Visual media is everywhere, from full-length feature films and television to web series and immersive video games. Whether you see it on an IMAX screen or a smartphone and whether you hear it in 7.1 surround sound or on a pair of earbuds, the experience is enhanced by the accompanying music. The craft of creating this music has become one of the world’s most desirable careers.
This one-year intensive master of music degree focuses on the art and craft of composing, orchestrating, editing, and producing music for the screen using the latest technology. Students lead recording sessions with professional session musicians and receive in-depth instruction in narrative analysis, orchestration, and the use of dramatic effects to support the story.
Direct and Remote Recording Sessions
Several times throughout the year, students record their compositions on our scoring stage with professional session musicians from the main orchestras in Valencia. Students also participate in remote recording sessions with orchestras such as the Budapest Art orchestra, connecting with the studio team and the orchestra online, which is an increasingly popular way to record music in the digital age. The final project of the year includes a recording session at a major studio, such as Air Studios or Abbey Road Studios in London.
The Latest Technology
In today’s fast-paced industry, advanced technical skills are just as important as musical and creative abilities. Students become skilled users of the latest hardware and software on multi-computer systems in our tech labs and studios, where each station contains a Mac Pro, an i7 PC, an Xbox, Avid artist controller, Akai midi controller, sound card, and two 23-inch monitors. Up-to-date software is installed at each station, including Pro Tools, Digital Performer, Logic, Finale, and Sibelius (with Note Performer), each with a wide range of sample libraries and plugins available.
A Real-World Working Environment
Students leave the program with excellent working knowledge of industry workflows and processes. Projects are assigned in the same way that composers are hired in any real-world situation – including quick turnarounds, demanding producers, and the necessity to compose in a wide range of styles and genres to meet meticulous requirements. The recording sessions, both direct and remote, provide students ample experience in writing for different sized orchestras, including a full 50-piece orchestra.
Who We Are Looking For
We seek focused, motivated, innovative, and, above all, passionately creative candidates with excellent academic and/or professional backgrounds. Additional study and/or work experience in the following areas will be helpful but is not required: interactive scoring techniques, conducting to picture, basic music editing skills, and project collaboration. Prospective students do not need to have extensive direct experience working with live orchestras.
Ideal candidates will:
- Demonstrate a strong compositional foundation from their studies and/or professional experience;
- Possess the ability to notate one’s ideas competently, follow an orchestral score, and conceive material in an orchestral context; and
- Exhibit passion for musical storytelling and a demonstrated aptitude for visual music.
The master of music degree in scoring for film, television, and video games offers an advanced, individualized course of study for students seeking to enhance their knowledge and hone their skills in preparation for a professional career in scoring for visual media. The program focuses on the art and craft of composing, orchestrating, editing, and integrating music for film, television, and video games. The course of study is designed by the student in collaboration with his/her graduate advisor in a manner that best suits and speaks to that student’s knowledge, skills, and goals. Graduates of this unique program are qualified to begin work immediately in the film, television, or video game music industry in one or more of the following specialties: composing, orchestrating, conducting, music editing, music supervising, music copying, music programming, or producing synthesized music mock-ups.
Video: String Quartet and Harp Recording Session at the Palau de les Arts
Berklee students from the scoring for film, television, and video games graduate program recorded their music cues for string quartet and harp in a double session at the 1,490 seat Auditori, in the Palau de les Arts next to campus.
Video: Sampling recording session for the Dramatic Electronic Composition class
Students from the scoring for film, television, and video games program record a sampling session while learning how to make their own sample libraries on our scoring stage as a part of the dramatic electronic composition class.
Video: Remote Recording Session with Budapest Art Orchestra
Program Director Lucio Godoy and scoring for film, television and video games master's students Tess Stabb and Xueran Chen discuss a remote recording project for their Advanced Scoring 1: Narrative Analysis class with the Budapest Art Orchestra.
Video: Recording Studio Complex
The audio production and teaching complex includes the Ann Kreis scoring stage and four recording studios, featuring a large live room with variable acoustic wall treatments developed for diverse recording configurations. Supporting the live room is a 500-square-foot control room, two 250-square-foot ISO/overdub booths, and an isolated machine room.
Lucio Godoy in the Scoring Stage
Program director Lucio Godoy gives a student feedback during a scoring stage recording session.
In the Classroom with Robert Kraft
Scoring students discuss a particular cue for a film scene in the classroom with visiting professor of music and media Robert Kraft.
Live Room in the Ann Kreis Scoring Stage
The scoring stage is used on a daily basis for multiple recording sessions. Mainly used for student projects, the scoring stage is also able to handle professional recordings and has been used in the production of major artists.
Video: Student Recording Session in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios
Student David Federman '14 conducts a 53-piece orchestra in a recording session at London's Air Studios; the graduate scoring program took a trip to London at the end of the year to record students' final projects at the famed studio.
Student Yiyi Ma's Recording Session
Yiyi Ma '14 looks over her score as faculty member Alfons Conde and senior engineer Pablo Schuller look on.
Scoring Students in the Technology Lab
Graduate scoring students sit in one of two technology labs on campus with faculty member Alfons Conde.
Student Recording Session
Amie Doherty '13 leads a recording session with professional session musicians from orchestras in Valencia in the scoring stage on campus.
Video: Remote Recording Session with Budapest Art Orchestra
Jacob Boyd '14 leads a remote recording session with the Budapest Art Orchestra from Berklee's scoring stage in Valencia, Spain. Jacob connected with the engineers and director of the Budapest Art orchestra via Skype to record one of his projects.
Video: Remote Recording Session with Budapest Art Orchestra
Video from student David Federman's '14 remote recording session with the Budapest Art orchestra. David led the session from the scoring stage on campus and connected with the director and production team via Skype.
Recording Session at Air Studios
Bernarda Ubidia Calisto '14 leads the 53-piece orchestra in Lyndhurst Hall at London's Air Studios as part of her final project.
Program Purposes and Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
- Synthesize the language of visual media;
- Evaluate and apply leadership models as tools for ethical and culturally influenced decision-making;
- Interpret and apply musically artistic aesthetics to visual media projects in different styles;
- Analyze and research techniques of leading masters of music composition, orchestration, and arranging;
- Synthesize intellectual property laws, with particular attention to artistic contracts;
- Design project management plans for emerging new media scoring models;
- Assess financial considerations in the commerce of music within the entertainment economy; and
- Exhibit expertise in the technology applications appearing in media scoring and sound environments.
The culminating experience is the final project that students work on throughout the year and present at the end of the program. Through the culminating experience, students make a creative contribution to, and/or define and solve a problem that exists in, the profession. This is a major part of the master's program and represents the educational journey students take over the course of the program. The final presentation can take the form of a research project, a creative work, or a practical project.
Culminating Experience Timeline
- Semester One: Students propose their culminating experience to their advisor and program director.
- Semester Two: Students revise and refine their proposal and get final approval from their advisor.
- Semester Three: Students complete and present their final project to the culminating experience committee.
For more detailed information about the culminating experience, you may reference pages 32-34 of the 2015/2016 Graduate Bulletin.
This master's degree program runs from September to July. View the academic calendar for the current academic year.
2015/2016 Graduate Bulletin
The graduate bulletin contains all the information relevant to Berklee graduate programs for the current academic year. Program information may change year to year.
2015/2016 Graduate Studies Bulletin
The master of music program at Berklee College of Music is designed to be completed in three semesters of study–or one full academic year: fall, spring, and summer semesters. There is an optional internship that takes place the fall after graduation for those who want to do an internship through Berklee for credit.
- Total Credits: 41/42 with optional internship
- Total ECTS: 76/78 with optional internship
Fall 2015 - Semester One
Advanced Scoring 1: Narrative Analysis
In this course, students explore the conceptual and collaborative processes that result in the successful creation of music for visual media. Scoring for film, television, and video games is essentially musical storytelling, and the composer cannot hope to do this without the tools for narrative analysis. Through in-depth examination of script, style, finished scenes, and exemplary scores, students learn methodically the steps that successful composers take in preparation for scoring, as well as strategies for getting past the first blank page. The ability to conceive the shape of the score before a single note is written is critical, and this begins in: collaboration with the filmmaking team; analyzing dramatic intent; spotting the film for music; determining the function of music; developing a music concept that supports directorial intent; and determining the elements of the music itself, including style, instrumentation, and genre. Students will analyze entire projects and explore a diverse range of eras, genres, dramatic ideas, musical vocabularies, forms, styles, and orchestrations.
Directed Study 1
An advanced practicum that provides individual students with personal mentoring and introduces them to the one-to-one filmmaker-composer collaborative model. With active support and critical appraisal from senior faculty, the student is challenged to conceptualize and execute a plan for scoring a personal slate of short projects, narrative and non-narrative, linear and non-linear, that link to and address critical aspects of his or her overall thesis plan. Drawing on both previously acquired music skills and scoring techniques learned in the co-requisite Advanced Scoring 1: Narrative Analysis, students will demonstrate the ability to convey creative intentions, respond to critical direction, and work intensively to meet deadlines set in tandem with their faculty advisor. The end goal is clearer definition of the thesis objective. Scoring assignments may be drawn from linear and non-linear visual content either submitted by the student or selected by faculty in collaboration with the student, utilizing electronic scoring techniques and/or live-player scoring sessions with students functioning as composer/conductor, or composer/producer.
Video Game Scoring Techniques
This course offers an intensive study of applied approaches to scoring for video games. An awareness of the deep and rich history surrounding music in interactive arts will be gained through analysis and discussion of example scores and projects. Students work extensively with the application of technology across multiple genres to compose and apply fundamental video game compositional methods to various projects. Students will write simple to moderate-level interactive scores, employing the most commonly used methods in the industry. In addition, students will discuss and learn about specific business issues that include an overview of the video game and interactive industries including contracts, licensing, toolsets, and job opportunities. The course begins to prepare students for entry-level work at a game development company or as a freelance game music professional, including experience with typical game music workflow, and approaches to scoring video games. This course is a foundation for the Advanced Video Game Scoring course, which involves the creation of more advanced and complex interactive scores with direct application of middleware technologies.
Advanced Dramatic Orchestration 1
The course, the first in a two-course series and a prerequisite for FS-621 Advanced Dramatic Orchestration 2, requires students to investigate the orchestral palette and the individual instrumental forces therein, in order to compose idiomatically for orchestral instruments. Orchestra performers provide lectures and demonstrations that enable students to analyze each instrument regarding capacities in range, register, construction, tone color, general idiomatic use, articulations, dynamics, technique, specific performance requirements, avoided trills and tremolo, extended techniques, co-members of its family and auxiliary instruments, and other limitations or requirements. Students compose music for each instrument and instrumental family. Students' music is reviewed, performed and analyzed by professional performers, and shared with the class for additional review and discussion. Students also analyze the interaction of instruments, studying the relationship among musical content, aesthetics and dramatic situations.
Choose one elective (see descriptions in the elective section).
Optional electives do not count in program total credits.
- GS-510 Principles of Music Research
- ENDS-550 Contemporary Ensemble
Spring 2016 - Semester Two
Advanced Scoring 2: Genre and Form
In this course, students become familiar with the musical requirements and expectations of a wide range of cinematic categories and forms, from classic genre film to episodic television comedy and drama to documentary and opinion/propaganda pieces. The conventions of genre are now an established part of every composer's vocabulary. They can be violated, subverted, or updated, but they must first be mastered. Areas of study include the following: comedy, both feature and episodic, including comedic montage and timing; classic drama, including death of principal character, abandonment, and triumph; action and suspense, including the chase, natural catastrophe, cloak and dagger, and sports; period drama, including devices to establish time and place; romance, including development of the romantic theme and technique for leading to the moment of the kiss; science fiction, fantasy, alien worlds, alternate realities, supernatural events; horror, stalking, assault and murder; reality TV, including the use of sound design and synthetic nonmelodic patterns; and classic TV and feature-length documentary, as well as persuasive or propagandistic. As a focused continuation of Advanced Scoring 1, students will further strengthen skills in scene analysis, character reading, psychological persuasion and enchantment (esp. with respect to lowering the threshold of belief in sci-fi and fantasy). Genre scoring also allows composers to explore more deeply their own emotional and psychological processes in order to produce scores that support content in all varieties of visual media, including interactive experiences. Taken in tandem with FS-531, Directed Study 2, as the second phase of a theory and practice sequence.
Directed Study 2
The second semester continuation of the advanced practicum course that provides students individual supervision in scoring a range of visual media with attention to aesthetic, dramatic, and technical considerations. Taken in tandem with FS-520 Advanced Scoring 2: Genre and Form, projects will focus on genre and type-specific applications of visual scoring craft. Drawing on a full range of previously acquired music skills and scoring techniques, students will convey their creative intentions, respond to critical direction, and work intensively to meet periodic deadlines. Scoring assignments will be drawn from a balanced representation of linear and nonlinear visual content, utilizing electronic scoring techniques and/or real-time, live-player studio sessions with the students functioning as either composer/conductor or composer/producer.
Dramatic Electronic Composition
This course is an advanced tutorial in the use of new technologies for composing and producing music for visual media. It is recommended for graduate scoring students who are already thoroughly familiar with the use of at least one DAW and professional sound library. Over the last two decades a technological revolution has created powerful new tools—and a new musical and narrative language—for making and using music in media. This revolution in the methods of music making has not only led to an enormous new palette of sounds and compositional techniques, but it has also fundamentally transformed the ways that music is used in storytelling and has created a whole new set of expectations for music in media. This course will focus on the new techniques (musical and technological) and aesthetics of contemporary dramatic electronic composition. The use of synthesizers, advanced methods of sound design, modern production techniques, electronic compositional methods, the use of nontraditional music in the scoring process, and the aesthetics of modern dramatic media will all be investigated.
Advanced Dramatic Orchestration 2
This course provides an advanced tutorial in the auxiliary skills of orchestration without which even the most talented composer cannot fully realize his or her work. Although at the top levels of the craft, these tasks are frequently assigned to specialists, at the beginning of a career, the ability to orchestrate one's own work is a critical advantage. The technique of dramatic orchestration, as contrasted with concert orchestration of long-form pieces, is an art in itself, and will be thoroughly examined. Specifically, extended dramatic techniques for strings and percussion, effective use of the brass section, orchestrating for minimalism, and integration of nonorchestral, global, or electronic instruments in the score will be examined. Students explore differences in orchestration for television, film, and video games, orchestrating for small and unusual ensembles, and advanced overdubbing techniques combining sequence and live instruments.
Choose one elective (see descriptions in the elective section).
Optional electives do not count in program total (see descriptions in the optional elective section).
- GS-510 Principles of Music Research
- ENDS-550 Contemporary Ensemble
Summer 2016 - Semester Three
Culminating Experience in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games
Scoring for film, television, and video games students are required to complete a culminating experience that serves as both a practicum and a bridge to the professional world. The tangible end product of this experience is a master's thesis, which may take the form of an original score, scholarly paper and/or research project, or other enterprise that offers an original solution to the problem of marrying music to visual media, specifically, film, television, and video games. The thesis will be conceived and developed as part of directed study course work, and will be realized in the final seven-week semester. In conjunction with preparation for delivery of the thesis (e.g., final orchestration, preparation of pre-lay elements, final drafting of paper, or execution of business plan), all students undertake a professional internship related to the goals outlined in their thesis proposal. These internships may occur in composer studios, music production and/or supervision companies, post-production houses, entertainment companies, etc. The student works in consultation with his/her faculty advisor and/or the program director to develop his/her unique project and internship plan, the goal of which is a professional outcome. A thesis committee evaluates the final project that results from the culminating experience.
Directed Study 3
The third semester continuation of the advanced practicum course that provides students individual supervision in scoring a range of visual media with attention to aesthetic, dramatic, and technical considerations. Projects will expound upon genre and type-specific applications of visual scoring craft. Drawing on a full range of previously acquired music skills and scoring techniques, students will convey their creative intentions, respond to critical direction, and work intensively to meet periodic deadlines. Scoring assignments will be drawn from a balanced representation of linear and nonlinear visual content, utilizing electronic scoring techniques and/or real-time, live-player studio sessions with the students functioning as either composer/conductor or composer/producer.
Optional electives do not count in program total credits.
- GS-510 Principles of Music Research
- ENDS-550 Contemporary Ensemble
Fall 2016 - Semester Four (Optional)
The optional graduate internship (GS-595) takes place in the fall following graduation. Read more about the optional internship in the [tablink link="http://valencia.berklee.edu/academic-programs/master-degrees/master-of-music-degree-in-scoring-for-film-television-and-video-games/#.tab_career_development"]career development[/tablink] section.
2015/2016 Required Skill Classes
Required skill class placement is done by exam and do not count in program total credits. Students may test out.
Basic Keyboard Techniques 1
For non-piano principals. Comping, harmonic continuity. Triads, seventh chords, melody, and accompaniment. Standard song forms, blues.
Students in scoring for film, television, and video games choose two electives to take. Students choose the electives that best fit their career goals and interests. The semester that electives are offered vary each year.
Recording, Editing, and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 1
This is a project-based course geared toward composers for visual media. Students learn basic aspects of recording, editing and mixing in the modern DAW environment. Students master general concepts of music pre-production, signal flow and signal processing, as well as the specific workflow of Avid Pro Tools and Apple Logic Pro X. Students also learn to achieve professional results and create realistic mock-ups. This course is a prerequisite for FS-632 Recording, Editing, and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 2. In the two consecutive courses, students learn the complete production process from pre-production, recording though the mixing and delivery stage of music for visual media.
Recording, Editing, and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 2
This course is a continuation of FS-631 Recording, Editing and Mixing Techniques for Film Composers 1. Students learn more advanced aspects of professional audio editing, mixing different music styles both in stereo and 5.1 surround, mastering, as well as delivery in the modern DAW environment. Students master Melodyne, Elastic audio, Beat Detective, acoustics and advanced mixing techniques with Pro Tools and Logic Pro X. Students create professional-sounding projects within the Pro Tools and Logic DAW environments.
Advanced Video Game Scoring
This advanced course builds on the techniques learned in FS-615, Video Game Scoring Techniques. In this course, students explore complex interactive scoring techniques and direct application of middleware technologies (Wwise and Fmod). Students focus on advanced interactive composition techniques including designing and composing thematic elements and motifs that work across multiple cues. Students also explore advanced recording techniques and session flow for video game music. This course prepares students strongly for entry-level work in music at a game development company or as freelance game music professionals. Students experience advanced game music creation workflow using version control technologies, sound design and editing, batch file conversions, and modern approaches to scoring to video games. Additionally, students explore advanced topics in the video game and interactive industries including contracts, licensing, toolsets, and job opportunities.
Music Video Production
This course provides musicians with the tools and techniques to create compelling, creative music videos, especially using guerilla techniques (self-produced low budget). The course introduces the fundamental techniques of music video production and provides practical hands-on experience for producing professional music videos. Students learn by doing as well as by study. They analyze different techniques and methods of planning and production and put them into practice as they create their own videos.
The Artist as a Startup
This course prepares artists to build sustainable careers. Students learn to be innovative in the way they promote, distribute and monetize their own creative products. In this project-based course, students develop of a wide set of business-related skills. Students focus on their own professional projects in order to develop knowledge and skills in three essential areas: 1) project management and finance, 2) contract management and negotiation, and 3) social media management. Through this project-focus, students learn the connections between the creative and business aspects of the music industry. They also enhance their ability to manage projects and to manage their careers.
2015/2016 Optional Electives
Optional electives do not count in program total credits.
Principles of Music Research
Principles of Music Research introduces the tools of music scholarship, including reference and research materials in both book and electronic forms. Students develop the skills, attitudes, and understanding to research and write about music by learning how to approach various types of scholarly study within music and by increasing their proficiency with music library resources. Projects and assignments will be tailored to the individual needs of the student working towards his/her culminating experience or thesis project. Students learn advanced information seeking, assembling a literature review, evaluating current research, writing and documenting sources professionally and ethically, distinguishing primary and secondary research, and finding and applying for funding sources. Students taking this course should have the ability to recognize, identify, and define an informational need; seek basic information in a strategic way; locate and access basic information; and evaluate information sources for essential levels of quality and relevance.
Contemporary Studio Ensemble
This course enables students to enhance their ensemble-playing skills, deepen their knowledge of a particular style and its associated repertory, and develop their individual performance identities. Students develop their ability to create and perform music in a particular style. Working under the direction of a senior faculty member, students complete exercises that enhance their intonation, articulation, and improvisational skills in an ensemble context. Students learn to maintain stylistic integrity by developing their awareness of the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic practices associated with a particular repertory.
*Course content is subject to change.
Visiting Artists and Faculty
In order to give students a broader understanding of the music industry, we invite industry-leading artists, professionals, and visiting faculty to give lectures and workshops related to specific challenges and opportunities in the industry. Faculty visiting from the Boston campus frequently come to Valencia for special workshops and presentations. In many cases, students from all masters programs are welcome to attend visiting artist and faculty sessions, regardless of program.
Visiting artists and faculty change each year. Here are some of the visiting professionals who have visited campus in the past on behalf of the scoring for film, television, and video games program:
Visiting Professor: Eric Reasoner
Eric Reasoner is a professor at Berklee’s Boston, Massachusetts campus in the Film Scoring Department. He visited the Valencia campus to speak to students about his experience as a music editor and the importance of the position when it comes to composing soundtracks for film. He is a Berklee alumnus and has worked as supervising music editor at Segue Music. He has numerous major motion picture screen credits, including Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Lethal Weapon 3, Curly Sue, Swing Kids, and Die Hard with a Vengeance, among others.
Visiting Artist: Alberto Iglesias
Acclaimed Spanish composer Alberto Iglesias visited campus to give a clinic to students about scoring for films and his techniques for writing. He is a scholar with classical training in piano, guitar, composition, and counterpoint, and electronic music studies. He has composed music for dozens of films worldwide and has won many awards, including being nominated for several Academy Awards, most recently for his work on the films The Constant Gardener, The Kite Runner, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
Visiting Artist: Eduardo Tarilonte
Eduardo Tarilonte is an award-winning sample library developer with many bestselling titles and a prolific composer who has completed more than 300 different musical projects over his 20-year career. He visited campus to speak to students about producing and developing sample libraries and using them effectively in compositions.
Visiting Artist: Federico Jusid
Federico Jusid is a Spanish and Argentinian composer with a prolific career, having written music for 30 feature films and more than 15 television series. Currently working in Madrid and Los Angeles, he visited the Valencia campus to give a clinic to master’s students about composition and film scoring. He is also an accomplished pianist with concert performances all over the world and he has written pieces for symphony and solo piano.
Visiting Artist: Lucas Vidal
Lucas Vidal is a Berklee graduate and film composer, having written for major films including Vanishing on 7th Street, The Raven, Fast & Furious 6, and others. He visited Berklee’s Valencia campus to speak with students about his history and work experience, motivations for composition, the value of hard work, and following one’s dreams.
Visiting Professor: Mason Daring
Mason Daring is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and Emmy-winning composer for film and television. He has worked on more than 70 productions, including major and independent films, and owns his own record label, Daring Records. Mason came to Berklee's Valencia campus as a visiting professor, teaching classes on film scoring in addition to a class titled Performance Techniques in the Recording Studio.
Visiting Artist: Maggie Rodford
Maggie Rodford is an established music supervisor and producer who has worked on many feature films and television series, including Gladiator, The Lion King, Thor, Pan, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, among many others. With a strong musical background, she has studied piano, cello, and choral music. She is currently managing director of the Air-Edel Group, a California-based firm for music supervision and production services.
Outside the Classroom
When you are on campus, you'll find yourself in the midst of a multitude of cultures, backgrounds, and styles. Berklee is well known for their diversity of students and faculty, and on the Valencia campus we celebrate the musical creations and cutting-edge ideas that come from this blend of culture and backgrounds.
Master's students come from all over the world, and bring a wide range of experiences to share on campus during the yearlong program in Valencia. Students are the center of campus life, as they turn classrooms into laboratories and collaborate on innovative projects with students in other master's programs.
Collaboration With Other Programs
It’s not just the faculty and visiting professionals that inspire, at Berklee you will be surrounded by and collaborating with talented musicians and composers from around the world, both in the scoring for film, television, and video games program, and from the other masters’ degrees on campus in performance, music business, and music technology. It is in this collaboration that opportunities begin to form, relationships are built, and your creativity and ability to innovate are put on center stage.
Outside the classroom, scoring for film, television, and video games students may find themselves working with students from the music production, technology, and innovation master's program to work on production for a video, or get some extra insight on sound engineering and mixing. Students in the contemporary performance program also collaborate with scoring students to build sample libraries. In addition, there are many musicians on campus from all programs who enjoy coming together to form bands and perform at events and gigs both on and off campus.
The campus is full of life, and there's always something you can get involved in. Extracurricular activities are optional and vary from year to year. Some opportunities are open for all students to participate in, while others are on an audition/application basis.
- Optional Ensemble Elective: Students may opt to take "Contemporary Ensemble" (ENDS-550), a one-credit optional elective to enhance ensemble-playing skills. Students develop their ability to create and perform music in a particular style, under the guidance of a faculty member from the contemporary performance program. Credit does not count toward program credits.
- Events: There are opportunities for select students to perform in many on-campus and off-campus events such as orientation, graduation, ensemble performances, or events at the City of Arts and Sciences.
- Conferences: Some industry events and conferences offer opportunities for musicians to perform. Students have performed at Sonar, TEDxBerkleeValencia, and EmTech.
- Extracurricular Activities: Extracurricular activities are completely optional for students, take place outside of class time, and vary year to year. Past examples of such activities include a batucada group, flamenco workshop, a choir, Valencia DJ Collective, jam sessions, and ensembles.
Getting a master's degree from Berklee pushes you towards the next big step in your career, and the International Career Center is one of the resources you have to help get you there. The mission of the International Career Center is to provide expert guidance, cutting-edge resources, and professional development experiences to a diverse student body for the achievement of students’ music career goals. Rather than acting as a one-time job link, the overall focus is on music career management and helping students access resources and activities that are available and applying them to their own career paths. Read more about the International Career Center.
Industry Events and Conferences
Succeeding in the music business is all about building your professional network and making connections with the right people. During your year at Berklee, you have the option to attend industry-leading events, such as Midem or Sónar. You will learn strategies for building and maintaining your professional relationships, and connect with high-performing peers throughout the year.
Featured Events and Conferences (optional)
Students are encouraged to take advantage of their time in Europe to attend or participate in the many music and technology-related conferences held in Spain and Europe. All conference participation and attendance is optional and students make all the arrangements to attend on their own. In some cases, students may be able to access special offers and student discounts through Berklee.
World Soundtrack Awards and Film Fest Gent (Ghent, Belgium)
"Held on October 24th, the World Soundtrack Awards will celebrate its 15th anniversary with one of the most brilliant film composers of his generation, known for his scores of 'Back to the Future', 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Forrest Gump'. Brussels Philharmonic and The Flemish Radio Choir will perform the compelling scores by Alan Silvestri, Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Patrick Doyle and Discovery of 2014 Daniel Pemberton, conducted by Dirk Brossé and accompanied by film fragments on the big screen. "
Film Music Festival (FMF) (Krakow, Poland)
The Film Music Festival in Krakow (FMF), organised by the Krakow Festival Office and RMF Classic, is a captivating showcase of the highest quality musical interpretations of the moving image and one of the most important festivals in the world of film music. Performed by leading musicians and orchestras in Europe and the world, the festival provides a unique concert experience by setting it to live screenings of the world’s most spectacular films, well-known for their dazzling cinematography, top-class direction, enthralling plots, and emotive acting.
Midem (Cannes, France)
- Dates: June 28-July 1, 2016
- Website: midem.com
“Midem is the leading international business event for the music ecosystem where music makers, cutting-edge technologies, brands and talents come together.”
The Great Escape UK (Brighton, UK)
"The Great Escape (TGE) is a new music festival that showcases emerging artists from all over the world. Over 400 up and coming bands play in 35 Brighton venues, accessible on one wristband. It’s the first place to discover your new favorite band and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages."
International Music Summit (Ibiza, Spain)
"The Ibiza International Music Summit (IMS) presented by dance music legend Pete Tong, is now revered as one of the world's most important music industry gatherings in the world. IMS signals the beginning of the Ibiza season. It is both a high level music industry conference attended by the global industry leaders in the dance music scene, alongside a week of the most aspirational dance parties on the island - the official launch of the Ibiza season"
TEDxBerkleeValencia (Valencia, Spain)
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxBerkleeValencia, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxBerkleeValencia event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. Select students will have the opportunity help organize the event, while all students will be able to attend.
Berklee’s optional graduate internship program supports Berklee master’s students who seek to integrate academic and professional experience after completing the coursework and culminating experience projects required in their specific master’s program. This optional program will take place during an additional semester, following the completion of all course work, and students will be charged a part-time comprehensive fee.
Note that students are responsible for securing their own internships and for securing all appropriate and required visa statuses. For more detailed information about the optional internship, you may reference pages 35-36 of the 2015/2016 Graduate Bulletin.
Possible Career Paths
These are some career path examples graduates can pursue:
A composer scores music to accompany a motion picture for film, television, or video games. This could include dramatic underscore as well as popular songwriting. The traditional role of a composer is to provide the orchestral dramatic underscore, and only more recently has the popular soundtrack begun to stand on its own.
The film music orchestrator is responsible for writing scores for an orchestra, band, choral group, individual instrumentalist(s), or vocalist(s). Also, an orchestrator transposes music from one instrument or voice to another in order to accommodate a particular music instrument, musician, or group. Often, the orchestrator will also be the conductor during film scoring sessions.
A film conductor's main duty is preparing an orchestra or ensemble for the finest performance possible in a film scoring session. This includes preparing the musicians for the sessions via rehearsals and all other business affairs related to leading an orchestra. A conductor should have a strong ability on an instrument, in-depth musical knowledge, the ability to sight read, and great interpersonal and leadership skills, as he or she will interact with film composers, studio orchestra players, music editors, orchestrators, and copyists. During a scoring session, the conductor is able to hear the comments of the producer in the studio control room and direct the musicians/orchestra accordingly. Often, the film composer or orchestrator will occupy the role of conductor, as well.
A music editor is responsible for mixing and synchronizing music with the film and mixing the music with the film soundtrack. The music editor must be versatile and possess a great musical sensitivity, a keen ear for balance, and an awareness of how music can make or break a dramatic scene. In addition, the music editor must be knowledgeable about the special technology used in synchronizing music tracks to film or tape.
Hired by the film’s producer, the music supervisor may act as an A&R scout to find and license popular songs for inclusion as theme or background music within the film (called source music) and/or he or she may select songs for the soundtrack. Sometimes, the music supervisor’s role may be limited to songs for the soundtrack and, other times, he/she may be in charge of all the music involved in a film, including hiring and supervising the film composer for dramatic scoring.
In the film music industry, a copyist's job is also called music preparation. The copyist transfers musical parts from a score onto individual parts. This person must display strong notation and transposition skills, training in music theory, attention to detail, and neat and accurate copy work.
The programmer utilizes music sequencing software and sometimes notation software to produce MIDI keyboard/synthesizer tracks for inclusion in the film score. Other times, a programmer will sequence a piece of music or a composition by this means, which will allow the composer and music editor an opportunity to hear the composition before it reaches the scoring stage. This is considerably less expensive than hiring a full orchestra and yet still enables the composer to identify errors in the score before it gets to the scoring stage.
A MIDI mockup allows the director or executive producer to hear the compositions in a setting that approximates their final destination so that they may approve or alter the project before the budget has been committed to record the actual instruments.
The sound designer is employed to develop a sound library of synthesized original sounds and effects for artists/bands, production and multimedia companies, and music equipment manufacturers. The sound designer also uses various sophisticated electronic equipment to arrive at conclusions and find sonic solutions in their work.
A film/TV music contractor is responsible for hiring the musicians and tending to all the necessary contract obligations through the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). It is in the contractor's best interest to procure the best talent possible while working within his or her budget guidelines.
The film arranger provides arrangements of a musical composition or song for film and/or TV usage. The arranger determines the voice, instrument, harmonic structure, rhythm, tempo, and other aspects of a song or composition based on the conductor or film producer's specifications. Training in music theory, orchestration, composition, and harmony is required. An arranger should have experience with writing music, playing at least one instrument, and working as a copyist.