Contemporary Writing & Production Courses
Music of the English-Speaking Caribbean Islands
This course will look at the development of English-speaking Caribbean Island music and its most influential artists over the past sixty years. As with many Caribbean music traditions, this music and its sub-genres maintain direct links to West African sacred and secular music. This course will highlight the retaining of these links, the contemporary history of these islands as traced in lyrical content, and the influences and nuances that differentiate them. Required reading, listening and transcriptions will include preselected recordings of Lord Kitchener, Harry Belafonte, Mighty Sparrow, Arrow, Lord Shorty, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and David Rudder, as well as the legendary steelbands of Trinidad and the Caribbean.
Exploration of the elements and concepts of music and how they combine and interact to create compositions and arrangements as applied to the rhythm section (guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums). Assignments will include creating and developing musical projects for the rhythm section based on the course topics.
Multimedia for the Writer
A hands-on introduction to multimedia and a survey of available applications. Students will complete assignments in the integration of original music, voice-overs, and sound effects with supplied graphics and video examples. Examination of software applications in desktop synchronization for A/V, editing, and multimedia authoring. Study of media formats, storage, and archiving and retrieval techniques; the musician's role in collaborative multimedia projects; managing large volumes of data and compression strategies; and considerations of interactive aesthetics, consumer technologies, and industrial technologies.
Music Notation Software Workshop
Designed primarily for novice users of both notation software and music notation itself, but useful for all, this is a project based, hands-on, workshop type course designed to teach students immediately useful and practical applications of music software (primarily Finale) while bypassing unnecessary and complicated extra features. The curriculum and in-class activity format will have a particular emphasis on the development of skills and techniques which are immediately useful and applicable in helping students complete their assigned work in Berklee music writing courses, particularly those generally encountered by first and second year students. First-years in particular are encouraged to take the course so that they can benefit from acquiring extremely useful skills early in their Berklee career; skills which will then help them have greater success, and less frustration with notation right from the start. Additionally the curriculum of this course is designed to help students learn about the fundamentals of music through the use of notation software. This aspect will support and reinforce the curricula of harmony, theory, composition, and CWP courses in particular.