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About This Course

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 Ph.D. 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 online in order to reach more students, and give them the joy of Music Theory.

I’m planning on making several “sections” of this class, and this is Part 2. As the class grows, we will go deeper and deeper into my techniques. This class is focused on the creating a sense of Tension and Release: One of the most fundamental concepts in music composition.

In this class, we will cover:

  • My background, and listen to some of my music
  • Why Tension and Release?
  • Tools of the trade: Software
  • Tools of the trade: Pencils and fine paper
  • Long Term and Short Term Tensions
  • Using Form for Tension and Release
  • Forms that Create Drama
  • Sonata Form
  • The 4 Elements of Form
  • Example: Mozart, Moonlight Sonata
  • Composing with Sonata Form
  • Modern Uses of Sonata Form
  • Example: Muse, Butterflies, and Hurricanes
  • Tension and Release with Meter
  • Compound Meters
  • Meter Signatures
  • Alternating Compound and Duple Meters
  • Using Rhythm for Altering Expectations
  • Rhythmic Patterns
  • Pattern Obfuscation
  • Example: Philip Glass, Truman Show Soundtrack
  • Example: Allen, Aporia
  • Using Harmony for Tension and Release
  • Consonance and Dissonance
  • Prolonging Dominant
  • Emphasized Resolution
  • Pedal Tones
  • Moving “Pedal Tones”
  • Example: Aphex Twin, Ventolin
  • Combining Multiple Techniques
  • Example: Mozart, Sonata in C
  • Example: Allen, Angel of Repose
  • Film Music and Tension Cues
  • Composing for Films
  • And much, much, more!

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 tension and release 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 music composition skills.

Course Curriculum

Section 1 - Welcome And Overview
Introduction 00:00:00
My Background 00:00:00
Why Tension And Release? 00:00:00
Review: Tools 00:00:00
[DOWNLOAD] Staff Paper 00:00:00
Review: Process Of Composing 00:00:00
Section 2 - Tension And Release In Form
Long Term And Short Term 00:00:00
Forms That We Know So Far 00:00:00
Forms That Create Drama 00:00:00
Sonata Form 00:00:00
The Four Elements Of Sonata Form 00:00:00
Sonata Form Examples 00:00:00
Using Sonata Form For Tension And Release 00:00:00
[DOWNLOAD] Moonlight Sonata 00:00:00
Modern Uses Of Form For Tension 00:00:00
Example: Muse (Butterflies And Hurricanes) 00:00:00
Section 3 - Tension And Release In Meter
Meter And Tension 00:00:00
Stylistic Concerns 00:00:00
Compound Meters 00:00:00
Compound Meter Definition 00:00:00
Compound Meter Signatures 00:00:00
Another Perspective 00:00:00
Alternating Compound And Duple Meters For Tension 00:00:00
Section 4 - Tension And Release In Rhythm
Rhythmic Patterns 00:00:00
Pattern Obfuscation 00:00:00
Example: Philip Glass (From The Soundtrack To The Truman Show) 00:00:00
[DOWNLOAD] Glass, Truman Sleeps 00:00:00
Example: Aporia 00:00:00
Section 5 - Tension And Release In Harmony
Consonance And Dissonance 00:00:00
Prolonged Dominant 00:00:00
Emphasized Resolution 00:00:00
Pedal Tones 00:00:00
Long Resolution Of Pedal Tones 00:00:00
Pedal Tones In Higher Voices 00:00:00
Example: Aphex Twin, Ventolin 00:00:00
Section 6 - Combining Techniques
Using Multiple Techniques 00:00:00
[DOWNLOAD] Sonata In C, Mozart 00:00:00
Example: Kinesthesia, Movement 7 00:00:00
Film Music And Tension Techniques 00:00:00
Composing Music For Films 00:00:00
Section 7 - Wrap Up
Coming Soon: Composition Techniques 3: Composing For Film 00:00:00

Course Reviews


1 ratings
  1. Catherine Graham
    Catherine GrahamJanuary 25, 2018 at 5:25 am

    very y deep training


    the teacher gives some great detail and I sure hope to see more like making music of ads and computer games etc.

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