Berklee College of Music’s gigantic jam

Honking, wailing, riffing, and rocking emanates from the school many hours of the day and night.

It’s got to be one of the noisiest blocks in Boston. And I mean that in a good way. The Berklee College of Music buildings at Boylston Street and Massachusetts Avenue house dozens of rehearsal, studio, and performance spaces, which are honking, wailing, riffing, and rocking many hours of the day and night. The subterranean warren of practice rooms seems to go on forever, a tangle of corridors all packed with emerging talent. In one chamber, there’s an acoustic bass player working on a walking bass line. In another, a flutist has the silver instrument at her lips and a Mac open on her lap. A saxophonist down the hall is practicing a smoky melody. And a singer across the way is feeling her way through a bluesy number. They are all playing individually, but from the hallway, at times, the music blends into spontaneous consonance. It’s a fitting metaphor for the world-renowned conservatory, which encourages cross-pollination among its roughly 4,100 students, who hail from 80 countries. The sum, as it happens, is greater than the parts. The community’s footprint is growing, too: Next fall semester, Berklee plans to open a 16-story building just down the road. The more racket the better, I say.

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