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Tag: PULSE Music Method

PULSE Music Method

PULSE Reaches New Heights With Noteflight

The PULSE Composition Unit launched at the end of this summer, and it’s packed with fun, educational, and brand spanking new interactive notation writing capabilities. What does “interactive notation writing capabilities” even mean? Using the power of Noteflight, we can now embed interactive notation examples of theoretical concepts in the PULSE unit books!

What is Noteflight you ask? And why is it so great? The first thing to know is that Noteflight is an online music writing application that lets you create, view, print, and hear professional quality music notation, right in your web browser. Through the powers of Javascript and other web-scripting libraries, you can compose using interactive staves, notes, time signatures, dynamic conventions, and more! With Noteflight, you now have a way to digitally compose a score and share it with your teachers, classmates, and friends.

Every PULSE user now has access to Noteflight, with thanks to a single sign-on within PULSE.

This means that through PULSE and Noteflight, you can collaborate on composition projects with anyone you want, and from any computer! If you’ve ever used Google Docs to work on a paper or spreadsheet, then you have a good sense of how Noteflight works. Noteflight gives you the ability to share your composition at any stage/point. Once you have chosen who you would like to share your composition with, they can help you create the best piece of music you ever imagined.

Another benefit is that you can get immediate feedback from your teacher on your 16-measure 4-part harmonic analysis/composition homework—potentially as you are working on it!

We use Noteflight throughout the PULSE curriculum. With the help of our in-house expert, we customize the Noteflight API (or Application Programming Interface, aka the guts) for our PULSE unit books. They are embedded in the notation to demonstrate concepts using examples, explorations and challenges. So right after learning about a concept or technique, our PULSE students can try it out, see how it works, or test themselves and get an immediate answer.

Check out these examples! The first two instances show how your harmony homework could look, and the third one is an editable blank piano score, so you can try writing a few measures of music with Noteflight.

Our Noteflight Tutorial is easily accessible from every book that contains Noteflight examples. The tutorial explains everything from The Very Basics to Creating Your Own Score. And we always encourage our teachers to use the PULSE forums for providing feedback.

With the advantage of this awesome web-tool, PULSE is a forerunner in providing enhanced learning tools for our students. We hope that this takes the student experience to the next level of learning application, and brings a deeper understanding of the concepts we set out to teach.

Time to write, collaborate, and listen! Now go forth, and compose!

Beat Bot: Making Rhythmic Robots on PULSE Since 2012














Who the heck is that guy?? Meet The Doc. He will be leading you through orientation for the newest addition of games to PULSE: Beat Bot! Beat Bot was created to challenge music students and game players knowledge of rhythmic concepts. Players will create these robots, or Beat Bots, by programming beats that fulfill the specific rhythmic requirements of the game.

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The BANDED Showcase

The projector was working, the crew was in place, and the sound system was ready to go. I stood by the stage, smiling (perhaps more than was cool), as I watched our five BANDED bands give it their all. It was a vibrant and eclectic night for music education at the Brighton Music Hall.

Our production team was there when each band’s new BANDED song was primordial sludge, before it had words… or horns… or a chorus. There is very little documentation of the musical creative process, and even less that explores the collaborative process of bands. PULSE was there with cameras as The MJEML grew a three-movement work from a drone of rhythmic humming, as Ghost Box Orchestra gathered around an image of a desert hitch-hiker, as Zili Misik drew from a rich palette of historical and cultural references, as Aloud put it all down in an afternoon, and as Tumbleweed Company navigated their spiral form. Beyond that, we filmed as Berklee faculty members Prince Charles Alexander, Marti Epstein, Linda Chase and Mark Simos showed up at rehearsal spaces across Boston to bring their unique perspectives to each band’s process; and we were there as tracks were laid down, making these songs the first original PULSE tunes. We had finally made it to the concert, a culminating event to showcase the results of this process. Before each band’s set, we shared short reels of footage with the audience. The video played, the screen moved to reveal the artists, and then there each song was, up on stage, being performed with all of the energy and passion that we saw it composed with.

An exceptional amount of dedication and creativity from everyone involved—bands, faculty, engineers, and the PULSE team—made this project come to life. The concert ran without a hitch, from our opening City Music All-Star act, to the perfectly-timed panel discussion, to Tumbleweed Company closing out the night. I want to extend a huge thanks to Sharon Lynch as floor director for the evening, Nazli Green as concert producer, Erin Genett for her beautiful poster design, Mary Boland who organized and produced video coverage of the event, and our camera and sound crew of Bryna Gootkind, Amy Schrob, James Staub, Zack Zukowski, and Elizabeth Acle. Additionally, I would like to give a shout-out to my fellow BANDED producers, Jeannie Greeley and Nicole Bedard for their spectacular work, as well as PULSE Director Dan Newsom for his support of this project.

Musicians are generally very giving people. If your goal is to move an audience, you can’t hold anything back. These bands were willing to put their process under our lens, trusting that, in the end, it would all help young musicians across the country bridge the gap between theory and creativity. I am excited to make that happen with my team, and hope to foster many more opportunities for the music community to engage with Berklee, PULSE, and the new landscape of music education. –Audrey Harrer, director of BANDED and PULSE creative manager of multimedia.

Expanding the PULSE tunes library: at the Latin Billboard Music Awards

The PULSE department has made recording Latin music for our library a top priority for the coming year–a lofty goal considering the level diversity within the genre. I had the privilege of attending the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards in Miami, Florida on behalf of our team this past April. This was an opportunity to get a firsthand look at what’s happening in the industry. I was happy to connect with the community and to discuss our education outreach efforts.
This song is called Todo Cambio by the band Camila. It is a blend of the Rock En Espanol and Pop Latino genres.

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