Minor in Electronic Performance


The electronic performance minor at Berklee provides students an opportunity to develop an individual performance practice that uses a system made up of a standard computing device, software, and hardware controllers. Study in the minor will focus on developing mastery of the tools and techniques available to musicians who will use the system as an instrument on its own or as a way to extend the capabilities of a traditional instrument or voice. Students will develop foundational skills in two core classes that will prepare them for further study in elective classes, labs, and ensembles. Emphasis will be placed on developing the practical skills needed to perform at a professional level, either solo or as part of an ensemble. Work in the minor will examine a broad range of musical styles and integrate core music studies with electronic performance techniques. Students will use these skills to arrange and perform their existing repertoire as well as develop their own new compositions. 

Students in the electronic performance minor are required to own a copy of Ableton Live and at least one electronic performance controller. 

Entrance Requirements

Students must take MTEC-111: Introduction to Music Technology before declaring this minor.

Please follow the regular declaration of minor procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide. This minor is managed by the Electronic Production and Design Department.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • design and configure a principal performance system;
  • develop effective electronic performance strategies in a broad range of musical styles;
  • demonstrate proficiency using a variety of electronic performance controllers to take on various musical roles;
  • demonstrate proficiency in using common types of synthesizers;
  • demonstrate the use of live looping techniques to develop a musical performance;
  • demonstrate proficiency in producing audio assets from a variety of sources and using them in a live performance;
  • demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
  • demonstrate proficiency performing in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as mixing, remixing, and real-time arranging roles using all parts of one’s performance system.
Curriculum and Courses

Required Courses (electronic production and design majors, 2 credits; all other majors, 4 credits):

For majors other than electronic production and design: 

  • MTEC-213 Producing Music with Ableton Live (2 credits) or SW-281 Advanced DAW for Songwriters: Ableton Live (2 credits)
  • MTEC-350 Electronic Performance for Musicians (2 credits)

For electronic production and design majors: 

  • EP-350 Live Performance Techniques for Electronic Musicians (2 credits)

Electives (electronic production and design majors, up to 4 credits; all other majors, up to 2 credits):

For all majors:

  • MTEC-222 Introduction to Synthesizer Programming and Sound Design (2 credits)
  • MTEC-230 Electronic Music on the iPad (2 credits)
  • MTEC-280 Introduction to Sound Design (2 credits)
  • MTEC-310 Performing Electronic Music with Effects (2 credits)
  • MTEC-325 Electronic Production Techniques for Vocalists (2 credits)
  • MTEC-312 Sound Design for Electronic Performance (2 credits)
  • MTEC-361 Video Mapping for Musicians (2 credits)
  • MTEC-362 VJ Performance Techniques (2 credits)
  • MTEC-390 Live Playback Engineering and Performance Design (2 credits)
  • SW-282 Performing Songwriter Workshop (2 credits)

Electable by electronic production and design majors only:

  • EP-352 Introduction to Software Instrument Building (2 credits)
  • EP-360 iPad Composition and Performance (2 credits)

Instrumental Labs/Ensembles/Etc. (choose at least 4 credits):​


  • ENEL-221 Electronic Improvisation (1 credit)
  • ENEL-301 Downtempo Electronic Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-302 Mashup Performance Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-303 Future Pop Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-304 Electronic Hip-Hop and R&B Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-305 Global Electronic Music Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-310 Baroque Synthesizer Performance Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-403 Electronic Performance Workshop Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENEL-410 Electronic Digital Instrument Showcase Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENGB-226 The Cirque du Soleil Ensemble (1 credit)

Instrumental Labs, etc.:

  • ILEL-110 Performance Controller Studies (1 credit)
  • ILEL-112 Live Looping Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-113 Expressive Control Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-114 Drum Machine Performance Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-212 Vocal Processing Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-213 EDI Improvisation Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-214 Remix and Mashup Lab (1 credit)
  • ILEL-215 Finger Drumming Techniques (1 credit)
  • ILEN-333 Turntable Techniques (1 credit)
  • ISEL-201 Women in Electronic Music (1 credit)
  • MTEC-335 Digital DJing Technique (1 credit)
  • MTEC-336 DJ Scratch Skills (1 credit)
  • MTEC-337 DJ Mixing Techniques (1 credit)

Electable by electronic production and design majors only:

  • ISEL-112 Grid Controller Studies (1 credit)
  • ISEL-113 Modular Synthesizer Performance Studies (1 credit)