About the MMI
For centuries, the diverse cultures of the Mediterranean have helped shape the world’s understanding of music, a powerful influence that continues to grow. Clearly, the folk music of western Mediterranean countries like Spain and Portugal have greatly influenced the music of the Americas, giving rise to numerous contemporary styles.
The music from this region, with its non-Western instruments, tonal systems, and rhythmic forms, brings the promise of exciting new musical fusions and opportunities for both musicians and audiences. With various new media enabling a greater potential for the distribution of music, the music styles of the Eastern Mediterranean are likely to explode on the international music scene, and music educators must be prepared to help their students understand this new music.
Berklee has a long tradition of focusing on folk-based music that has transformed the popular music world. Berklee was one of the first schools to research and create pedagogy in blues, jazz, rock, R&B, country, and Latin music. Today, Berklee's methods of contemporary music education are emulated all around the world both in classroom and online environments. Now, we apply our 60 years of experience in researching, codifying, and developing curriculum for folk-based Western music to the new challenge presented by the emergence of Eastern Mediterranean styles yet unknown to music academics.
In these first years, we will bring performers, artists, teachers, scholars, and students together to research, study, and perform various styles, gaining insight and experiences that will lead to the formulation of pedagogical standards. We want to stimulate cultural exchange of the folk-based music traditions of the various regions of the Mediterranean, to internationally promote these traditions, and to support young and emerging talent from the area.