Woodwinds Courses

The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated to be sure they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Survey of Woodwind Styles, you will learn the history of your instrument and analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Take a look at some of the courses you can experience as part of your study.

ILWD-321

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

The study of the flute as a doubling instrument for the woodwind principal. Fundamentals of embouchure, breathing, and technique are presented using representative methods, ‚études, and solos. Emphasis is placed on doubling situations.

ILWD-322

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

The study of the clarinet as a doubling instrument for the woodwind principal. Fundamentals of embouchure, breathing, and technique are presented using representative methods, ‚études, and solos. Emphasis is placed on doubling situations.

ILWD-323

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

Preparation for a career as a theater and pit musician, including Broadway shows, Las Vegas, Hollywood, cruise ships, and film. Study of all woodwind instruments and techniques with concentration on tone quality, intonation, and facility. Instruments include: clarinets (piccolo, soprano, bass and contra-alto); saxophones (soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone); flute/piccolo; and oboe, English horn, and bassoon. Discussions will include instrument setup and arrangement, reeds, and performance problems, and other related topics such as resumes, musician contracts, and percentages for doubles.

ILWD-331

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: ILWD-113
Department: WWND

The study of the MIDI wind controller as a doubling instrument. Fundamentals of technique are presented with representative literature and MIDI sequences using various kinds of synthesized voices. Instruments will be provided for student use. 

ILWD-341

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: Flute principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

A study of the core works essential for any professional flutist's repertoire. Through an interactive master class setting, students will learn performance practices in a wide range of styles, including baroque, classical, and 19th-century; explorations of extended and experimental techniques found in 20th- and 21st-century compositions for the flute; and selections from flute music from around the world. Students will work with their own accompanists, including piano, guitar, and harp, and perform frequently, including in an end-of-semester in-class or public concert.

ILWD-345

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Woodwind principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

Study of characteristic rhythms, articulation, phrasing, and improvisation techniques necessary to perform and interpret music in various Latin styles. Creative and effective use of these skills in the student's own improvisational style.

ILWD-355

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Woodwind principals
Prerequisites: ILWD-113 and ensemble rating 4 in reading (first digit of rating)
Department: WWND

A course for advanced woodwind students wishing to improve their sight-reading skills. Reading exercises will cover a wide range of styles including swing, bebop, funk, Latin, odd-meter jazz, and various studio styles. The course will draw heavily from the required text Creative Reading Studies by Joseph Viola. Other materials to be used include selected ‚études, transcribed solos, and exercises designed by the instructor(s). The course will focus primarily on line reading, although exercises that target chord-change reading may also be included.

ILWD-365

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: ILWD-113
Department: WWND

Aspects and techniques of playing in a saxophone section within the big band context: lead playing, blending with the lead and with the brass section, and section soli playing.

ILWD-P342

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written permission of the course instructor
Department: WWND

The art of phrasing is becoming a lost skill. What makes a good musical phrase? What makes musical interpretation convincing? With the advent of computer-generated files such as Finale, the ability to understand and notate the language of music is diminishing with each generation. Although it is classically based, the ability to translate notated music into a breathing phrase transcends style; interpretation is a critical element of good musicianship. In this class, students will learn the classical definition of phrasing, and use musical ‚études to improve the execution of musical sentences. They will improve their understanding of scores and interpretation through the study and performance of written music.

PFSS-381

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: Woodwind principal PERF majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

The analysis of the history of woodwind instruments (saxophone, flute, clarinet) in jazz. Emphasis is placed on the various styles of major players. The study of woodwind players including Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, Lester Young, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Frank Wess, Andy Kirk, Benny Goodman, John LaPorta, Gerry Mulligan, and others, through tapes, articles, and transcriptions.

PFSS-385

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

The analysis of saxophone styles in the R&B lineage including players associated with smooth jazz, funk, blues, soul jazz, acid jazz, soul, pop, and fusion styles. Emphasis is placed on the various styles of major players including Earl Bostic, Grover Washington Jr., Red Prysock, Hank Crawford, David Sanborn, King Curtis, Kirk Whalum, Junior Walker, Maceo Parker, Tom Scott, Michael Brecker, Andy Snitzer, Gerald Albright, Ed Calle and others, through in-class playing, recordings, and transcriptions.

PIWD-111

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Bill Pierce
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All Woodwind principals
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: WWND

Principal instrument study level 1 woodwind.

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