The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation, Improvisational Theory, Piano Accompaniment Techniques, and Survey of Piano Styles, you will learn the history of your instrument, analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Below is a list of all Piano courses for the upcoming semester.
Advanced Stylistic Comping – Funk/Fusion
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing comping studies and their application to the funk/fusion idiom. Recorded material for play-along purposes.
Advanced Stylistic Comping – Latin
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing the application of comping techniques to a variety of Latin and Latin-influenced jazz and pop music styles. Use of recorded material for play-along purposes as well as transcriptions of comping of major Latin piano players.
Advanced Stylistic Comping – Roots/Rock
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing the application of comping techniques to a variety of roots of rock styles influenced by blues, New Orleans, and gospel music. Use of recorded material and transcriptions of influential players. Emphasis on in-class performance and play-along.
Improvisation in Afro-Cuban Piano
The course explores the rhythmic and harmonic/melodic vocabulary in Afro-Cuban piano improvisation. Phrasing with the clave is a main focus of the course. Percussion instrument patterns are explored in-depth as they relate to the clave and influence the role of the piano. Percussion (quinto) solos are analyzed and compared to piano solos. Broad exposure to a variety of piano solos will reveal typical elements of the idiom.
Keyboard Lab – Improvisation
A performance lab intended for keyboardists with little or no experience in improvisation. Instructional focus is on understanding of materials of improvisation both theoretically and aurally, and assimilating these materials into established musical forms and styles. Learning methods include playing with tapes and MIDI sequences, various call-and-response activities, and writing, performing, and analyzing improvisations.
Jazz Harmonic Techniques for Piano 1
Material to be covered includes scales, scale patterns, diatonic chords, available tensions, triads, seventh chords, guide tones, simple voicing techniques, and sight-reading lead sheets (melody/chord symbols).
Jazz Harmonic Techniques for Piano 2
An organized approach to establishing a thorough foundation of knowledge and proficiency in keyboard for the study of jazz harmony, improvisation, and composition. A continuation of ILPN-271. Material to be covered: additional exercises in scale patterns, diatonic sevenths in inversions, seventh chord inversions, harmonic tensions, voice leading, and sight-reading of lead sheets (melody/chord symbols). Designed for pianists and other instrumentalists who want to develop keyboard skills.
Jazz Harmonic Applications
An organized approach to develop a thorough knowledge of common harmonic vocabulary used in contemporary jazz harmony, arranging, and composition. Foundation materials established in ILPN-271 and ILPN-272 are applied to one-handed and two-handed voicings through construction and supportive exercises. Designed for pianists and other instrumentalists who want to further develop keyboard skills.
Hammond Organ Techniques
Instrumental lab for piano principals emphasizing fundamental techniques and skills involved in playing the Hammond organ in predominant contemporary styles, including jazz, R&B, blues, rock, and funk. Study of recorded examples and transcriptions of influential performers.
Blues Styles for Hammond Organ
Instrumental lab for piano principals emphasizing techniques of playing the Hammond B3 organ in blues styles. Analysis and performance of blues and blues-related music including gospel, jazz blues, and soul.
Rock Styles Lab – Hammond Organ
Instrumental lab for piano principals emphasizing techniques of playing the Hammond organ in rock styles. Study of recorded material and transcriptions of influential players; in-class recording.
Hammond Organ Techniques 2
Continued study of specific techniques for Hammond organ learned in ILPN-335, Hammond Organ Techniques. Greater emphasis on left-hand bass and foot-pedal bass. Exploration of the role of organ in a variety of settings, including jazz organ trio, rock band, acid jam band, gospel choir, and recording studio.