This course offers a step-by-step approach to improvising contrapuntally in a solo piano context. Emphasis on walking bass lines through a series of rhythmic/melodic motives gives the pianist a basis for gaining the independence required to simultaneously improvise in a linear or chordal manner in the right hand. This eventually leads to multi-voice improvisation. Artists studied and transcribed include Lennie Tristano, Dave McKenna, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, Oscar Peterson, and Diana Krall. Weekly class performance includes repertoire of the jazz standard literature.
This class will be geared toward rhythm section players and singers, and will cover all aspects of country music. Analysis of major instrumentalists and styles of playing, including Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Ricky Skaggs, Doc Watson, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The class will also take an in-depth look at the making of country music (Nashville number system, etc.). Discussion of the styles of music as well as the different instruments (Dobro, steel guitar, lap guitar, fiddle, etc.), and the difference between singing bluegrass and singing country music (phrasing as well as timbre of the voice). Also included is an overview of the Nashville scene.
A performance-based study of the musical style originated by Motown Records, which, under the leadership of founder/president Berry Gordy, musically bridged racial lines during the highly sensitive period of the Civil Rights Movement. Analysis and performance of music by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and the Supremes, the Temptations, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. An end-of-semester public performance is normally scheduled.
This course is intended to provide an opportunity for students to identify, recognize, and study the great creators, performers, and pioneers of rock and popular music. This course will provide student performers and writers a better understanding of the historical, stylistic, and technical subtleties of the various pop and rock genres. Course work will culminate in an end-of-semester concert or recital performance. Assigned library listening, transcribing, and notation of individual parts will be required on a weekly basis. Creating arrangements of selected material will be optional for ensemble members. Instrumentation: male and female vocalists, mixed horns, piano, two guitars, bass, drums, and hand percussion.
A study integrating performance of the progressive rock style of the '70s: repertoire, instrumentation, forms, sound, and other musical elements leading to emulation and creative reproduction of this musical genre.
Designed for the pop/rock rhythm section player or instrumentalists, this course develops the skill of singing and playing simultaneously. All class members will be expected to sing and will learn to sing lead as well as background vocals while playing. Analysis of influential performers, including Elton John, Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen; in-class and end-of-semester performances.
Performance of music in various styles appropriate to general business jobs. Emphasis will be on learning and developing a varied repertoire (different jobs call for different music), and playing dinner music sets, dance sets, and different ceremonial music (weddings, etc.). The how-tos of handling the many different types of general business jobs: weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, proms, banquets, etc. Music for the course will include songs from the '20s through the '90s.
A lecture/demonstration course designed to provide knowledge and skills necessary for effective performance presentation: movement, microphone technique, stage dress, in-depth examination of causes and controls of stage fright, rhythm development and internalization, and professional attitude and development. Recommended for instrumentalists and vocalists interested in developing on-stage performance presentation skills.
A production workshop for students to explore the technical aspects of theater, including stage management, lighting, scenery, props, sound, and projections. Students will gain practical experience in these areas through hands-on demonstrations, and will serve as the technical crew for Berklee’s theatrical productions.
This course will cover all aspects of being a musical director of a live concert presentation involving vocal music. Each student will be assigned to a specific faculty-directed concert (Jazz-Rock Ensemble, Singers Showcase, Recording Ensemble, etc.) as a production assistant to the concert and will write and conduct some of the music. May be of special interest to pianists and guitarists who have arranging skills.
A performance class for vocalists and instrumentalists interested in developing skills involved in live performance. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. All performances will be in a rock/pop band format; topics to be discussed include microphone and rehearsal techniques, lead sheet preparation, stage presence, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.
Continuation of PST-471. In-class performances will be videotaped and critiqued for effectiveness in movement and presentation. Topics to be discussed will include stage dress, MC techniques, stage setups, music and show programming, and other activities necessary for effective live performance. Classes will present an end-of-semester final performance.