Reggae Dub ensemble students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. Students will gain musical experience through the study and performance of reggae dub artists including: Steel Pulse, Morgan Heritage, Beres Hammund, Gentleman, Willie Williams, Giant Panda, Cultura Profética, Groundation, Damian Marley, and many more. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
Middle Eastern Fusion
An advanced performance ensemble geared towards experimenting with different musical styles, traditional and contemporary, from North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean, including Lebanese, Egyptian, Turkish, Algerian, Bulgarian, and Gypsy traditional styles (e.g. muwashshah, sama'i, kopanitsa). Listening will include traditional artists (e.g. Fairuz, Umm Kulthum, Sayed Darwish, Selim Sesler), as well as fusion artists who have successfully blended these traditional styles with more contemporary sounds and concepts (e.g. Simon Shaheen, Rabih Abou-Khalil, Bustan Abraham, Erkan Oğur, Hüsnü Şenlendirici, The NY Gypsy All-Stars, Laço Tayfa). Students will be exposed to a diverse repertoire, with a focus on odd meters and traditional rhythmic cycles (7/8, 10/8, etc.), as well as traditional Arabic modes and their place in contemporary composition and improvisation.
In this class we will experiment with microtonal arrangements of Western classical, Middle Eastern and other non-Western and jazz/fusion compositions. Joe Maneri's 72 equal temperament octave notation system will be explained. We will start with a selection from the following compositions: Eclipse (Mingus); Madoka Blue (Fiuczynski); Carrillo quarter tone string quartets; Hába quarter tone ‚études; Turkish, Arabic, and Chinese melodies; Beethoven fragments; MoonRing (3/4 tone diminished mode); and Apprehension (Fiuczynski). Students will have a working knowledge of notation, Western classical microtonal history, intonation, and ways of soloing and comping in a microtonal chord scale context. We will also experiment with dance hall, drum 'n' bass, reggaeton, merengueton, house, 2-step, 32nd note hi-hat grooves, hip-hop, go-go, clipped and bounce beats, and new experimental beats created by students.
Vocal Music of South Africa
The Vocal Music of South Africa ensemble will study perform the music of African contemporary artists. In this course, students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. Students will gain experience performing popular and traditional African songs. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity, as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
Indian Music Ensemble
The Indian Music Ensemble will study and perform the music of the contemporary Indian music. In this course, students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. Students will gain experience in performing and improvising in a groove-oriented setting. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
Middle Eastern/Flamenco Ensemble
The Middle Eastern/Flamenco Ensemble will study and perform the music of the contemporary Middle Eastern and flamenco Music. This course is part of a team-taught class between Middle Eastern and flamenco styles. In this course, students will participate in weekly supervised rehearsals. Students will gain experience in performing and improvising in a groove-oriented setting. Emphasis will be given to stylistic integrity as well as melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic accuracy.
Qantara Berklee is an ensemble that blends Arab, jazz, Western classical, and Latin American music to transcend the boundaries of genre and geography. Qantara means arch in Arabic, and this ensemble provides students an entryway to these musical cultures. Students in this ensemble will develop their instrumental, aural, and improvisational skills in this unique context at the same time as understanding how to fuse different modes, rhythms, and compositional concepts to create a cross-cultural ensemble.
Guitar Performance Ensemble
Development of ensemble group-playing skills, focusing on the roles of the guitarist. Development of melodic performance, rhythm guitar/accompaniment techniques, and improvisation in an ensemble setting. Material will be learned through use of recordings and call-and-response techniques as well as written music materials. Instrumentation: six electric guitars, bass, and drums.
Performing groups for guitar principals. Offered in stylistically delineated sections, including jazz, rock, metal, acoustic pop, funk, fusion, and blues, this course focuses on development of performance skills in the specified style. Students should consult the Guitar Department in order to enroll in the appropriate section.
Jazz Guitar Trio
This ensemble will aid the student in performing in a jazz trio setting of guitar, acoustic bass, and drum set. Topics will range from idiomatic introductions and endings; challenging standard tunes/melodies; single note, octave, and chord soloing; soloing in double stops; solo introductions (rubato and in tempo); trading fours; comping for bass solos; reharmonization considerations; modulation/transposition for variation of color; fingerstyle/pick considerations; and attaining a good sound.
Classical Guitar Repertoire
An ensemble for aspiring classical guitarists of all levels, based on the traditional repertoire class, where standard and lesser-known works of guitar literature are performed, coached, and discussed. Students will regularly perform level-appropriate pieces agreed upon with the instructor, and through these performances, the class will provide a survey of guitar literature. Coaching will cover issues of classical guitar performance such as tone, technique, musicality, interpretation, and style. The course will also include study of major classical guitarists and their recordings.