Berkleemusic.com, the online extension school of Berklee College of Music, has added hip hop writing and production to its curriculum of composition and production courses. Mike Hamilton, a Berklee grad and assistant professor, will teach the hip hop course.
Says Hamilton, “It’s a privilege and a pleasure to share what I’ve learned. By studying interactively to create striking hip hop sounds with the right effects, EQ and mixing styles, I feel the graduates of this course will have that critical edge over the competition.”
Hamilton, who has been producing, writing, recording and performing music for more than 20 years, was a member of the late-night band for the BET television show, Live from LA, where he wrote and produced hip hop pieces for guest artists such as Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, Warren G, Method Man, P. Diddy and Mystikal.
Berkleemusic’s course covers the techniques that hip hop producers use to create hit songs. The class focuses on writing and production considerations unique to hip hop-from its distinctive drum beats and bass lines to its use of vocals, samples and instrumentation. The course also explores hip hop’s history and the artists responsible for growing the genre into what it is today.
Students learn how to analyze and re-create different styles of hip hop music, and then use this foundation to produce songs using Propellerhead’s Reason software. Students study mic placement for rap vocals, develop drum and bass grooves, build arrangements and apply the techniques of hip hop production, which can be applied to any genre of music.
Enrollment for the fall semester at Berkleemusic.com ends September 15, 2005. Courses begin on September 19. For more information, please visit www.berkleemusic.com. Student advisors are available at 866/BERKLEE (866/237-5533) to answer questions.