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About This Course

In this course, we will learn the essential techniques used in writing music for a film.

Through a series of analysis of well-known film scenes from your favorite movies we will learn what makes a great cue, and then apply those techniques by writing our own. I’ll be showing you some of my own projects for film and television throughout the class, and walk you through my process when composing music for a film project.

By the end of this course, students will understand the tools, lingo, and techniques used in the film composing world and will be ready to dive into their own projects. I’ll walk you through how to get started on your first project by using freely available movies that need a score.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked with major American orchestras, film studios, and video game designers. I’m also a Ph.D. in music composition and a University Professor (of music composition).

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

There are several “sections” of this class, and this is Part 2. As the class grows, we will go deeper and deeper into my techniques.

In this class, we will cover:

  • Tools of the trade
  • Creating atmosphere
  • Using “Pad” sounds with orchestra
  • Finding Atmosphere in film
  • Harmonizing string melodies
  • Polyrhythmic accompaniment
  • Homorhythmic accompaniment
  • Working with string orchestra
  • The chase scene
  • Working with drum loops in chase scenes
  • Using the brass section
  • Building tension
  • Writing tension cues
  • Ponticello
  • Tremolo
  • Glissando
  • Writing comedy and animation cues
  • “Mickey Mousing”
  • Getting gigs as a film composer
  • Techniques for building a portfolio
  • Finding filmmakers
  • And much, much, more!

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

Dr. Jason Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer and a Ph.D. 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 Top 200 Charts and radio broadcasts nationwide. In 2014 he was named a semifinalist 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 waiting 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?

  • Students will benefit from some background in music theory. The Music Theory Comprehensive curriculum isn’t required but is recommended.
  • Students should have some background in writing music, even if just thumbing around on a piano or guitar.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Get started building a portfolio of work to show their film composition talents
  • Score a feature film using a variety of techniques
  • Understand the process of writing music for film

Who is the target audience?

  • Students interested in exploring film scoring
  • Students looking to expand their musical interests to composing
  • Students interested in music software


Our Promise to You

By the end of this course, you will have learned about modern film scoring 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 learn more about film scoring!

Course Curriculum

4h 2m

Section 1 - Welcome And Overview
Introduction 00:00:00
Tools We Will Use 00:00:00
One Of My Professional Projects 00:00:00
A Note About The Examples In This Class 00:00:00
Section 2 - Atmosphere
What Is Atmosphere? 00:00:00
Example: District 9 00:00:00
Example: Finding Nemo 00:00:00
The “Pad” Sound And The Orchestra 00:00:00
Using Modes For Atmosphere 00:00:00
Finding An Atmospheric Cue In Our Film 00:00:00
Composing With Atmosphere 00:00:00
Analysis Of Our Cue 00:00:00
Section 3 - Working With String Harmonies
Taking A Lush Melody And Adding Harmonic Motion 00:00:00
Polyrhythmic, Monorhythmic, And Accompanimental 00:00:00
Example: The Village 00:00:00
Example: Monorhythmic 00:00:00
Example: Polyrhythmic 00:00:00
A Piece Worth Noting: Barber’s Adagio 00:00:00
Finding A Good Cue For Our Film 00:00:00
Composing With String Harmonies 00:00:00
Analysis Of This Cue 00:00:00
Section 4 - The Chase Scene
The Chase Scene 00:00:00
Example: The Matrix 00:00:00
Example: Jason Borne 00:00:00
Rhythm In Chase Scenes 00:00:00
Brass Swells! 00:00:00
Example: C’était Une Rendevous 00:00:00
C’était Une Rendevous Playthrough 00:00:00
Scoring C’était Une Rendevous 00:00:00
Analysis Of This Cue 00:00:00
Section 5 - Building Tension (Suspense And Horror Cues)
Tension Cues 00:00:00
Example: The Ring 00:00:00
Dissection Of One Of My Tension Cues 00:00:00
Techniques: Ponticello, Tremelo, And Gliss 00:00:00
Analysis: Dissonance 00:00:00
Braaams! 00:00:00
Dissection Of Another Tension Cue 00:00:00
Cue Analysis 00:00:00
Section 6 - Mickey Mousing (Comedy And Animation Cues)
What Is Mickey Mousing? 00:00:00
Examples Of Mickey Mousing 00:00:00
Section 7 - How To Get Your Career Started
Getting Gigs 00:00:00
Building A Portfolio 00:00:00
Finding Film Makers 00:00:00
Working For Cheap (Or… Free?) 00:00:00
Section 8 - Wrap Up
More You Can Do 00:00:00

Course Reviews


1 ratings
  1. Anonymous
    Catherine Graham January 26, 2018 at 06:27 AM

    great course


    hope to see more. so interesting and would like to see how music is done to tv ads and computer games and classical dance like ballet or ice-skating or other mediums.

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