The master of arts 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: 33/34 with optional internship
- Total ECTS: 60
- Core Module (Módulo Troncal)
- Industry Structure
- Final Project Module (Módulo TFM)
- Culminating Experience
- Elective Module (Módulo Optativas)
Each module, with course options, is described below.
Class Color Code
Core Module (Módulo Troncal)
MB-551 Copyright and Contract Management
MB-551, 3 credit(s), required course
This course provides a comprehensive look at entertainment law issues and contracts closely related to the music industry. Students learn to appreciate how the music industry deals in copyrights, exclusive/non-exclusive services, and reputation, image and goodwill through a variety of complex contractual frameworks. Students examine the different contracts specifically involved in music business practice such as publishing, recording, management, production, and live performance, as well as those regarding merchandising, sponsorship and endorsement.
MB-553 Music Business Finance
MB-553, 3 credit(s), required course
This course focuses on the accounting and quantitative tools of financial analysis that are used by busines professionals in corporate settings and investors. In the course, students look at finance in three ways: first, they discover how music companies record financial transactions in a booking system and calculate ratios of financial statements; second, they determine and understand financial calculations, both focused on the music industry in particular, as well as more general important overall business calculations; and third, they budget and fund music business ventures. Mastering these tools helps students analyze firms from a financial point of view and to measure ventures’ sustainability over the long-term. Students learn how to use financial analysis tools, both basic and sophisticated, to assess the potential of music enterprises, and create new businesses in the music industry.
MB-575 Music Business Seminar
MB-575, 1 credit(s), required course
This is a seminar in which students learn interdisciplinary skills necessary to thrive in a fast-paced industry. Students explore the contemporary challenges that impact the music industry today, make predictions about future challenges, and work on solutions. Students meet with leaders and experts who will help them develop a global understanding of the industry. Students will also share in the responsibility for inviting guest presenters and organizing panel discussions with speakers of their choice, related to their professional goal.
MB-563 Data Analytics in the Music Industry
MB-563, 3 credit(s), required course
- Write a survey or conduct a focus group (e.g. Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey)
- Apply online databases and search engines (e.g. Google Alerts, Next Big Sound, BuzzAngle Pro, BMAT Vericast)
- Import metrics from social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) or streaming platforms (eg. Spotify Artist Insights)
- Sort important data and clean unuseful data by using spreadsheet software (e.g. Excel)
- Visualize statistical hypotheses (e.g. whatif function)
- Assess industry reports (e.g. PRS, BPI, CISAC, IFPI)
- Present and report the result of the analysis (e.g. graphs, maps)
- Communicate the results of the data analysis (e.g. infographics)
- Provide recommendations for business decisions (e.g. Tableau)
Final Project Module (Módulo TFM)
Students enroll in one practicum course directly related to their concentration (record industry, live entertainment, or entrepreneurship).
MB-611, 4 credit(s), required course
The online free-for-all approach in creative industries has destabilized payment models for music, movies or video games. This practicum enables students eager to test and develop emerging business ideas in the entertainment industry. To do so, students learn practical concepts, including market research, submission of business licensing application, location, organizational structure, financing, employee issues, project management and many other considerations. Students complete work that is extremely experiential in nature and based on the refinery and delivery of a business plan. Among other tasks, students complete a professional business plan at the end of the course.
MB-621, 4 credit(s), required course
In this course, students analyze the current realities and evolution of the global live music business. This analysis of the live music industry contextualizes the relationship and power structures among the main stakeholders in the live music industry, from the audience to multi-national promoters. Students examine and evaluate the role of live performances in developing artists’ musical careers, as well as the expansion of niche markets, including the global festival market. They also examine the development of marketing and branding elements. In learning how the specific areas of events management interplay, students also explore the legal structures that operate in the live music industry, including performing rights and venue logistics, and they evaluate how these impact live music and its stakeholders both positively and negatively. Finally, students explore the future of live music, including the challenges posed by globalization, pressure upon local artists and promoters, and the gentrification of core urban centers such as New York and London.
Eligibility to this course is contingent upon securing a micro-internship before the add/drop deadline.
MB-623, 4 credit(s), required course
This course provides students with practical experience in the development and management of a record label, through work with the student-run label, Disrupción Records. Through the course, students produce, market, and distribute a record of student work. In doing so, students gain expertise with the departments of artists and repertoire (finding talent among Berklee Valencia students; choosing songs to be crafted and/or recorded), business affairs (negotiating contracts with all the parties involved), production (completing masters and artwork, among other tasks), marketing (promotion, advertising and publicity of the music projects), and distribution (online and physical sales).
MB-695 Culminating Experience in Global Entertainment and Music Business
MB-695, 6 credit(s), required course
Master's students in global entertainment and music business are required to complete a culminating experience. This experience may take the form of a directed study, project or internship. The student will work in consultation with his/her faculty advisor and/or the Music Business Department Chair to develop his/her unique project. The goal is to complete original work at a professional level. A faculty committee composed of the advisor and two other faculty will evaluate the final project that results from the culminating experience. The three-person faculty team will serve as the examining committee.
Elective Module (Módulo Optativas)
Students in global entertainment and music business choose four electives to take. Electives are centered around five career areas of the music industry: artist management, live entertainment, production, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Students choose the electives that best fit their career goals and interests. The semester that electives are offered may vary.
- Fall Electives: choose 1 course
- Spring Electives: choose 2 courses
- Summer Electives: choose 1 course (or/and an Internship)
MB-614 The Art of Live Entertainment
MB-614, 3 credit(s), elective course
“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man.” (Jay Z)
In this course, students analyze the current realities and evolution of the global live music business, an area of music which now contributes approximately 60% of revenues to top artists. This analysis of the live music industry contextualizes the relationship and power structures among the main stakeholders in the live music industry, from the audience to multi-national promoters. Students examine and evaluate the role of live performance in developing artists’ musical careers, as well as the expansion of niche markets, including the global festival market. They also examine the development of marketing and branding elements. In learning how the specific areas of events management interplay, students plan and potentially stage their own live events. Students also explore the legal structures that operate in the live music industry, including performing rights and venue logistics, and they evaluate how these impact live music and its stakeholders both positively and negatively. Finally, students explore the future of live music, including the challenges posed by globalization, pressure upon local artists and promoters, and the gentrification of core urban centers such as New York and London.
MB-665 The Culture and Business of Emerging Technologies and New Creative Frontiers
MB-665, 3 credit(s), elective course
This course is designed to prepare students to both understand and capitalize on technological change, whether in creative practice or organizational leadership. The focus is placed on practical understanding and learning through experimentation—demystifying both the technologies and their impact as they cycle from early adoption to the mainstream. This is a topics course which means that the focus of the course will adapt to take into consideration the technological content and new business trends resulting from it.
MB-557 Economics of Creative Industries
MB-557, 3 credit(s), elective course
No business like show business? This course offers an economic analysis of creative industries defined as industries that produce goods that provide artistic, cultural, or entertainment value for the consumer, including music, movie, television, sports, advertising, fashion, and video games. Students apply economic concepts to understand firms’ strategies as they evaluate, using economic reasoning, the latest trade and scholarly writings in the field. Students also analyze current events in world affairs thanks to classroom debates about controversial issues, and their effect on creative industries. Students also master tools and concepts that allow them to navigate these industries and anticipate emergent trends that shape business strategies.
MB-613 The Science of Artist Management
MB-613, 3 credit(s), elective course
This course is an in-depth exploration of the processes and activities related to management of artists. Students learn how to represent an act by focusing on the many facets of the music industry a personal manager must address. Students learn about the different roles on an artist’s team and other people managers encounter, including understanding who is responsible for which tasks, and how to get the deliverables they need. Students also learn about the environment they must navigate as managers, including record labels, live events, contract negotiations, budgeting, union and government regulations, talent shopping, and more. Finally, students develop a tool kit in order to perform in the role of personal manager with skill and finesse through both theoretical and practical application of this knowledge.
MB-626 A&R and Music Artistry
MB-626, 3 credit(s), elective course
How do we define “talent”? How do we discover it? Create it? Develop it? How do we assess artists for their commercial, creative, aesthetic and cultural potential? Answering these questions is the role of A&R (Artists & Repertoire) within the music business. In this course, students learn what A&R involves, key elements of the work, as well as how the work is changing. Taking on the role of the A&R professional, students learn to assess talent in the following key areas: vocal performance, instrumental performance, stagecraft, songwriting, image, identity, aesthetics, work ethic, social media performance, and intelligence. Students also learn about cultural milestones reached in the music industry—the incredibly important moments when particular recordings secured their place in the history of popular art. Students listen to, and engage with, recordings that have achieved sustained cultural relevance; and in doing so, students strengthen their ability to work with artists to create works of profound cultural as well commercial importance.
MB-555 Global Leadership and Management
MB-555, 3 credit(s), elective course
Leadership is one of the fundamentals of success in today’s age, both on the personal and professional level, and this course is designed not only to help students learn the many facets of the global entertainment business world and leadership in theory, but also to master the skills and experiences necessary to turn them into effective leaders in their own right. Students have the opportunity to learn from real industry case studies, understand the organizational implications of quality leadership and global implications on a variety of levels, and participate in a diverse set of activities and assignments towards developing quality sensibilities and practices as thoughtful leaders in whatever endeavor they might choose to pursue. They study human behavior, internationalization, leadership and communication tactics, and other organizational elements combined with a thorough application of these principles towards building a solid understanding and integration of what makes true leaders in the modern entertainment world.
MB-627 Global Music Distribution and Emerging Markets
MB-627, 3 credit(s), elective course
China has climbed into the top 10 recorded music markets, and is likely to head to the number one spot. India has similar potential. Latin American music businesses seem poised to benefit from the global appeal of Latin beats. Africa has increasingly assertive music businesses from Nigeria to South Africa. Meanwhile, in Europe, EU changes to copyright law look set to close the “value gap” between technology companies and content companies. In this course, students explore these phenomenon and more as they learn to prepare for, anticipate, and create entertainment industry changes. Students learn to analyze global music markets; to assess differences and similarities; and to evaluate various business approaches and best practices. In short, this course positions students as future music industry professionals with a truly global understanding and outlook.
MB-559 Publishing and Licensing
MB-559, 3 credit(s), elective course
Through this course, students will acquire a detailed understanding of music publishing beginning with the signing of a songwriter through to the exploitation of an administered work via a synchronization license. We will look at the basics of copyright and how a music publisher handles its works in order to best monetize its catalog through print, mechanicals, performance, and licensing.
Students will also complete a detailed study of the clearance process of synchronization and the language and terms included in licensing agreements for film, television, video games and other digital media. This course will provide a comprehensive look at music licensing from the point of view of the various departments within a music publisher as well as from a music supervisor’s perspective.
This course will review the use of music in popular and current film, TV and advertising projects to look at aesthetic, artist positioning, and the relationship between the value of a song, pricing and a production’s budget. Students will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be a music supervisor; work at a film/television studio or advertising agency’s music department, an international music publishing company, or an online media distribution company; or to start their own music publisher.
MTI-543 Studio Video Music Production
MTI-543, 3 credit(s), elective course
In this course, students learn a variety of multimedia software, hardware, tools and strategies useful in creating compelling graphic design, posters, music videos and other visual media, especially using “guerilla” techniques (self-produced, low budget projects). The goal is to put more visual tools in the hands of musicians, to enable them to take control of their own visual brand and visual promotion, and to help students synthesize a variety of visual design and editing skills in order to increase their ability to express themselves artistically. Students focus all of their newly learned skills to produce a final project of their choice with guidance from the course instructor.
MB-615 Digital Marketing and Social Media Management
MB-615, 3 credit(s), elective course
This course provides a comprehensive analysis of online and social media options available for the promotion of entertainment products and services. Students review the plethora of online tools for marketing, including online advertising, social media campaigns, social media etiquette, and games and contests. Students learn to create a total branding plan for an entertainment asset. The capstone of the course requires students to create an integrated online media plan for the promotion of a new entertainment product or services.
MB-550 Music Brands and Partnerships
MB-550, 3 credit(s), elective course
This course provides a comprehensive overview of the marketing of products and services by multinational organizations, with emphasis on international cultures and marketing strategies. Students learn about the practices of companies large and small, with emphasis on those in the music/entertainment industry who are seeking market opportunities outside their home country. Students also learn about the importance of viewing international marketing management strategies from a global perspective.
GS-595 Graduate Internship
GS-595, 1 credit(s), elective course
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. Students who opt-in to the graduate internship program must complete their internship in order to graduate.
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.
Optional electives do not count in program total credits.
GS-510 Principles of Music Research
GS-510, 1 credit(s), optional course
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.