The harmony core curriculum provides an essential foundation for every Berklee student. Housed within the core music curriculum, the courses that comprise our curriculum are at the very heart of the Berklee experience and are the result of a realization that was revolutionary when Berklee was founded: that theory can be understood and taught by examining and analyzing contemporary popular music.

Our commitment to giving students the tools to understand and create their music is as strong as ever. The radical increase in stylistic diversity since the 1950s gives us an ever-broader field to survey, but the Berklee harmony program provides the skills you will need to navigate a changing environment. Through the program, you will gain a thorough understanding of common harmonic practice, melodic development, and the relationship between melody and harmony in contemporary styles.  


All students are required to take these four foundational courses: 

  1. PW-111, Music Application and Theory
  2. HR-112, Harmony 2
  3. HR-211, Harmony 3
  4. HR-212, Harmony 4

After learning the basics of music theory, you will learn how to analyze the harmony and melody of contemporary music and how to use this knowledge to create your own compositions and performances. 


In addition to weekly assignments, you will write and record at least one project a semester. The project can be recorded in collaboration with fellow students or at a MIDI workstation.


During your initial week at Berklee, you will take a music placement test, and the results will determine the harmony course in which you will be placed.  

In rare cases, you may be able to test out of this requirement through credit by exam (see the details; login required).

Visit the below pages to learn more: