Identification and analysis of rock harmonies and melodies. Examples from the mid-1950s to the present day will be studied. Pentatonic and diatonic harmony, linear/open harmony, modulation, and classic rock chord patterns will be included. Emphasis will be placed on harmonic dictation.
A study of how harmony interacts with melody, lyric, rhythm, style, and form in Brazilian popular song, accomplished through examining the works of the principal songwriters of three major styles of Brazilian popular music: samba, bossa nova, and MPB (musica popular Brasiliera).
Songs written and recorded by the Beatles, as well as songs written by the Beatles and recorded by other artists, will be analyzed for their harmonic content, melodic construction, modal focus, rhythmic phrasing, and lyrical construction. The course will be structured around the 10-year rule for composers and the three stages they move through in their career, from being engaged in others' music, to development of the current style, to innovation. In addition, an understanding of each member's personal history will be presented as a means of understanding the group's music. Also addressed will be the social environment from which the group emerged and developed and consideration given to its effect on their musical development and progress.
Functional, extended, and bass line reharmonization. Incomplete chord structures and reharmonization of diminished chords. Application of the above techniques for writing turnarounds, introductions, interludes, modulations, and extended endings. Corrections of faulty lead sheets.
Emphasis on newer harmonic concepts to enable students to write and analyze tunes in the style of Mike Gibbs, Chick Corea, and others. Discussion and use of nonfunctional harmonic techniques including multitonic systems, constant cycles, and patterned material. Analysis of representative tunes.
Modal chord progression and melody using traditional, synthetic, and other modes. Analysis of modal jazz compositions. Modal voicings using characteristic tones and spacing considerations. Use of polytonal and polymodal relationships in original compositions.
This course will give a musical view of the solo careers of each member of the Beatles. As a group, their influence in the field of popular music is unparalleled. As separate artists, the unique musical qualities that helped to create the Beatles remains present in their solo work. The cross-pollination between all of them is obvious. This course will examine how each musician transitioned into and developed an individual musical path. It will help provide a deeper look at the Beatles' influence on these four musicians as well as uncover the stylistic similarities and differences between them. As the focus will be on harmonic and melodic content, students will be able to expand their musical vocabulary and understanding. Song form, arranging techniques, and lyric writing will also be addressed, giving a view of harmony and melody in a wider context. Examining each member's personal experiences and social environment will add depth and help students create a stronger connection between musical product and context.
A study of the music of this popular jazz fusion ensemble. Students will analyze original manuscripts and transcribed scores to discover the variety of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic concepts used that make the music unique, and will write tunes that demonstrate their understanding of these elements. Selected compositions will be performed by the Yellowjackets Ensemble, ENFF-325.
An introduction to the musical elements of several non-Western musical systems will provide alternative approaches to contemporary composition and improvisation. Topics explored will include melody, mode, improvisation, form, rhythmic organization, and preferences of timbre in the music of India, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Japan. Contemporary world beat styles from these regions will be discussed in relation to underlying traditional genres.
This course is a study of the pervasive harmonic language and techniques of popular American song. The goal of this course is to foster an understanding of the harmonic ideas that have carried American music through the latter half of the last century, and to discover harmonic alternatives to the traditional tonal systems that pervade American popular music of this time. Students come to understand the contextual relationship between melody and harmony through observation of different song forms from different styles of popular music, including show tunes, jazz standards, blues, rock/pop/R&B, and through-composed works in the jazz idiom. Harmonic options, both diatonic and otherwise, will be observed through study of the scale(s) that relate to the chord/tonality of the moment.
The Music of Stevie Wonder is a harmony-driven course that builds on the Berklee core music curriculum foundation by examining the evolution of Wonder's music at a granular level. Topics covered include Wonder's harmonic language, melodic principles and use of melisma, lyrical approaches, and the ways in which these elements support the narrative structure of his compositions. Additional topics considered include recording and production techniques, use of technology, business-related issues, and biographical details.
This course introduces students to the fundamentals of how a creative entrepreneur thinks, feels, relates, acts, creates, iterates, and adapts. This course covers the fundamental similarities between being a musician and thinking entrepreneurially and develops students’ entrepreneurial capacities by building on their existing musical instincts such as collaboration, improvisation, the ability to observe, learning by failing, and the discipline of practice.