History of Rock, Part Two

This course, part 2 of a 2-course sequence, examines the history of rock, primarily as it unfolded in the United States, from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. This course covers the music of Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Carole King, Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Metallica, Run-DMC, […]

Intimacy of Creativity: Entering the Minds of Composers

Bright Sheng guides us through three works – by Brahms, Beethoven, and Sheng – for an intimate look inside the composer’s mind. This course strives to give students a new appreciation of music, based on an understanding of the craft behind each work. This class is perfect for those wanting to gain a unique perspective […]

Developing Your Musicianship

Nurture your love for, and understanding of, music with this specialization. Learn the fundamentals of music theory, including major and minor tonalities, chord scales, song forms, and chord qualities. You’ll also practice training your ear to hear and recognize various intervals, chord progressions, and chord qualities. For the Capstone project, you will directly apply the […]

Guitar for Beginners

Grasp the essentials needed to begin playing acoustic or electric guitar. You’ll learn an easy approach to get you playing quickly, through a combination of exploring the instrument, performance technique, and basic music theory. For students who have long thought about picking up the acoustic or electric guitar, this course will provide an easy-access foundation […]

Guitar Chord Voicings: Playing Up The Neck

Whether you’re just picking up the guitar for the first time or you’ve been playing the guitar for years and want to take your playing to the next level, Guitar Chords 101 will help you develop a deeper knowledge and understanding of chords. Guitar Chords 101 presents Berklee’s approach to constructing chords, a method that […]

Writing Stories About Ourselves

In this course, creative nonfiction writers will explore traditional storytelling methods, especially those which overlap between fiction and memoir. By looking at examples from a wide range of genres, including film, song, painting-even the theme music for Jaws-we’ll practice exercising the creative muscle that sees ourselves as characters and the experiences we’ve had as tales. […]

Pro Tools Basics

Producing music is an incredibly creative process, and knowing the tools of the trade is essential in order to transmit the musical ideas in your head into the DAW in a creative and uninhibited way. Whether you have used a computer to create music before, or you have been curious about production for years, this […]

So You Think You Know Tango?

How well do you think you know tango? This two-week mini-course is designed for music lovers, musicians, and dancers who are interested in learning more about the Argentine Tango. It will explore the many dimensions of the Argentine Tango music, including its origins, popularization during the Golden Age, dissemination abroad, evolution into an artistic music-dance […]

How to Play Guitar

Have you always wanted to play the guitar, but never knew where to start? Whether you’re just picking up the guitar for the first time or you just want to brush up on your skills, the Guitar Techniques specialization created by Berklee College of Music will help you practice the techniques you need to bring […]

Exploring Piano Literature: The Piano Sonata

In this 3-course specialization, learners will analyze important passages and components of the piano sonata repertoire, while gaining a solid knowledge of the sonata’s inner workings and a better sense of historical developments in the genre. Across the series, learners will dive into compositions by Scarlatti, CPE Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, […]

The Piano Sonata: Origins to Mozart

In this course, you’ll be introduced to sonata form; how it works, where it came from, and how sonatas are put together as multi-movement compositions. We will analyze the early history of the piano sonata and discover the important early masters of this style (Scarlatti, CPE Bach, Haydn, and Mozart). You’ll then investigate the relationship […]

Arranging for Songwriters

You’ve created a song. You wrote the lyrics, decided on the melody, and maybe even recorded a simple demo. Now what? If you have a basic knowledge of how to use a digital audio workstation (DAW) and are passionate about being a songwriter, this course will help you take your song from a simple recording […]

The Technology of Music Production

Learn about the music production process-including recording, editing, and mixing-and the tools available to you to create contemporary music on your computer. With the recent introduction of high-quality-low-cost software and hardware, the tools of music production are now available to the masses. Albums are made in bedrooms as well as studios. On the surface this […]

Understanding the Music Business: What is Music Worth?

This course will examine the music industry in the United States, with the unique perspective gained by Vanderbilt University’s location in Nashville, TN. Nashville is a major center of music in the United States, and the music created here has a global reach, particularly in the country, rock, pop, singer-songwriter, and Americana genres. However, students […]

The Music of the Beatles

The Music of the Beatles will track the musical development of the band, starting from the earliest days in Liverpool and Hamburg, moving through the excitement of Beatlemania, the rush of psychedelia, and the maturity of Abbey Road. While the focus will be on the music, we will also consider how recording techniques, the music […]

Creating Sounds for Electronic Music

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course, you will create sounds and use them in your own musical compositions. Whether you’re an aspiring producer, composer, or hobbyist, this course will help you gain skills in music production and confidence using software synthesizers. Along with your classmates, you will create a massive database of designed sounds, […]

How Music Can Change Your Life

Did you ever wonder how music works? This course provides free video, audio and journal resources that explain six basic principles about how music can influence individual and community health and wellbeing. From biology and neuroscience, to psychotherapy and politics, the ways we engage with music can make all the difference. Music has always played […]

Music as Biology: What We Like to Hear and Why

The course will explore the tone combinations that humans consider consonant or dissonant, the scales we use, and the emotions music elicits, all of which provide a rich set of data for exploring music and auditory aesthetics in a biological framework. Analyses of speech and musical databases are consistent with the idea that the chromatic […]

Getting Started With Music Theory

This course is a brief introduction to the elements of music theory for those with little or no music theory experience. We will explore pitch, rhythm, meter, notation, scales, keys, key signatures, meter signatures, triads, seventh chords, and basic harmony. If you listen to music or play music by ear, and you want to know […]

Music Business Foundations

This course has been developed to provide students with the latest instruction on the best way for creators, consumers, and facilitators to navigate the resurgence of one of the world’s most exciting industries: the music business. Three things are clear about today’s music industry: The consumption of music is expanding at the greatest rate in […]

The Place of Music in 21st Century Education

What do children need from education now, and in the future? How is technology best used in teaching and learning? How can innovative approaches to education be reconciled with established, traditional ones? What does student-centred learning really mean? This five module course is not just for classroom or ensemble music educators. It’s suitable for anyone […]

Music Production Capstone

After successfully completing the three prior courses of the Music Production Specialization, this capstone experience is your chance to use your talent and accumulated knowledge to create and submit a finished, fully produced song. As you go through milestones, you will work on your own or with other musicians to develop a song and vision […]

Today’s Music Industry

This course provides an engaging and methodical insight into the past and present cultural and commercial music industry developments, directions, and trends. It will equip the students with the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate, understand and more productively participate in today’s music industry field.

Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition

This course introduces students to strategies for style writing of common practice European art music. The issues of harmonic progression, voice leading, and texture are addressed in addition to relevant compositional concepts like repetition, variation, and elaboration. The course aims to offer a creative space even within the restrictions of stylistic emulation.

Fundamentals of Music Theory

This course will introduce students to the theory of music, providing them with the skills needed to read and write Western music notation, as well as to understand, analyse, and listen informedly. It will cover material such as pitches and scales, intervals, clefs, rhythm, form, meter, phrases and cadences, and basic harmony. This course covers […]

Music’s Big Bang: The Genesis of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Explores the factors – musical and cultural – that led to the birth of American rock ‘n’ roll music in the early 1950s. Covers in detail the genres, styles and people that converged to create this new music.

Fundamentals of Rehearsing Music Ensembles

Learn and practice the basic principles of running an effective music ensemble rehearsal. Techniques and strategies are applicable to a variety of ensembles, including bands, orchestras, choirs, and chamber groups.

The Art of Music Production

Explore the art of record production and how to make recordings that other people will love listening to. This course will teach you how to make emotionally moving recordings on almost any recording equipment, including your phone or laptop. The emphasis is on mastering tangible artistic concepts; the gear you use is up to you. […]

The Importance and Power of Music in our Society

Music plays an important role in our daily lives and is woven into the fabric of society. We listen to music while alone or in company, in a dance club or at home, through simple headphones or via high-end speakers, as background or as foreground, after we get up or before we go to bed. […]

Songwriting: Writing the Music

If your notebook is full of unused lyrics and you’re struggling to find inspiration for the music, this course is for you. Whether you are an experienced songwriter looking for new ideas or a beginning songwriter learning to read music, this course will lead you to a rich source of songwriting possibilities. Led by award […]

Music Education for Teachers

In the Music Education for Teachers specialization, you will explore ways of integrating popular music into your teaching. You’ll begin by learning from two highly experienced teachers, Krystal Banfield, the Vice President of Educational Outreach for Berklee College of Music, and David Alexis a Berklee Professor and long-time instructor for the Berklee City Music Program. […]

Approaching Music Theory: Melodic Forms and Simple Harmony

This course is about how music works. It is about the relationship between the technical and aesthetic details of music. It is also about how developing a meaningful theoretical vocabulary can help you think and talk about musical style, and how learning that vocabulary can expand your appreciation for music. In this course you will […]

Music and Social Action

What is a musician’s response to the condition of the world? Do musicians have an obligation and an opportunity to serve the needs of the world with their musicianship? At a time of crisis for the classical music profession, with a changing commercial landscape, a shrinking audience base, and a contraction in the number of […]

Building Your Career in Music: Developing A Brand and Funding Your Music

This course shares practical tips and strategies to help you take your first step into launching your career as a musical artist. We’ll cover everything from developing your unique identity as an artist and how to lead a band all the way to planning and recording your first independent record with the help of crowdfunding. […]

Songwriting: Writing, Arranging, and Producing Music

This specialization will provide aspiring and established songwriters with the strategies and practices to develop hit songs. The award-winning Berklee Songwriting Faculty have selected four comprehensive courses, each one devoted to a different song element, to help you get the most out of your musical ideas. Starting with the lyrics and music, you will learn […]

Teaching Popular Music in the Classroom

Teaching Popular Music in the Classroom explores approaches to teaching popular music from culturally rich communities in the United States. Students in the course will learn teaching methods that engage youth with the basics of improvisation, technology, songwriting, arranging film score, and writing to the strengths of small bands. The course models how to integrate […]

Singing Popular Music

You’ve been studying the greats, working on improving your vocal skills, and building vocal technique. Now it’s time to take the next step in your singing career to shine as a vocalist. Singing Popular Music provides you with the essential skills to define your own unique vocal style and sing healthfully. The course begins with […]

Electronic Music Production

In the Electronic Music Production specialization, you will learn the tricks of the trade to create high-quality, professional sounding music. You’ll begin by learning about the nature of sound and how a signal flows through a home studio setup. Additionally, you’ll learn how to create your own custom musical sounds through music synthesis. You’ll explore […]

Music Production

This Specialization will give you the knowledge and tools you need to record and produce professional sounding music. You will begin by developing your identity, vision, and intention as an artist and producer. Next, you will learn the technical aspects of music production, including how sound is translated into audio signals, recording techniques, and effects […]

The Music of American English Pronunciation

In this third course of The Pronunciation of American English specialization, you will learn and practice the “music” of American English, the features of pronunciation such as stress, rhythm, and intonation that will help improve your listening comprehension as well as your ability to communicate more clearly. Each week you will receive practical advice from […]

Introduction to Classical Music

Using a simple and enjoyable teaching style, this course introduces the novice listener to the wonders of classical music, from Bach fugues to Mozart symphonies to Puccini operas.

Fundamentals of Audio and Music Engineering: Part 1 Musical Sound & Electronics

In this course students learn the basic concepts of acoustics and electronics and how they can applied to understand musical sound and make music with electronic instruments. Topics include: sound waves, musical sound, basic electronics, and applications of these basic principles in amplifiers and speaker design.