A laptop with a controller is an instrument, says Berklee College of Music

In what could be seen as another step forward for the credibility of electronic music making, the prestigious Berklee College of Music has announced that it will now welcome students who consider a laptop, music software and a controller to be their principal instrument.

Berklee refers to such a setup as an EDI (Electronic Digital Instrument), and says that its new stance is in recognition of the central role that computers now play in all types of music making.

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

The decision will be seen as a breakthrough by those who’ve long argued that the best computer musicians can be just as virtuosic as their traditional counterparts. The new policy will come into effect for undergraduates entering the college in Fall 2019; find out more on the Berklee (opens in new tab) website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.