A recording orchestra of 37 musicians, the Film Scoring Studio Orchestra will integrate and improve orchestral performance skills in an actual Hollywood-style scoring stage setting. A collaboration between the Ensemble, Music Production and Engineering, and Film Scoring departments, the orchestra will meet in Studio 1 of the 160 Massachusetts Avenue building. Each week the ensemble will play music composed by professional film composers or Berklee Film Scoring students, and be recorded by Berklee students in related MP&E classes. Through participation in film scoring sessions in a state-of-the-art scoring stage venue, students will improve their overall efficiency of sight-reading, technique, rhythm (including click track competency), intonation, articulation, style orientation, and ensemble-centered production (listening/response sensitivity).
This ensemble focuses on exploring open improvisation and the arrangement of Italian music. The source material will range from traditional folk music to classical arias, to popular songs, and through jazz interpretation. Students will be required to arrange one piece of music, approved by the teacher, specifically for the ensemble, to be performed at the end of semester recital.
This course will focus on the recordings and improvisations of Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. Students will analyze and learn compositions and improvised solos of each pianist, and will perform one transcription of each pianist's solo or trio improvisations. Through in-depth discussion around the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic devices employed by those pianists, students will also learn to utilize those devices in their own improvisations, and how those concepts apply to the music of today.
This performance-oriented course offers vocalists a unique opportunity to learn and authentically sing the traditional ballads, chanteys, and story-songs of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The class focuses on a cappella solo and choral singing, as well as solo/group vocals accompanied by a four-piece band. Styles covered range from the traditional sounds of the Copper Family and the Watersons to the rock-informed approaches of Pentangle, Steeleye Span, and the Pogues. The course culminates in an intimate-venue concert performance. A sense of humor and a willingness to perform a bit of light acting are required.
Brass pedagogy has been codified primarily in the European Classical genre of music. Various solo and étude books have been the go to resources for brass players wishing to create a solid pedagogical foundation for whatever music they decide to play. This course examines standard trumpet literature from various études, orchestral excerpts and solo repertoire that have become the foundation for pedagogical study in brass.
This course focuses on developing the necessary skills to work as a freelance brass player in today's music world. A brass player can get called to play an Easter gig on a Sunday morning, a salsa gig that same afternoon, and a big band gig the same evening. It is important to know how to approach each genre and musical setting in a professional and informed manner. In this course students will learn how to correctly read and play articulations, play in tune, and listen to their fellow section mates as well as section leaders. The courses covers a variety fo genres, including jazz, big band, classical, pop, funk, and Broadway musicals. Students will be given music a week in advance and expected to prepare the music before each class. Class time will be spent analyzing recordings and finetuning the prepared pieces.
This course will explore the fundamentals on how to build a successful commercial brass section. Primary emphasis will be placed on the big band stylistic phrasing of Duke Ellington, to the modern day funk and R&B horn lines of Stevie Wonder; Tower of Power; Earth, Wind, & Fire; Al Jarreau; and more. Concentrated study of specific duties within the brass section will also apply to this course, i.e. lead playing, section playing, soloistic styles pertaining to specific genre, as well as proper usage of mute techniques. Emphasis of learning how to listen across the brass section via concentrated study of past and present recordings will also enable students to perceive and interpret section playing at an advanced to professional level.
This lab prepares the Berklee bass student to record themselves and deliver studio-quality performances to clients anywhere in the world. Increasingly, bassists are expected to work remotely with producers---they find jobs online, are sent project files, record and edit their own parts, and deliver high quality recordings---all from their home studio. To stay competitive in this environment a contemporary bassist must master the interpersonal and technical challenges of remote collaboration. Weekly assignments and in-class activities give the student the experience of working with producers to develop the perfect tone and performance for a project, then performing, recording, editing, processing, and delivering on a tight deadline. Topics include effective communication, remote collaboration, mic placement, recording equipment, performance techniques, DAW configuration, editing, sound processing, and preparing deliverables.
This course explores Gary Willis’s approach to music and creativity in an interactive workshop environment. Students will learn from Willis’s experience in his 30+ year career in music and will have the opportunity to interact with him on a broad range of topics including technique, improvisation, composition, and more. The composer, recording artist, author and instrument designer will share his views on creativity and how it can relate to multiple aspects of a musician’s experience.
This course introduces students to the tabla, a traditional drum from North Indian and Hindustani classical and folk music traditions. Students explore the history of the tabla and its use in traditional and folk contexts, as well as specific rhythmic ornaments and improvisational techniques. Students also learn how to integrate the tabla into a traditional drum set array. Instruments are provided for the students.
Viola for Violinists develops the technical and reading skills necessary for violinists to function professionally as violists. This lab devotes substantial attention to C-string tone production, intonation, shifting, improvised harmonies, alto clef fluency, and sight-reading.
While this course is intended for string principals, interested students with violin experience are encouraged to take this course.