Jazz Composition

The Jazz Composition Department's philosophy is to understand and learn from the past, evolve the present, and create the future. That philosophy is put into practice through Berklee's tradition of providing the fundamental techniques, concepts, and musical language associated with jazz writing.

As part of the program, students will explore artistic and creative expression by studying melody, counterpoint, form, and orchestration. The Jazz Composition curriculum helps students acquire a critical eye and ear and develop the skill and vocabulary needed to work with fellow musicians. In the process, a personal style will evolve.

The culmination of the Jazz Composition major’s efforts is a written, performed, and recorded portfolio of original pieces for various jazz ensembles, including concert performances of at least four original works. This portfolio is physical evidence of the skill, discipline, and ability to communicate that the student has acquired.

Jazz Composition Department Facilities and Resources

  • Professional Writing Division MIDI Lab: This lab has 12 fully configured workstations and a separate similarly equipped studio for live overdubbing to provide hands-on access to professional music technology.
  • Berklee Performance Center and Recital Halls: These performance venues are available to you throughout the year for recitals and concerts.
  • Recording Studios: Each of the college's 10 recording facilities is outfitted with professional-level equipment configured to meet a variety of teaching and recording needs.

Every year the Professional Writing Division and Jazz Composition Department organize a series of faculty and student concerts, showcasing faculty and student compositions and arrangements.

For further information about the Jazz Composition Department, please email jazzcomposition@berklee.edu or call 617 747-2384.

Learn more about studying Jazz Composition at Berklee: