Percussion Courses

The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In percussion classes, you will learn the history of your instrument and analyze its present-day challenges while also pursuing a more in-depth study of styles and techniques. Below is a listing of all Percussion courses for the upcoming semester.

ENPM-333

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department Code: PERC

This course provides ensemble experience for advanced marimba players, percussionists, and vibraphonists. Students sight-read and rehearse ensemble works for two to six performers, tailored to enrollment each semester. The entire class may perform pieces together, and also break into smaller groups. Musical styles typically performed encompass contemporary, classical, and baroque literature. Performances in an end-of-term concert will be scheduled..

ILPC-281

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: Total percussion principal MUED majors
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course students will learn various aspects of playing timpani, including grips, tone production concepts, interval recognition, sticking, rolls, and dynamics.

ILPC-315

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: Total percussion principal PERF majors
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course students will study the 26 American rudiments, Swiss, and variations. Application of rudimental vocabulary will lead to successful performance of solo études, including those in Modern Swing Solos by Chas Wilcoxon.

ILPC-319

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Drum set and total percussion principals
Prerequisites: ILPD-112
Department Code: PERC

A study of the 26 American rudiments, the Swiss rudiments, and their variations. Application of rudimental vocabulary to successful performance of solo études, including Wilcoxon's Modern Swing Solos.

ILPD-111

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course, students develop fundamental snare drum techniques including grip, sticking, rhythmic studies, snare drum reading, and a thorough study of the 26 American drum rudiments. Basic drum set time feels or grooves will be introduced.

ILPD-112

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 2
Department Code: PERC

In this course, students learn elements of jazz drumming including time keeping, comping, independence, vocabulary, and soloing. Also included is a brief history of the drum set and its function in modern and traditional jazz. Other topics covered include 4/4 & 3/4 swing (jazz waltz), common song forms, basic brush technique, and a list of common standard tunes.   

ILPD-125

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

Study of snare drum performance techniques and reading of constant odd meters, changing meters, polyrhythms over one and two beats, and metric modulation.

ILPD-211

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course, students will be exposed to time-feels, repertoire, and improvisation on drum set styles from Brazil and Cuba. Some Caribbean time feels including reggae, soca, and bomba will also be reviewed. A variety of intermediate drum set charts from the above time feels are introduced so the student is also able to participate in a wider range of ensembles and prepare for required percussion examinations. Students will also learn some of the basic hand percussion patterns and create their own drum set beats based on these patterns. 

 

ILPD-212

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Drum set principal PERF majors
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: None
Department Code: PERC

In this course, students should be able to apply all of the previous drum set techniques, styles, and time feels that they have studied into chart interpretation and drum set reading. A wide variety of intermediate drum set charts from such idioms as big band, small group, show, traditional, and contemporary settings are introduced, so the student is also able to continue their development with varied styles and feels while simultaneously getting more comfortable with chart reading, utilizing charts that mirror practical settings. Students also continue to develop advanced snare drum reading.

ILPD-217

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 2
Department Code: PERC

In this course students will learn foundational skills with wire brushes. Studies will include ballad and swing sweeping patterns, as well as patterns that can be applied to bossa nova, samba, and many contemporary popular styles.  Studies in the areas of hand-to-hand development, drum set coordination/balance, listening, repertoire, and transcription studies will also be included in the course.

ILPD-221

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department Code: PERC

This course will enhance the learning and playing of standard repertoire for the drumset in various rock styles. Numerous songs will be analyzed, studied, and memorized. This course is designed to allow the student to gain a working knowledge of the standard rock repertoire.

ILPD-225

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: ILPD-112 or overall ensemble rating 3
Department Code: PERC

In this course students will be exposed to and required to learn 50 tunes from the standard jazz repertoire. The emphasis will be on the drummer playing the melodies of the song in various orchestration positions on the drum set. 

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