Minor in Performance Studies in Latin Music

The performance studies in Latin music minor will enhance a student's knowledge of the rhythms and techniques of Latin music, while also exploring the sociological, political, and anthropological contexts in which Latin music's various contingencies developed.

Designed for all instruments and ensemble ratings, the minor includes foundational rhythm courses as well as more specific advanced ensembles for different subsets of Latin music, including Brazilian, Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, and others. Global Sight Reading and Advanced Rhythmic Solfege, Bata Rhythms and Afro-Cuban Ceremonial Drumming, and Survey of Latin American Hand Percussion are just some of the labs and ensembles that are a part of this minor.

Students will also choose from a variety of history and analysis and liberal arts classes to enhance their knowledge of Latin music's diverse range, such as Contemporary South American Music, and Cuban Culture, Music, and Society as well as Latin music–specific harmony and writing courses to deepen their aural and structural understanding of the genre. Upon completion of this minor, students will have a well-developed understanding of both the performance aspects of Latin music and the history and cultures from which it was born and continues to thrive. Learn more about Latin music at Berklee.

Entrance Requirements

Students must take LENG-111: Introduction to College Writing. Upon completion of LENG-111, please follow the regular declaration of minor procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide. This minor is managed by the Professional Performance Division.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of a minor in performance studies in Latin music, students will:

  • play Latin rhythmic patterns (e.g. clave) on a variety of percussion instruments;
  • demonstrate the ability to play in Latin ensembles of varying size, instrumentation, and stylistic emphasis;
  • understand differences and similarities among Latin musical styles of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America;
  • understand the role of each individual instrument in the context of Latin music;
  • compose music in a variety of Latin styles;
  • improvise in a variety of Latin styles; and
  • synthesize knowledge of Latin music history and repertory into one's own personal performance. 
Required Courses

Percussion Lab (choose one from the following; at least 1 credit)

  • ILPD-357: South American Rhythms for the Drum Set (1 credit)
  • ILPD-373: Afro-Cuban Rhythms for Drum Set (2 credits)
  • ILPD-424: Caribbean Rhythms for Drum Set (1 credit)
  • ILPH-293: Afro-Caribbean Rhythms and Percussion for Non-Percussionists (2 credits)
  • ILPH-354: Batá Rhythms/Afro-Cuban Ceremonial Drumming Lab (2 credits)
  • ILPH-357: Afro-Caribbean Rhythms and Percussion (2 credits)
  • ILPH-359: Brazilian Rhythms and Percussion (2 credits)
  • ILPH-371: Advanced Afro-Cuban Rhythms and Percussion (2 credits)
  • ILPH-429: Contemporary Techniques for Pop Percussion (1 credit)
  • PFSS-347: Survey of Latin American Hand Percussion Styles (2 credits)

Ensemble (choose one from the following; 1 credit)

  • ENGB-220: Contemporary South American Folkloric Music (1 credit)
  • ENGB-301: Caribbean Music (1 credit)
  • ENLT-200: Introduction to Latin Jazz (1 credit)
  • ENLT-201: Brazilian Instrumental Rating 3 with Vocals (1 credit)
  • ENLT-210: Cuban Moves and Grooves (1 credit)
  • ENLT-220: Latin/Afro-Cuban Styles (1 credit)
  • ENLT-221: Brazilian Instrumental Rating 4 with Vocals (1 credit)
  • ENLT-222: Afro-Cuban Music Rating 4 (1 credit)
  • ENLT-223: Afro-Cuban Traditional and Folkloric Music (1 credit)
  • ENLT-300: Latin/Afro-Cuban Jazz (1 credit)
  • ENLT-301: Brazilian Instrumental Rating 5 with Vocals (1 credit)
  • ENLT-320: Afro-Cuban Music Rating 6 (1 credit)
  • ENLT-400: Merengue and Bachata Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENLT-401: Salsa Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENLT-402: Latin Jazz Originals (1 credit)
  • ENMX-315: Studio Recording Ensemble (1 credit)
  • ENPH-291: Berklee Steelpan Ensemble (1 credit)
  • PSIM-341: Improvisation in the Latin/Jazz Idiom (2 credits)

Latin Music History (choose one from the following; 2 credits)

  • MLAN-342: Contemporary South American Music (2 credits)
  • PSW-345: Seminar on Latin American Music (2 credits)
  • PSW-346: African Diaspora: South American Music (2 credits)
  • PSW-361: Brazilian Musical Styles (2 credits)

Latin Culture and Society (one course; 3 credits)

  • LMAS-260: Cuban Music, Culture, and Society (3 credits)

Elective Courses (choose two or three courses; at least 3 credits)

  • CW-217: Writing in Folkloric Latin Styles (2 credits)
  • CW-225: Writing in Salsa Styles (2 credits)
  • CW-313: Advanced Writing in Latin Styles (2 credits)
  • ENPN-246: Afro-Cuban Piano Montunos Ensemble (1 credit)
  • HR-241: Harmony in Brazilian Song (2 credits)
  • ILBS-261: Intro to Latin Jazz Bass Playing (1 credit)
  • ILBS-262: Brazilian Bass Lab (1 credit)
  • ILBS-361: Latin Bass Lines (1 credit)
  • ILBS-364: Bass Lab—Sight-Reading Latin Rhythms (1 credit)
  • ILGT-360: Advanced Brazilian Guitar Styles (1 credit)
  • ILPH-391: Steelpan Techniques for Percussionists (1 credit)
  • ILPN-243: Advanced Stylistic Comping - Latin (1 credit)
  • ILPN-247: Improvisation in Afro-Cuban Piano (1 credit)
  • ILWD-345: Brazilian and Latin Flute Lab (1 credit)
  • PSBS-345: Latin Jazz Masters (2 credits)

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