Courses

e.g. AR or AR-211
e.g. Film or "Bass Lab"

PSW-345

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 2
Department: VOICE

A study of Latin American vocal styles and rhythms that includes Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Students will learn the history and culture of Latin American styles and rhythms through listening and analysis, transcribing, and video performances.

PSW-350

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 4
Department: PERF

Focused on South Indian rhythmic solfege, this course explores both North and South Indian melodic concepts, the raga system and tala system. Basic pulse is strengthened, and complex polyrhythms are learned by vocal recitations and hand-clapping patterns. These exercises and patterns are then applied to the student's instrument and used in improvisation. Emphasis is placed upon superimposing different groupings over various meters, thus creating interesting phrasings and broadening rhythmic vocabulary. In addition to Indian rhythms, some West African and Brazilian rhythms will be covered. Play-along recordings with different harmonic progressions will be used. Improving swing feel will also be emphasized. Solo transcriptions of jazz and classical Indian music will be used as examples of superimposed rhythmic groupings and subdivisions. The students are expected to invent their own exercises and be able to perform them in class. Examples of these rhythmic concepts in composition will be discussed and played in class.

PSW-351

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PSW-350
Department: PERF

This class is a continuation of South Indian Rhythmic Solfege 1. It continues to work on strengthening basic pulse. Complex polyrhythms are learned by vocal recitations and hand-clapping patterns. These exercises and patterns are then applied to students' instruments and used in improvisation. Emphasis is placed on superimposing different groupings over various meters, thus creating interesting phrasings and broadening students' rhythmic vocabulary. West African, Afro-Cuban, and Indian rhythms will also be covered. Play-along recordings with different harmonic progressions will be used, and the students will have a chance to record their performances in class. Improving swing feel will also be emphasized. Solo transcriptions of jazz and classical Indian music will be used as examples of superimposed rhythmic groupings and subdivisions. Students are also expected to invent their own exercises and be able to perform them in class. Examples of these rhythmic concepts in composition will also be discussed.

PSW-361

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: PERF

A study of the evolution of Brazilian popular music and its social and musical history. Analysis and discussion of the rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic aspects of several contemporary Brazilian musical styles and their origins. Recordings of various arrangements will be presented in traditional and contemporary versions. Analysis, through transcriptions and performance, of the role each instrument performs in an ensemble.

PSW-P370

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Carl Riley
Semesters Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Overall ensemble rating 3
Department: PERF

Study and performance of East Asian music and cultures from China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. This course provides an opportunity for students to explore musical languages and vocabulary and build them into their performance skills. In addition to video and music recordings and scale study, students will have the chance to work with guest artists. The basics of the notation will also be taught.

PW-110

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Matthew Nicholl
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All entering students testing into this course.
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: CWP

Exploration of the elements and concepts of music and how they combine and interact to create compositions and arrangements as applied to the rhythm section (guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums). Assignments will include creating and developing musical projects for the rhythm section based on the course topics.

PW-111

4 credit(s)
Course Chair: Joe Mulholland
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: HARM

This course is a study of popular music. This study begins with the aural analysis of contemporary songs, including bass motion, chord function, and aspects of the rhythm section. It leads to understanding the bass line, harmony, and rhythmic structure of these songs and creation of original pieces in major key and Aeolian mode (natural minor). Keyboard exercises, written homework assignments, and laptop computer drills provide extensive practice in musical and notational elements. Students learn to read and write major and natural minor scales in all keys and learn triads and seventh chords diatonic to those scales. The course provides exposure to chromatic variations on major key harmony: the principles of secondary dominants and modal interchange are studied in limited situations to add color and variety to diatonic harmony. These activities will decode the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic language of most of contemporary popular music and set the stage for a detailed study of more complex and chromatic music in Harmony 2, 3, and 4.

 

PW-165

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Joe Mulholland
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: AR-111, ET-112, and HR-112
Department: HARM

This course looks at proven methods that help individuals chisel out their own system in order to ignite their creative flame and sustain their creativity. It examines some of the commonalities, both good and bad, that occur for artists while they are engaged in their creative process. Through experimentation with various creative approaches and tools, as well as reflective practice, students will learn to apply these methods to musical composition and performance. As the course is process-oriented, the experiences and knowledge gained can be transferred into other classroom settings, as well as other aspects of students' lives.

PW-361

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Matthew Nicholl
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PW-161 or CW-191
Department: CWP

A hands-on introduction to multimedia and a survey of available applications. Students will complete assignments in the integration of original music, voice-overs, and sound effects with supplied graphics and video examples. Examination of software applications in desktop synchronization for A/V, editing, and multimedia authoring. Study of media formats, storage, and archiving and retrieval techniques; the musician's role in collaborative multimedia projects; managing large volumes of data and compression strategies; and considerations of interactive aesthetics, consumer technologies, and industrial technologies.

PW-365

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: George Clinton
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: FILM majors
Electable by: CWPR, FILM, and ELPD majors
Prerequisites: CW-311 and CW-361 (CWPR majors); FS-340 and FS-341 (FILM majors); EP-321 (ELPD majors)
Department: FILM

In parallel with a student's development as a modern composer, arranger, and orchestrator, this course will develop his/her skills in emulating a live orchestra through effective use of software technologies. These skill areas include performance techniques (tracking), editing, automation (real-time and edited), mixing, production, and the creation of work templates.

PW-461

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Joe Mulholland
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: SW-345
Department: HARM

The course allows students to study the screenplays and songwriting of a variety of film musicals from the beginning of the genre to the present. In addition to focusing on the writing of the musical film, the manner in which song assists in telling the story will be of particular interest. Working in groups, screenwriting students from Emerson will complete an outline and first act of an original screenplay, and composer/lyricist students from Berklee will write the songs that will help tell that story. The semester will culminate in a staged reading—with music—performed by acting/musical theater students from both Berklee and Emerson.

PW-468

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Kari Juusela
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written approval of instructor and course chair
Department: WTDV

A course to be offered only when a resident artist joins the Professional Writing Division. Details including seminar title, resident artist instructor, class schedule, and enrollment approval procedures will be posted by the Professional Writing Division during the appropriate registration and check-in period.

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