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)

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