Music History and Liberal Arts

Develop Your Music Knowledge with Berklee

Gain a well-rounded music education by delving into arts, history, creative writing, and other disciplines.

12-Week Courses

Courses are best for students who are looking to meet a specific need, or simply want to get started with Berklee Online. No application necessary.

Rock History

Discover the history of rock 'n' roll in more detail than you can imagine from the people that lived it. Learn about the musical and business trends in rock, major technological innovations, the prime innovators, and the historical context that has seen rock alternately flourish and struggle over the past 60 years.

Music History of the Western World 1: Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque

This course explores the development of Western European music from the Antiquity and Middle Ages through the Renaissance and Baroque periods. By focusing on major composers, genres, technical aspects, and historical facts, students will gain an understanding of how early Western music gave rise to the Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras.

Music History of the Western World 2: Classical, Romantic, and Modern

Just as learning the theory behind how music creation works, exploring the history of music is key to understanding the genres of music that we perform, create, and consume today. Music History of the Western World 2: Classical, Romantic, and Modern will provide you with a foundation for understanding how music has developed in the Western world through the study of composers, compositions, and key characteristics of a number of musical genres.

Art History

Through the eyes of two professors of art history with differing yet complementary approaches to understanding art, you will look at a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, and architecture, and discover the diversity of ways that works of art are meaningful to the human experience.

Developing Your Artistry

Explore what it means to be an artist — both from a philosophical and practical perspective. This course will examine artistry and creativity while also teaching you how to plan and sustain a career.

The Language of Film and TV

Gain a thorough understanding of film and television, and learn to communicate effectively with directors, producers, and others involved in the production of these media.

Creative Writing: Finding Your Voice

Learn to write clearly and strongly in your own unique voice, bringing your full self to your writing process every time you write.

Creative Writing: Poetry

Learn to craft and control your writing, enhance your ideas, and write better lyrics through the study of poetry.

Project Management for Musicians

Working in the music industry involves a never-ending series of projects. These projects come in all sizes, budgets, and levels of complexity, but for each, setting up a process for planning, executing, and monitoring your work is crucial in achieving your goals. Project Management for Musicians will provide you with an overall approach, with many specific tools, to help you successfully complete your music industry-related projects

Music Cognition

Explore the mental processes underlying musical behaviors and how emotion, environment, cognitive capacity, personality, individual differences, and other factors influence how we perceive music.

Introduction to Digital Cinematography

Learn effective techniques for producing any kind of video, including a music video or short film.

Math for Musicians

Build your own knowledge of, and confidence in, math in practical ways that relate directly to the world of music. This action-oriented course is designed specifically for those who find math intimidating or who feel that their math skills have become rusty.

Creative Writing: Literature Studies for Musicians

Strengthen your writing skills and creative expression by exploring and learning from the works of musician-writers and those for whom music has had a profound influence.

3D Design with Blender

3D Design with Blender is an introduction to the world of cinematic visual effects designed for musicians who want to add interesting visual, non-existent elements or environments to self-made videos.

Game Design Principles

This course provides an overview of video game design, exploring the iterative process of coming up with ideas, prototyping, testing, and revising that is at the heart of the video game industry. You will analyze games and examine the principles of game design from a visual studies perspective.

Music Video Editing with Final Cut Pro

Learn all the steps and tools necessary to create a high-quality audiovisual experience, including how to assemble, enhance, and maximize the use of video, audio, and graphic content.

Creative Entrepreneurship

Leverage your creativity for business innovation and develop the mindset, knowledge, and insights required to pursue an entrepreneurial career, whether as the steward of your own career or as the founder of a new business in any creative field.

New Media Economics: Music, Mobile, Gaming, and Online Markets

In this beginner-level economics course, explore how technological innovation and convergence impact the production and consumption of media content, including music, mobile, games, and online content.

Music, Self, and Society

This course is all about exploring why we listen to music, what we use music for, and, in some sense, how music uses us. Why do we have the musical preferences that we do? Is there really such a thing as “good” music? How does music create communities? How does music create social change? How does music function in our daily lives? These are all questions we will examine in depth throughout this course.

History of Film Music

This course is a survey of music in film, covering everything from the late 1800s to the present day.

Multi-Course Certificates

Certificate programs are 3-18 months in duration and are designed for students who want to gain a deeper proficiency in a chosen area. No application necessary.

Programs marked with " Degree Path Certificate" allow you to earn credits that transfer directly into the online Bachelor of Professional Studies degree program. Upon successful completion of a degree path certificate, you'll be awarded provisional acceptance into the certificate's correlating degree major. Learn More About Degree Path Certificates

Professional Certificates (4-6 Courses)

Specialist Certificates (3 Courses)

Visual Media

Learn the history and language of visual media, and develop the technical skills necessary to create and edit video for a wide variety of personal and professional uses.

9 Credits
Creative Writing for Musicians

Learn the necessary tools needed to communicate effectively through writing. This program takes an approach that incorporates literature study along with extensive writing workshop exercises.

9 Credits

Degree Programs

Degree programs are the most affordable and flexible option for earning your music degree from Berklee College of Music. They are the best option for students who want a music education degree and the full Berklee experience.

Interdisciplinary Music Studies (Create Your Own Major)

“Build your own” music major by selecting coursework from a number of disciplines that align with your personal career goals.

Undeclared Option

This major is geared specifically for new and entering students who are not yet ready to declare their major.

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