Theatrical Sound Designers and Composers Association

Melodic Shape – Lines, Circles, and Squares, Oh My!


90 minutes


Melodic Shape – Lines, Circles, and Squares, Oh My!

Featuring Jerry Gates

LA 12 PM | NY 3 PM | UK 8 PM

Moderated by

Dan Ferguson

Your client says to you, “I want this section to be adventurous!” What kind of melodic material can be conceived as adventurous? Through the introduction of three basic melodic shapes and then through the combining of melodic shapes, this session will focus on how the specific envelope of an idea can create and support emotions selected by the composer or client.


Composer, producer, educator, orchestrator and arranger Jerry Gates has been a music industry professional for over thirty-five years. Working globally, Jerry’s most recently completed projects include symphonic treatments and arranging original music for the jazz quartet Poetic Jazz, based in Switzerland and Germany. He has also composed string arrangements for noted artist from Madrid, Spain Jorge Perez and his band, Patax. Jerry has produced, orchestrated and conducted string sessions for noted Egyptian producer/Arab Idol judge Hassan El Shaffei. He has also produced, composed and arranged music for Nestlé’s “Wonk Your Room” online promotion and’s “Loss For Lyrics” online Web promotion. Finally, Jerry composed the score for a documentary retrospective of Florida’s poet laureate, the late Edmund Skellings titled, “Ed Skellings – In His Own Words.”

His television and radio credits include Bank of America, Log Cabin maple syrup, Scope mouthwash, Marlboro cigarettes, and music preparation for “The Dennis Miller Show,” jazz great Bill Holman, and film composers Jack Smalley and Richard Band.

At Berklee College of Music he teaches in the Contemporary Writing and Production Department. He is is one of four directors for the large ensemble recording orchestra at Berklee College of Music, and at the rank of Professor, teaches Contemporary Arranging techniques, Directed Studies in Arranging, Contemporary Twelve-Tone Composition, Orchestration, Writing and Production in the Recording Studio and Music Preparation courses at Berklee College of Music.

Jerry has authored “Arranging For Horns,” published by Berklee Press and Hal Leonard Publishing and also authored three of Berklee Online’s arranging courses.


Dan Ferguson is a third generation composer, arranger and instrumentalist. Dan has worked in concerts, records, film and television as a guitarist, composer, producer and arranger-orchestrator since 1968.

After starting on clarinet and saxophone, Dan studied classical guitar with Jose Barroso, Vincente Gomez, Ron Purcell and Oscar Ghilia. He then studied composition with Daniel Lentz, Frank Campo, Dick Grove, Roger Steinman, David Angel and his father, the late Allyn Ferguson.

Dan’s guitar solos have been featured on hit TV shows The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, Barney Miller (guitar solo), The Rockford Files, Magnum P. I., The A-Team, Charlie’s Angels, White Shadow, Norm Crosby’s Comedy Shop and the Greatest American Hero; and recordings and concerts with Freddie Hubbard (Studio Live!), Ray Charles, Joan Baez (From Every Stage), Rita Coolidge, Steve Cropper (w/Duck Dunn), Booker T, Levon Helm, Three Dog Night, Rare Earth, Seals and Crofts, Ben E. King, The Commodores, Barry White, Barbra Streisand, The Runaways with Cherie Currie, Jay Gruska, Mare Winningham, Boz Scaggs, Marilyn Scott, John Serry and many more.

Dan was co-producer on two CD projects for the Count Basie Orchestra. The Count Plays Duke was recipient of a 1999 GRAMMY Award for Best Performance by a Large Jazz Ensemble.

Dan Ferguson’s work in film includes music for The Jerk, A Star Is Born (Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson), Oh, God!, Telefon, Westworld, Roadie with Giorgio Moroder, Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie, Ernest Saves Christmas, Ghost Story, Semi-Tough, Slapshot, Splash The Mighty Ducks, Big, 40 Year Old Virgin and lots more.

Dan has composed and orchestrated for films and television, including film scores for Just Dessert, Whispers From A Shallow Grave, Diagnosis; Murder, Filthy Rich, High Noon, Chasing Eagle Rock and the biopic We Remember Marilyn. Among the motion pictures Dan Ferguson has composed and orchestrated for are Dune, High Noon, The Last Mafia Marriage, While Justice Sleeps, and Primal Secrets.

Back to Calendar