The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation, Improvisational Theory, Piano Accompaniment Techniques, and Survey of Piano Styles, you will learn the history of your instrument, analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Below is a list of all Piano courses for the upcoming semester.
A two-hour lab for Piano Performance Majors that focuses on advanced harmonic and rhythmic studies for the pianist and the rhythm section. Styles include Latin, Brazilian, Hard Bop and Modern. Class focuses on rhythmic accuracy, independence, using the left-hand as an integral part of building up solos, understanding of odd meters, such as 3/4, 5/4 and 7/4, rhythmic comping and the use of rhythmic motif displacement as a comping and soloing technique in various styles. Development of rhythm section language and musical communication with bass and drums.
This course emphasizes rhythmic aspects and the historical context of Afro-Cuban piano montunos. Harmonic vocabulary includes triads and sixth chords in inversions, and A and B standard jazz voicings for major, minor, and dominant seventh chords. Harmonic contexts used in class encompass one chord, I-IV-V-VI-I progression and variations, and standard jazz tunes. All examples are in duple meter.
This course will focus on the recordings and improvisations of Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. Students will analyze and learn compositions and improvised solos of each pianist, and will perform one transcription of each pianist's solo or trio improvisations. Through in-depth discussion around the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic devices employed by those pianists, students will also learn to utilize those devices in their own improvisations, and how those concepts apply to the music of today.
This is a course for piano principals in which the live solo piano improvisations of Keith Jarrett are studied in detail. Studies include listening and analyzing live recordings such as: The Koln Concert, The Sun Bear Concerts, The Solo Concerts: Bremen/Lausanne, and La Scala and their corresponding transcriptions. In addition, students are required to transcribe performances and provide detailed analyses of their transcriptions and of Jarrett’s improvisational techniques and musical influences, including classical, blues, pop, jazz, and avant-garde styles or genres. An underlying goal of this work is to help students find their own voices. By listening to and analyzing Keith Jarrett’s live improvised solo piano concerts, students not only learn the style of his music, but they also have the chance to reflect on their own musical backgrounds, discovering their own sound and voice in the process. Jarrett’s music serves as a role model for students’ musical and life journey.
Utilizing the latest technologies in Berklee's web-based learning environment, this blended (online and on-ground) piano lab is designed to develop reading and comping skills to support the role of the piano in the rhythm section. The focus is on strengthening the student's ability to read and interpret notation and chord symbols. Through the use of tunes that include a diverse range of styles and rhythmic feels, exercises to develop stylistically appropriate voicings, video clips to help students gain an understanding of the role of the pianist in the rhythm section, historical information on the development of styles over the 20th century and beyond, and listening assignments that expose the students to some of the most influential pianists, students will be better prepared to interpret and perform music at sight in ensembles and in other musical settings.
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing reading studies in a variety of idioms. This course increases sight-reading abilities through exposure to traditionally notated materials.