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.
Advanced Dramatic Orchestration: The Harp
Cristina Montes, Solo Harp at la Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana del Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia, Valencia, conducts a class for the Advanced Dramatic Orchestration course. The course requires students to investigate the orchestral palette and the individual instrumental forces therein, in order to compose idiomatically for orchestral instruments.
Program Purposes and Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the program students will be able to:
- Synthesize styles, languages, and composition techniques, as applied to visual media.
- Apply composition techniques to the creation of original music, appropriate to each genre and its related aesthetics accordingly, in the context of film, television, and video games.
- Apply artistic and musical aesthetics to projects for visual media in a variety of styles.
- Analyze dynamics and emotional content in different formats of visual media to identify the best-suited electronic or orchestral palettes that support the visual content.
- Evaluate, through study and analysis, works by the great masters of film composition, orchestration, and arranging.
- Synthesize copyright law mechanisms in the field of new media, and their intervention in a variety of contexts.
- Design projects in the area of new media emerging models, be it in their planning or studying their distinctive elements, both in genesis and in management.
- Show expertise in the technology applications present in composition for media 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 the Graduate Bulletin.
This master's degree program runs from September to July. View the academic calendar for the current academic year.
The graduate bulletin contains all the information relevant to Berklee graduate programs for the current academic year. Program information may change year to year.
Student policies can be found here.
Accreditations and Disclosures
Graduate programs at Berklee’s campus in Valencia, Spain, are accredited by official authorities in both the United States and in Europe. See accreditation and disclosures information here.
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: 39/40 with optional internship
- Total ECTS: 60
Sample Curriculum Semester 1 (Fall)
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-510
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-530
Conducting for Scoring Sessions
This course offers a study of the art of conducting as a tool for composers in the recording studio and/or the scoring stage. Students analyze the differences between conducting for the concert stage and for the scoring stage, and focus primarily on the latter. Students learn basic conducting techniques, tools, skills, and abilities in order to develop their role as a composer-conductor at recording sessions either with their music or with others’ music. Students learn different techniques of synchronizing and conducting music to picture, such as click track, punches and streamers, stopwatch, and free timing. Students also learn ways and forms of communicating with people in various roles at the studio, such as musicians, recording engineers, score readers, and more, focusing on effectiveness and efficiency. Students also explore the importance of listening and the process of internalizing the music and gestural communication prior to the recording session. Students master strategies and techniques to be able to react quickly and effectively for indications, changes and problem fixes while working on the scoring stage. Based on practical examples, students also come to understand and experience the role of the music producer, and develop themselves through experience in this role in a variety of recording sessions at Berklee. Sample Syllabus for FS-533
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-615
Technology in Media Scoring
This is a technology course based on learning the use of MIDI sequencing in scoring to picture, in conjunction to sample playback and composer tech set ups. In this course, students learn how to sequence, work with sample libraries, and use QuickTime, as well as tempo, meter, and synchronization on Digital Performer. Emphasis will also placed on orchestral mockups, sample libraries, and different technological tricks for an optimized use of the DAW when scoring (combined with the use of Vienna Ensemble Pro). Sample Syllabus for FS-616
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-620
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-631
Sample Curriculum Semester 2 (Spring)
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-520
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-531
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-632
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-617
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-621
Graduate Career Seminar
Students participate in a diverse array of professional development experiences to facilitate their career success. These experiences may occur throughout the school year as well as during the Professional Development Week at the beginning of spring semester. These experiences assist students in refining their career goals and focus and in developing a career plan. Students also assess their professional skills, remediate gaps, enhance their professional profile, and sharpen their job search skills. More importantly, students strengthen their skills in career exploration and career resilience. Sample Syllabus for GS-503
Optional electives do not count in program total (see descriptions in the optional elective section.
Sample Curriculum Semester 3 (Summer)
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-695
Optional electives do not count in program total (see description in the optional elective section).
Sample Curriculum Optional Semester 4 (Fall)
This course provides students an opportunity to integrate professional and academic experience through internships. The internship site must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor and/or the program director and must provide a learning experience that enables the student to meet academic and/or career goals. Through the internship, students apply theories learned in their graduate studies and explore aspects of the music, entertainment, and/or other industry as appropriate.
Please note: Students are responsible for securing their own internships. The internship must be secured prior to course registration. Students must complete approximately 100-300 hours during the internship. International students in F-1 status must obtain authorization on their Form I-20 from their International Student Advisor prior to beginning an internship.
Students work closely with their faculty advisor to conceive and develop their culminating experience—a practical, creative, or research project enabling the student to make a contribution to his/her field of study and to develop their academic and career goals. Meetings between the student and advisor begin during the first week of the first semester (or during orientation) and continue until the final week of the program. Students present ideas, receive feedback, advice, support, suggestions, guidance and more from their advisors as they design and execute their culminating experiences and plan their academic and professional careers. Advisors guide students in meeting the various deadlines and milestones required as students complete their culminating experience, prepare for graduation and prepare for their careers.
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. Sample Syllabus for GS-510
Advanced Conducting for Scoring Sessions
Building on skills developed in FS-533, Conducting for Scoring Sessions, this course offers advanced study of the art of conducting as a tool for composers in the recording studio and/or the scoring stage. Students learn complex conducting techniques and gestures to further develop their role as a composer-conductor. In this course, students expand the different ways and forms of communicating with people in different roles, with the goal of increasing success in the recording session, and focusing on effectiveness and efficiency. Students learn different recording methods, such as overdubs, recording by sections, recording full orchestra/ensemble versus family section recording, etc. Students also learn how to develop a wider and deeper listening criteria, by internalizing and acknowledging more complex cues and ways of conducting them, and also developing strategies and techniques to be able to react effectively in real time at the scoring stage or recording studio. Students develop and experience the role of the music producer in a deeper way, buildling on development from their previous recording sessions. Students also learn other content related to the music producer, such as recording locations, budgeting, contracts, planning, and organization. Sample Syllabus for FS-633
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. Sample Syllabus for FS-623
*Course content is subject to change.
Final Recording Project
As part of the culminating experience (CE), students in the scoring for film, television, and video games graduate program take part in a trip at the beginning of the summer semester to a major recording studio to record their final project. Past trips have included sessions at the famed London studios, Air Lyndhurst and Abbey Road. The goal of the trip is to record a piece of original music performed by a fifty-plus piece orchestra at an industry-leading studio. You are given a recording of the session, which you will then mix and master to present as part of your CE.
Read about the trip in Berklee Today's story, "On the Podium at Abbey Road", and in the article "Bringing Music to Life at Air Studios in London"
Video: Graduate Students Record at Abbey Road Studios in London
In summer 2015, students spent a week in London to conduct a 50-piece orchestra and record their original compositions at legendary Abbey Road Studios.
Video: Students Meet Scoring Professionals in London
Students recorded their compositions at Abbey Road Studios and also were able to meet other industry professionals in London.
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 during the summer 2014 trip.
Video: Polyverse - Air Studios Orchestral Recording Session
Recording session by Anze Rozman '14 for the score he did for the three-minute short animation by Chris Frost.
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.
The Eagles of Armenelos by Niklaus Vogel
Composed and conducted by Niklaus Vogel and recorded in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios.
The Making of the Score to Carrot Crazy by Maria Mifsud
Original score by Maria Mifsud for the animated film 'Carrot Crazy' by Dylan VanWormer and Logan Scelina.
The Dragon Apprentice by Andreas Häberlin
This is a script based orchestral cue about a young female apprentice taking on her final exam to ride and tame a dragon. Recorded in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios.
Journey's Awakening, Prelude by Kevin Won
Composed and conducted by Kevin Won and recorded in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios.
Wrapped by Evan MacDonald
Composed and conducted by Evan MacDonald and recorded in Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios.
The trip takes place over four or five days. Students will need to cover airfare, accommodation, and transportation, while Berklee covers the studio reservation and recording fees as part of the mandatory recording fee paid by students in the first tuition bill.
In addition to the time spent in the studio recording, some extra activities may be organized to expose students further to the music industry and professionals in the area.
Listen to Music Recorded at Air Studios by Past Students
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:
Alejandro Amenábar is a Spanish film director, screenwriter and composer. Among other honors, he has won nine Goyas, two European Film Award and an Oscar. He was on campus to give a talk to the scoring for film, television, and video games program.View on Flickr
Berklee’s Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games Master's Degree Program welcomed Richard Davis, author of Complete Guide to Film Scoring, as a visiting professor. During his visit, Davis led a session with our students focusing on film scoring and orchestration. In his own words, "A big part of what I teach is storytelling through music. It's also understanding how the music fits in as a partner. It must have an intention, and a flow that communicates very specific feelings or ideas to the audience."View on Flickr
Maggie Rodford is an established music supervisor and producer who has worked on many feature films and television series, including The Gladiator, The Lion King, Thor, Pan, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and many others. She has a strong musical background, and 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.View on Flickr
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 including 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.View on Flickr
Eduardo Tarilonte is an award winning sample library developer with many best selling titles, and a prolific composer who has completed over 300 different musical projects over his 20-year career. He visited campus to speak to students about producing and developing sample libraries and effectively using them in compositions.View on Flickr
Federico Jusid is a Spanish and Argentinian composer with a prolific career, having written music for 30 feature films and over 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 performance all over the world and has written pieces for symphony and solo piano.View on Flickr
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 his dreams.View on Flickr
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 Berklee in Valencia as a visiting professor, teaching classes on film scoring in addition to a class titled Performance Techniques in the Recording Studio.View on Flickr
Eric Reasoner - Visiting Professor
Eric Reasoner is a professor at Berklee’s Boston campus in the Film Scoring department. He visited our 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 held the position of 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, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and Lethal Weapon 4, and others.View on Flickr
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.
- Optional Private Instruction: Students may opt, for a fee, to enroll in private lessons, provided this is approved by their program director and there is space and time in the private lesson faculty member’s schedule.
- 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.
Special Holiday Medley
Students and faculty from the Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games program arranged a special holiday medley, which was recorded part on campus, and part in a remote recording session with the Budapest Orchestra.
Getting a master's degree from Berklee College of Music pushes you towards the next big step in your career, and the International Career Center (ICC) is one of the resources you have to help get you there. The mission of the ICC is to provide expert guidance, cutting-edge resources, and professional development experiences to help our diverse body of students achieve their career goals. Rather than acting as a one-time job link, our overall focus is on career management. We help you access available resources and activities and apply them to your career path.
See What the ICC Offers
Possible Career Paths
Getting a master's degree in scoring for film, television, and video games opens you to a world of possibilities in the music industry and beyond. After graduating, many students work in composition, conducting, arranging, sound design and other roles associated with music for media.
See Careers in Music
Industry Events and Conferences (Optional)
Succeeding in the music industry is all about building your professional network and making connections with the right people. Students are encouraged to take advantage of their time in Europe to attend or participate in the many music and performance-related events held in Spain and Europe. All event 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.
These are the events that we recommend for scoring for film, television, and video games students.
Soundtrack Cologne (Cologne, Germany)
SoundTrack Cologne is the German festival of music and sound in film and the media. Since its inception, with its congress as well as festival program, SoundTrack Cologne has developed into the leading European platform for music in film and the media.
Fimucite (Tenerife, Spain)
FIMUCITÉ is the Tenerife International Film Music Festival held in Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain). Every summer, since 2007, Tenerife becomes the main city of Film Music in the world for a week.
World Soundtrack Awards and Film Fest Gent (Ghent, Belgium)
Film Fest Gent was established in 1974 as a student's film festival, and has since developed into one of Europe's most prominent film events. Every year in October, the festival presents some 100 features and 30 shorts from all across the world. A range of different film programs are showcased, attracting over 130,000 viewers each year.
WOMEX (Alternating European Countries)
WOMEX is an international networking platform for the world music industry. The annual five-day event comprises a bustling Trade Fair, Showcase Festival, Conference, and Film programme, as well as festive Opening and Award ceremonies.
Film Music Festival (FMF) (Krakow, Poland)
The Film Music Festival in Krakow (FMF), organized 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.
Mosma (Malaga, Spain)
MOSMA is an event dedicated to audiovisual music, an artistic discipline that is part of our daily life through series, video games and, of course, in the big screen, the cinema. MOSMA seeks to be an international meeting point for established composers and young talents, and also aims to promote meetings and work spaces through tutorials involving professionals from the sector: producers, agents, composers, musicians and students or interested entrepreneurs.
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Berklee College of Music’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 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.
All undergraduate and graduate programs at Berklee, including those offered at Berklee's campus in Valencia, Spain, are accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE) of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), which is internationally recognized as an authority on educational quality.
Graduate programs at Berklee Valencia are accredited by official authorities in the United States and Europe.
In addition, all graduate programs at the Valencia campus are accredited by Spanish educational authorities and valid throughout the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). See details for each program below.
Program General Competencies
Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:
- CG01—Integrate knowledge from different fields of musical expertise—technical, aesthetic, historical, stylistic, and technological—into their daily professional or academic activity.
- CG02—Apply creativity to producing musical works, in different artistic, stylistic, and aesthetic contexts and formats.
- CG03—Develop works in their area of expertise, applying knowledge and skills, that result in the production of a new and original contribution.
- CG04—Evaluate the possibilities of music intervention in the field of visual arts and its subsequent impact in different contexts: social, educational, economic, and technological.
- CG05—Appraise, through practice in their area of expertise, the impact of music in relation to the visual arts and other arts disciplines.
- CG06—Assess aesthetic concepts and principles underlying varied artistic contexts, from the perspective of historical knowledge, but also making proposals for further development.
- CG07—Synthesize knowledge in the field of visual arts, as means for integration and social diversity comprehension, whether in professional practice or scholarly activities.
- CG08—Integrate knowledge, critical thought, and rationale as applied to problem solving, in the context of their area of expertise.
- CG09—Apply communication strategies that allow development of either academic or artistic professional activities, in their area of expertise, as well as being able to act in international contexts and multicultural environments.
- CG10—Evaluate and apply leadership models at team projects in their area of expertise, as a means for ethical decision-making and with respect for cultural diversity.
To learn more about Berklee's accreditation, visit the college's official accreditation page.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What software will I learn in the program?
You will be exposed to and use a variety of software during the year, as you can see in the required software bundle
that is mandatory for the program. The main programs that you will learn are:
- Digital Performer (with an available elective on the basics of Logic and Cubase)
- Sibelius (with some workshops on the basics of Finale)
- Pro Tools
Here is a list of software with which we recommend you have some experience before entering the program, even if it’s minimal:
- Digital Performer 9 (and/or Logic X)
- Basic knowledge of Sampler Plugins such as Kontakt 5, Play, and Vienna Instruments (hosted inside Vienna Ensemble Pro)
- Sibelius 8 (and/or Finale)
- Basic skills in Pro Tools 12
- Playback engine
- I/O setup
- Track types
- Track naming
- Edit modes
- Basic shortcuts
- Basic mixer routing
Q: What’s the ideal experience a candidate should have before applying?
The following experience will help students succeed in this program:
- a strong knowledge of harmony and counterpoint;
- a strong knowledge of orchestration;
- very good score-reading skills;
- having experience doing transcriptions (the lead sheet of a song as well as orchestral ones); and
- a familiarity with technology tools for composing for media (sample libraries, plugins, notation programs, Daws, and so on).
Q: Who will be the most successful in this program?
The following social skills will help students do well in this program:
- being hardworking and willing to participate in all classes rather than just attending;
- being on time and delivering assignments on time;
- being a good team player and networking; and
- having a solid work ethic.
Q: How can I best prepare for this program?
- Watch many movies, not not only American movies, and make sure they’re from different decades.
- Find out which composers wrote the music for the movies, television series, and video games you like, and learn about them through YouTube interviews, books, and other media.
- Read books about film scoring and writing music for television, video games, commercials, and documentaries. Some recommended books are:
- Play video games, and familiarize yourself with the video game industry.
- Take online courses in software like Pro Tools or Sibelius to get to know the technical aspects of scoring for media.
- Train yourself to learn something new every day; be your own demanding teacher.
- Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses so you know your value, and what areas you need to improve.
Take your passion and talent in scoring for visual media to the next level.
Berklee is looking for exceptional students for this master’s program to receive an extensive, hands-on education in scoring for visual media. Come spend a year in Valencia, Spain, at one of the top contemporary music schools in the world.
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The best way to discover what makes the Berklee experience unique is to experience it for yourself. We strongly encourage you to visit the campus, take a tour, and ask our admissions team any questions you may have.
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Contact Graduate Admissions in Valencia
For all graduate programs located on the Valencia campus, this is the contact information:
- Telephone: +34 963 332 802 (10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. CET)
- Email: email@example.com
Berklee College of Music, Valencia Campus
Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía – Anexo Sur
Avenida Profesor López Piñero, 1
46013 Valencia (Spain)