You can create entire flowing compositions and amazingly detailed pieces with just a controller and computer, so it’s rightfully being recognised as an instrument.

Electronic music making and production is becoming more advanced and prominent every single day. The prestigious Berklee College of Music have just announced that they recognise a laptop with music software and a controller as an instrument for students wishing to sign up with that as their primary music-making tool.

Berklee have called the setup an EDI which stands for Electronic Digital Instrument and say that they have changed their position on how they view the role computer technology has in modern music making. As it becomes more powerful and flexible computers are being used for the majority of a lot of modern music, even making up the entire non-vocal side of many contemporary hits.

Berklee’s chair of Electronic Production and Design, Michael Bierylo says: “This new initiative is going to have a huge effect on the field of music education. We’ll now have the opportunity to study and teach an important way that artists are currently exploring music.”

Berklee’s site now includes a section for electronic music production, including the basis of their EDI student program. It reads:

EDI principals will develop proficiency in specific areas, depending on their choice and configuration of a performance system. Although students coming into the program may be highly developed in one or more ways of performing, the goal of the EDI program will be to expand their capabilities in other areas, adding to their skill level as innovative, versatile electronic musicians who are able to perform in a range of musical settings.

What the Program Gives You

Upon completion of the performance core program with an electronic digital instrument, you will be able to:

  • design and configure a versatile, responsive, and musically expressive electronic performance system; 
  • synthesise and integrate knowledge of musical styles to develop effective electronic performance strategies; 
  • play in a variety of electronic performance modes using a variety of controllers;
  • use common types of synthesizers;
  • produce audio assets from a variety of sources, and use them in a live performance;
  • demonstrate proficiency in effect processing in a live performance; and
  • perform in solo and ensemble settings, taking on melodic, harmonic, rhythmic, and textural roles as well as arranging, mixing, remixing, and real-time compositional musical roles using all parts of one’s performance system.

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