The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Contrapuntal Jazz Improvisation, Improvisational Theory, Piano Accompaniment Techniques, and Survey of Piano Styles, you will learn the history of your instrument, analyze its present-day challenges, and pursue an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Below is a list of all Piano courses for the upcoming semester.
A lab workshop specifically designed to improve the keyboardist's understanding and mastery of different rhythmic concepts and their application on the keyboard into various musical contexts. Students will learn percussion and speaking rhythms, which they will apply on the keyboard. The course material will be based on different rhythmic approaches of jazz performers such as Jelly Roll Morton, Thelonious Monk, Danilo Perez, McCoy Tyner, and others; 20th-century composers, including Olivier Messiaen, György Ligeti, and Alberto Ginastera; and a variety of global music styles.
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing comping studies and the application of these techniques to a variety of pop music styles. There will be use of recorded material for play-along purposes.
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing comping studies and their application to the funk/fusion idiom. Recorded material for play-along purposes.
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing the application of comping techniques to a variety of Latin and Latin-influenced jazz and pop music styles. Use of recorded material for play-along purposes as well as transcriptions of comping of major Latin piano players.
Instrumental laboratory for piano principals emphasizing the application of comping techniques to a variety of roots of rock styles influenced by blues, New Orleans, and gospel music. Use of recorded material and transcriptions of influential players. Emphasis on in-class performance and play-along.
The course explores the rhythmic and harmonic/melodic vocabulary in Afro-Cuban piano improvisation. Phrasing with the clave is a main focus of the course. Percussion instrument patterns are explored in-depth as they relate to the clave and influence the role of the piano. Percussion (quinto) solos are analyzed and compared to piano solos. Broad exposure to a variety of piano solos will reveal typical elements of the idiom.
A performance lab intended for keyboardists with little or no experience in improvisation. Instructional focus is on understanding of materials of improvisation both theoretically and aurally, and assimilating these materials into established musical forms and styles. Learning methods include playing with tapes and MIDI sequences, various call-and-response activities, and writing, performing, and analyzing improvisations.
This course begins at a basic level of piano playing, keyboard theory, and harmony. The first half is focused on scales, diatonic harmony, triads applied to harmonic exercise, and composition. The second half covers all 7th chords in root position, an introduction to tensions, and sight-reading lead sheets. This lab is intensive and can be useful for a wide range of students, including those with limited prior experience on piano and students who have a classical background, but limited experience in jazz, theory, and improvisation.
This course covers all 7th chords, inversions, and harmonic tensions. It includes the application of 7th chords and 7th chord substitutes to tunes like "Giant Steps" and "Countdown." Class sessions include theory, harmony, chord-scales and the application of 7th chords in building harmonic structures and melodic lines. ILPN-272 is most appropriate for students who have prior experience on piano whether they are currently piano principals or students who have successfully completed ILPN-271.
This course is an advanced class that includes a review of the theory and exercises covered in ILPN-272: Jazz Harmonic Techniques for Piano 2 with a primary focus on chord voicing and voice-leading. The effective use of tensions as applied to jazz piano, composition, and arranging will be included. This course is appropriate for piano principals or non-piano principals; however, a strong command of the material in ILPN-272 or HR-211: Harmony 3 is necessary.
Instrumental lab for piano principals emphasizing fundamental techniques and skills involved in playing the Hammond organ in predominant contemporary styles, including jazz, R&B, blues, rock, and funk. Study of recorded examples and transcriptions of influential performers.
Instrumental lab for piano principals emphasizing techniques of playing the Hammond B3 organ in blues styles. Analysis and performance of blues and blues-related music including gospel, jazz blues, and soul.