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.

Introduction to Timpani

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: PERC

Emphasis on intervallic recognition, setting the pitch, tone concepts, rolls, dynamics, and sticking. Performance of two timpani ‚études.

Concert Snare Drum Techniques

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: ILPD-125
Department: PERC

Technique, interpretation, and practical use of the snare drum in a solo context.

Advanced Drum Rudiments 1

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: 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.

Drum Set Basics

ILPD-111

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

Development of fundamental snare drum studies including grip, sticking, sticking patterns, rhythmic studies, reading, and rudimental studies. Drum set grooves and techniques will be introduced as well.

Jazz Drum Set Fundamentals

ILPD-112

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Drum set and total percussion principals; hand percussion principal PERF majors
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 2
Department: PERC

Continued orchestral and rudimental snare drum studies along with drum set time and improvisational skills utilizing 12- and 32-measure tune forms primarily in the jazz context, including the use of brushes.

Snare Drum Techniques for the Drum Set Principal

ILPD-125

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: ILPD-111
Department: PERC

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

Introduction to Brazilian and Afro-Cuban Drum Set

ILPD-211

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: John Ramsay
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Drum set principals
Electable by: All percussion principals
Prerequisites: ILPD-112
Department: PERC

Development of fluency and effectiveness with Afro-Cuban and Brazilian rhythms applied to drum set with an emphasis on form. Continued brush, orchestral, and rudimental snare drum studies.

Drum Set Chart Interpretation

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: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: PERC

Intermediate-to-advanced drum set chart reading and improvisation studies, notation, and repertoire. Continued orchestral and rudimental snare drum studies.

Brush Techniques

ILPD-217

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

This lab emphasizes techniques related to traditional wire brushes and heavier specialty brushes, including conventional sweeping and figure patterns, individualized patterns, distribution of rhythm between both hands, reverse functioning in the hands, and techniques related to jazz and bossa nova styles. Repertoire study and brush stylists including Philly Joe Jones, Vernell Fournier, and Ed Thigpen will be investigated.

Rock Drumming Repertoire and Application

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: 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.

Jazz Repertoire Development and Application

ILPD-225

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: PERC

This course will enhance the learning and playing of standard repertoire for the drum set in various jazz 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 jazz repertoire.

Hip-Hop Repertoire Development and Application

ILPD-229

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: PERC

This course will enhance the learning and playing of standard repertoire for the drum set in various hip-hop 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 hip-hop repertoire.

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