be developed specifically for the program.
See the curriculum by semester.
Example ensemble courses:
- ENEL-221 Electronic Improvisation
- ENEL-310 Baroque Synthesizer Performance Ensemble
- ENEL-403 Techno/Rave Ensemble
- ENEL-404 Turntable Ensemble
- ENRB-405 Techno/DJ Sampling Ensemble
- ENRB-403 Hip-Hop Ensemble
- ENPN-261 Synth Techniques for Live Performance Ensemble
- ENFF-326 Improvisation on 21st-Century Grooves
Example instrumental courses:
Sample Curriculum by Semester
How It Works
What is an EDI?
The EDI is a system based on three components:
- A computer
- User-configured software (EDI students must own the current version of Ableton Live Suite.)
- Performance controllers with grid, keyboard, and mix control capabilities