Songwriting Course Updates for Spring 2015

Kayley Kravitz

The music industry is constantly evolving. At Berklee Online, we regularly update our course content to reflect everything from the latest business trends to emerging musical styles. This is especially important in our songwriting department, where course author and instructor Jimmy Kachulis has given both Songwriting: Harmony and Songwriting: Melody updates for the spring 2015 term. Here are some new things that you can expect in these courses:

Songwriting: Harmony

  • Additional emphasis on modal writing to reflect the resurgence of modes in rock, pop, country, and R&B styles
  • More focus on mixing and blending chord colors and key colors to produce more subtle harmonic moves that can be used for more subtle lyric stories
  • New extended series of topics and lessons on creating and using chords outside the standard key colors
  • More extensive focus on tools used to create various kinds of modulation, from the most common to the most surprising – many Beatles and Police examples are used to demonstrate how the tools are used
  • More focus on developing one or two ideas into individual sections and complete songs
  • More focus on shaping the intensity flow of both individual song sections and complete songs
  • Additional focus on the specific kinds of ideas and developmental tools used to create verses, pre-choruses, choruses, bridges, and verse/refrains
  • Will address students’ diverse stylistic interests by adding dozens of new, diverse examples of classic and current songs demonstrating all of the above topics

Songwriting: Melody

  • More detailed focus on the how each note in a chord conveys its own unique emotion and which is the most effective one for a lyric at that point
  • Detailed layout of the six most important places in any melodic phrase and how to handle them most effectively
  • Much more focus on creating melodic ideas emphasizing non-chord tones and the unique, plaintive quality they impart to any lyric phrase
  • More focus on shaping the intensity flow of both individual sections and complete songs
  • Additional emphasis on blues style writing  to reflect the resurgence of blues key colors in rock, pop, country, and R&B styles
  • Additional emphasis on modal writing to reflect the resurgence of modes in rock, pop, country, and R&B styles
  • More focus on mixing and blending melodic gestures that mix key colors to produce more subtle melodic moves that can be used for more subtle lyric stories
  • More extensive focus on tools used to create various kinds of modulation, from the most common to the most surprising – many Beatles and Police examples are used to demonstrate how the tools are used
  • More focus on developing one and/or two ideas into individual sections and complete songs
  • Additional focus on the different kinds of ideas and developmental tools used to create verses, pre-choruses, choruses, bridges, and verse/refrains
  • Will address students’ diverse stylistic interests by adding dozens of new, diverse examples of classic and current songs of all the above topics

Jimmy also teaches our popular Songwriting: Writing Hit Songs course.

Berklee Online’s spring term begins on April 6, 2015.

Kayley Kravitz
Kayley Kravitz

Kayley is the Marketing Writer and Social Media Coordinator at Berklee Online. When she's not editing this blog, updating our social media channels, or writing marketing copy, she can be found spinning forgotten Britpop singles in Kendall Square.

1 Comment

  1. To be honest, this is excellent songwriting course by the way. Details of each courses very important.