Courses

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

AR-511

3 credit(s)
Course Chair: Casey Driessen (Valencia) and Marco Pignataro (Boston)
Semesters Offered: Spring, Summer
Required of: None; elective course in all graduate programs
Electable by: All graduate students
Prerequisites: Written approval of program director
Department: CPRF
Location: Boston Campus, Valencia (Spain) Campus

In this course, students explore the musical concepts of melody, rhythm, harmony and form as applied to the principles and techniques of writing and arranging for the rhythm section (drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, basic percussion) and a lead-line in a solo instrument, two horns (trumpet, alto or tenor sax) or voice. Students learn about the conceptualization process of combining individual components to create a musically satisfying arrangement. Students also learn various contemporary musical styles and the musical concepts that comprise them, including writing from the bottom up (groove-driven) and top down (working with a melody in a lead instrument or voice). Students will complete writing assignments that incorporate combinations of acoustic, electronic, and/or MIDI instruments.

BPMI-401

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Semesters Offered: Fall
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department: MBUS
Location: Boston Campus

The first of a three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute, this experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Students start with a&r, listening to submissions and evaluating both the artist's virtual presence and live performance. They then create an artist development plan, taking into account recording and production, web presence, visual identify, merchandise, brand partnerships, media relations, and touring. In addition to booking and planning a summer semester tour for their acts, students will attend industry conferences to network with professionals and hone their music business and management skills. 

BPMI-402

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Semesters Offered: Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department: MBUS
Location: Boston Campus

The second of the three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute. This experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Student groups of three people will be working with the artists chosen in the fall semester (BPMI-P401). They will rehearse the artists as they prepare them to perform on festival stages during the summer semester. Students will continue to book and plan the summer semester for their acts, and will also review contracts, as well as promotion and production requests from their respective festivals. Students will continue to work on the artist's development plan as they update and further build their web presence, visual identity, merchandise, and social media accounts. Students will also be organizing and producing the BPMI/Heavy Rotation Records release concert at an off campus venue.

BPMI-403

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Don Gorder
Semesters Offered: Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department: MBUS
Location: Boston Campus

The third and final course of the three-course series within the Berklee Popular Music Institute. This experiential course provides students with the practical and analytical skills needed to develop a successful touring act chosen from among their fellow students. Each group of students and their respective acts will embark on a one to two week tour to their festival. During the tour, students will be documenting the entire experience with cameras, and continue to update artist social media accounts. Students not on tour will be in class on campus supporting the groups on tour. Once the groups return from their tour, they will edit captured film footage, creating mini films for each artist. When all artists and groups are back, students will will debrief and start listening to submissions for the next year.

CM-103

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: None
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

This course will introduce students to fundamental elements of compositional thought and structure. In a series of weekly assignments, students will create short experimental passages of composed sound focused on isolated parameters of music in order to compare the effect of different strategies. Examples of the basic parameters that students will work with: linear/non-linear, pulse/non-pulse, noise/pitch, register (high/low), timbre (bright/dark), texture (dense/sparse), dynamics, and articulation. Through these experiments, students will experience how different choices affect our perception of time, musical flow and space. The course is designed to be approached by anyone at any level of compositional experience, as indicated by the low course number. The course will benefit musicians with any amount of composition experience.

CM-201

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Spring Only
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PW-111
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

This is a foundational course for potential composition majors and other interested students which introduces composition techniques in a stylistically open way. It is designed to help students expand their individual writing styles by exploring abstract and non-traditional methods in composition. Students create notated and graphic scores for a variety of scenarios, learn to compose with sound and timbre in creative ways, and develop basic musical ideas into larger forms. Students develop their creative process through weekly writing exercises for solo instrument, chamber music, band, voice, and/or electronic sounds, and collaborate on reading through their scores in class.

CM-211

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All except MUED majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: PW-111
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus, Valencia (Spain) Campus

Functional tonal harmony analyzed and composed in various musical textures. Emphasis on voice leading, melodic writing, and figured bass.

CM-212

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: All except MUED majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: CM-211 or CM-251
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus, Valencia (Spain) Campus

Continuation of CM-211. Advanced tonal harmony and intermediate compositional procedures. Emphasis on harmonies with sevenths, other upper extensions, chromatic alterations as well as modulation.

CM-221

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: COMP and FILM majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: CM-212 or CM-252, and CP-210
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

Specific techniques of traditional tonal composition. Conclusive and nonconclusive phrases; antecedent-consequent phrase relationships; open-ended phrase relationships; sequencing; modulation; large-scale tonal relationships; thematic variation and development. Application of these techniques in writing, using models from the classical period.

CM-225

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: CM-211 or CM-251
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

Intermediate and advanced approach to guitar composition techniques. The course is designed for performers/composers and provides a comprehensive demonstration of the capabilities of the instrument and the most successful ways to compose for it through analysis, live performances, improvisation, and mostly elementary and advanced compositional techniques. Also covers performance techniques, extended compositional approaches (guitar and other instruments), resources and technologies of basic composition techniques, and mainly guitar music of the 20th century and beyond.

CM-227

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall Only
Required of: None
Electable by: COMP, FILM, and CWPR majors
Prerequisites: CM-212 and CP-210
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

During this course the students will explore and master the technique of modulation to the keys both closely related and distant. Using the concepts of three degrees of kinship between keys and the major-minor (minor-major) systems, the students will acquire the skill of gradual modulation as well as sudden modulation, as it was taught in Russia. This practical/theoretical approach will both contrast and complement current methods of handling this more advanced area of harmony, and will thus bring about for the student additional practical applications of these concepts.

CM-231

2 credit(s)
Course Chair: Richard Carrick
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: COMP and FILM majors
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: CM-212 or CM-252
Department: COMP
Location: Boston Campus

The technical aspects involved in creating finished, professional scores. Score layout; instrumental/vocal ranges and performance characteristics; special playing techniques and limitations; breath and bowing considerations; choice of key, meter, beat, and subdivision values; use of slurs, articulation marks, dynamics, tempo variation, and other devices for indicating expressive nuance; proper underlaying of vocal text; calligraphy; creating a practical piano reduction; and extracting parts.

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