Music Composition Techniques 1: Getting Started

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This course is designed for those interested to learn how to get started on music composition techniques.

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About This CourseBeginner

When most people think of a composer, they imagine someone sitting in a dusty attic with a grand piano, big white wig, and the year is 1800. That might have been accurate back then, but the modern composer is just like you and me. In fact, I am one.

In this course I’ll show you techniques I use for writing music in a variety of styles and situations. I’ve worked with major american orchestras, film studios, and video game designers, so I’ve got more than a little experience. I’m also a PhD in music composition and a university professor (of music composition).

Recently I was named as a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year award because of my in-person university classes. Now I’m taking those classes in an online format in order to reach more students, and give them the joy of Music Theory.

I’ve made several “series” of this class, and this is only part 1. As the class grows, we will go deeper and deeper into my techniques. This class is focused on the beginning: Generating ideas and getting started.

In this class, we will cover:

  • My background, and listen to some of my music
  • The difference between music theory and music composition (highly opinionated!)
  • Tools of the trade: Software
  • Tools of the trade: Pencils and fine paper
  • How do you start?
  • The process
  • Program music and metaphors
  • Character sketches
  • Writing through canon
  • Form
  • Binary, Ternary, and Rondo forms
  • Starting with a plan
  • Graphic form representations
  • Triads, and basic rules of harmony
  • Chord progressions
  • Inversions
  • Song analysis
  • Melody writing
  • Any much, much, more!

You will not have another opportunity to learn Music Composition in a more comprehensive way than this. Start here.

Dr. Jason Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater. His 2015 album, Aniscorcia, reaching the CMJ Top200 Charts and radio broadcasts nationwide. In 2014 he was named a semi-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

He is currently an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for classes by Dr. Jason Allen:

  • “Without a doubt the best explanation and ease of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quick, so you can be on your way at being proficient. What are you wait for!”
  • “Amazing – Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I’m so happy! Learnt loads! Jason is an awesome teacher!”
  • “I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”
  • “I like these courses because you can get up and running quickly without having to spend hours of time wading through TMI (too much information!). Jason hits the high points but shows you what you need to know. Thanks!”
  • “I’ve watched many other videos on scales and chords before, however, this one has been the best. I now understand minor scales and chords and even how to analyze songs. It really gave me the confidence to start producing music because I feel like I have some structure and guidelines to follow. AWESOME!”
  • “Clear and Informative – Jason has a clear uncluttered style (with the important dashes of humor) of presentation that is focused on the important key aspects of this course. Recommended for those starting out!”
  • “Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section, and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn’t aware of.”
  • “The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all means without giving what you don’t want to know.”

What are the requirements?

  • Before starting this course, students should know the basics of how to read music
  • Extensive music theory training is not necessary for this course.
  • For those without any music notation background at all, the course Music Theory Comprehensive – Part 1 is highly recommended.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Write and Compose music using proven techniques and tips
  • Create their own music using software, or good old pencil and paper.
  • Generate musical ideas through creativity exercises

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone interested in learning to write music for fun, or as a potential new career
  • Students who have written their own songs or compositions and are looking to explore composition deeper

 

Our Promise to You

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to get started on music composition techniques.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, simply contact us and we’ll give you a full refund. No questions asked.

Get started today and develop your skills in music composition techniques!

Course Curriculum

Course Sections

Welcome And Overview

My Background

What Is The Difference Between Music Theory And Music Composition?

Software Tools For Composers

Good Old Pencil And Paper

To Sit With An Instrument, Or Not To Sit With An Instrument?

Which Comes First? How Do We Start?

F-Sharp!

Program Music And Metaphore

[DOWNLOAD] Symphony Fantastique

Character Sketches

Free Writing

Canon

“Good Composers Borrow…”

What Is Form?

Different Form “Templates”

Starting With A Plan

Graphic Form Representations

Triads: Our Most Basic Building Blocks

Building Triads

Diatonic Chord Progressions

Inversions

Roman Numerals

Song Analysis: No. 1

Song Analysis: No. 2

The Circle Of Fifths

Using The Circle Of Fifths For Composition

Song Analysis: No. 3

Non-Chord Tones

Song Analysis: No. 4

Writing Melodies Alone

Antecedent And Consequent

Writing Melodies With A Harmony

Using Other Melodies As Influences

More On Process

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