MusicMasterMind: Harness the 7 Essential Elements of Music Theory - Course 1 | Andrew Smith | Skillshare

MusicMasterMind: Harness the 7 Essential Elements of Music Theory - Course 1

Andrew Smith, Music. Today.

MusicMasterMind: Harness the 7 Essential Elements of Music Theory - Course 1

Andrew Smith, Music. Today.

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11 Lessons (30m)
    • 1. Welcome to the Course!

    • 2. Rhythm - It's just Recurrence

    • 3. Melody - You Make Melody Every Day!

    • 4. Harmony - When Pitches Work Together

    • 5. Harmony - When Pitches Work Together (Part 2)

    • 6. Timbre - The COLOR of SOUND?!?

    • 7. Course Rating Review Request

    • 8. Texture - How do the Layers Feel?

    • 9. Dynamics - Giving Power to Your Sound

    • 10. Form - It's Way Better than Your Taxes!

    • 11. Philosophy - How To Know if YOU are Musical

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About This Class

"Andrew is a very good teacher. His love of music comes through and his gentle approach is encouraging. Great voice too!"  - Pat

"Andrew is very thorough in his teaching...I would definitely recommend Andrew to a friend. I like his approach and teaching technique. He is extremely positive..." - Stacy

After completing Music Mastermind - Course 1, you will have a solid grasp of the seven essential elements of music theory, without the fluffy nerd stuff

Andrew Smith's core belief is that everyone can play music. Now, his premium music theory course is available on SkillShare! It is designed for both complete beginners and somewhat-established musicians who want a deeper understanding of music. You can be playing and understanding music in no time! Andrew simplifies complicated topics with straight-forward, structured, and energetic teaching - so get ready to make music like a seasoned musician! 

Are you ready to become a Music Master Mind?

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Andrew Smith

Music. Today.


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1. Welcome to the Course!: Welcome to Music Mastermind, where we learn on Lee the music theory that will help you improve your music. My name's Andrew. I'm a trained and agree holding music educator that's been teaching music for over nine years. Along the way, I've been sponsored by Mitchell Guitars, featured in Guitar Center magazine and toward the United States as professional music performer. My mission and passion is to see that my students can quickly and efficiently learn how to best express themselves through music. I created this course for the beginner or beginner intermediate musician who knows that music theory is a massive topic but doesn't know what music theory will help them. I dove headfirst into music theory. It took years of study. And to be honest, it was really frustrating at first, just trying to sort through everything. I get it. But after deep research, obtaining a music degree and the years I spent touring the United States, I discovered something remarkable that I wish I had known when I was just starting out. And that's this, that not all music theory is of the same importance. Some of it causes immediate improvement, while some of it is really only appealing to degree holding music theory nerds. In this course Siri's I'll teach you to use the seven elements of music theory to immediately improve your music. These elements are rhythm, melody, harmony, tambor texture, dynamics and form. And as you begin to understand how these work independently and together, I promise you your musical abilities will improve. If you want to learn amazing concepts that will help you quickly increase your musical abilities than this is the course for you. Now be warned. This is not a basic or an easy course, but it is extremely effective. Just carefully follow the videos while working through the included Music Journal and step by step. Before you know it, you'll understand the music theory that riel world musicians use every single day. So if you're ready to go, let's get started. Welcome to Music Master 2. Rhythm - It's just Recurrence: when I say the word rhythm, what comes to mind? Like what? Images or ideas? Thoughts just come into your mind when you hear the word rhythm. For a lot of people, it's something like they fill in the blank with rhythm guitar, right? They think of somebody playing in the band, maybe the Taurus holding the rhythm so that the rest of the band knows where the time is. Or even better yet the drummer, right? He is the rhythm guy, right? He holds the rhythm. But have you ever considered that rhythm is actually just a natural part of our everyday life? Like think about it. You wake up in the morning to an alarm clock. Most people dio and it goes something like Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, right. A constant, steady, re occurring movement sound in time. So you wake up, you go to the kitchen, kind of wiped the stuff out of your eyes, right, and you're making breakfast. And let's say you're making an omelet that day for breakfast. So you're chopping onions. Well, that is a constant, steady rhythm that you're implementing into your everyday life, right? You carry on in the day you're in the car and you see a, uh, turn signal in front. Huge rhythm. You park, you get out of the car and you're walking into work. You're walking left, right, left right. Rhythm is every single day. It's all around us, and it's constantly there. When we think about rhythm, we think about how something is organized through time and, specifically, music. It's a re occurring beat in time. Think of it this way. Think of your favorite song, right with all of its cool melodies, harmonies, textures, Tambor's all the different elements that were going to be discussing in this course. Now if you heard all of those elements, but they weren't organized in time, then they would just sound all at once, right? All that sound of the song would come at you at once, and it would sound like a garbled mess. But when you add rhythm into the picture, it gives the song a framework to spread out through time so that you can hear all of those different elements of music. That's why rhythm is where we start. In this course. It's the basic foundation for all the other elements. It's like the structure that everything else fits into because music happens in time. There's a start in an end to a song, and the rhythm in between is what organizes all of the other elements of music. 3. Melody - You Make Melody Every Day!: We've said that rhythm has to deal with time. And in this lesson, the element of melody has to deal with pitch. How high or how low a sound sounds. Now have you ever come across somebody who said, Uh, man, it's so cool that you can do music? I wish I could do music. I can't carry a tune in a bucket. I Oh, I'm tone deaf, right? That's the word that they used. I'm tone deaf. Well, in fact, if that person was actually tone deaf, it wouldn't be able to communicate very well with you. And here's why. The difference between me asking a question and making a statement is determined by pitch. Here's an example. I went for a run today. It's a statement. I went for a run today. The question Maybe it's not dramatically a question, but how? I said it was a question. I went for a run today. Today, compared to today, has to deal with pitch every single day as we speak and communicate we're dealing with now . This may be your review for you, since you should be already familiar with the basics of music. But when we're looking at a staff of music. We say that rhythm has to dio has to deal with left to right. Okay, so rhythm operates this way. But when we're dealing with pitch, pitch has to deal with up and down, Right? Okay. So how high or how low a pitch is? Has to deal with up and down. If I were to draw a note here, then that means that here, I'll just do it. If I were drawn out here, this note would be lower. Oh, that. Maybe this pitch way up here, right? Low pitch, high pitch has to deal with up and down where it is on the staff. Now, uh, when we think about pitch, we were to break it down even more. Has to deal with sound, right? Okay. Sound we represent with these sound waves. So I'm just gonna drop going to draw a sound wave here like this. Okay. Just your basic average sound wave that you probably saw in a science textbook grown up. Now there's there's an element of this sound with that determines that determines the pitch , and that is right here. We call this the frequency. How often in time does this wave Go up and come back down. Right. So the distance from here to here Boom that determines our pitch away like this That has a pretty long wavelength Would be a lower pitch in sound. But I'm gonna draw another one down here in other ways. Okay, let's say we have a way of that. Looks like this. Okay, here we go. Now notice the distance is much shorter then this Tolon. So this is going to be ah, higher pitch. If we were to put these into our computer, have it spit it back at us. This would probably sound something like, Oh, and this woman would sound something like right. Because this short distance or high frequency creates a high pitch long distance for low frequency, creates a low pitch. 4. Harmony - When Pitches Work Together: you already thought about melody. And to be honest, harmony is not that far behind because harmonies just whenever we add another pitch to an already existing pitch. So we'll have a melody line. Say something that's just the easy example. Mary had a little lamb. Now, as soon as we add any other pitches to that melody, we now have harmony. So let's take it this way already. That is, Ah, harmony. It's a very simple harmony, but it's harmony nonetheless. Now when we think about harmony, it means that there's two or more pitches sounding together at the same time. There's a word that we use to describe pitches that sound good together. They kind of gel, they work together. And then there's a word that we use for when they don't. The first word is called Constants Continents is whenever the two or more notes create a pleasing or natural sound of harmony. So, for example, if we look at this first example here, the first court that you see on the left, we have a CNN F. When we play those two together, we get this sound. Do you hear all those two pitches? They seem to just fall right into place. But then, in the second example, we have an example of dissonance. If we move that f up to an f sharp, we now get kind of dissonance. It doesn't really, Joe. The difference falls into it. And then this distance has a harsh kind of grating sound to it. Now, when we think about continents and dissonance, it doesn't just apply to two knows it actually applies. Toe hole courts Accord is a specific combination of notes or pitches. Typically, when we think, of course, we think of three notes working together to produce this cord. The first court that I'd like to look at is a C major chord. You could see it there on the left and it's spelled See, e g. And and then I'm gonna put another see on top. This is a very constant cord. It exhibits constants, right, very full pleasing sound to the ears. But then when we compare and contrast that with the second example, we move this e up to an f this G up to be and this see up to a D flat. Now we have a very dissonant chord. You hear that kind of great son you a little bit. So that's the difference between continents and distance. And we used these different chords. Teoh exhibit different sounds. Dissonance is not a bad thing. It's just a very grating thing. It could be used in in different ways to produce very interesting musical effects. In the next lesson, we're going to look over how different styles of music use different ways of notated or giving us a graphic representation of harmonies. 5. Harmony - When Pitches Work Together (Part 2): if you look at the materials that I gave you for this course provided in there is a worksheet or a print out of the song Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. And on There you'll find three different ways that we can represent this song and it's harmonies. If you haven't found that yet, go ahead and find that and then we'll talk through these three different ways together. Great. The first way that we have listed here is the chord chart. Now the court chart is the simplest way that we can represent harmony because it only gives us information about the lyrics and the harmony. What chords we used to accompany. It doesn't give us any information about the melody, and it doesn't give us any information about how those cords are to be used in order to accompany the melody. Here's what I mean, looking at the court chart, I could interpret this. However I want I have the most freedom because I could say, you know what? The first time through I'm going toe kind of do a little bit of a pulse swing. Sweet, uh, comin for to carry me home. Swing sweet. Coming for to carry me. So I made an artistic decision of how I was going to accompany that. But maybe the I don't I decided, You know, I don't really like that. I actually wanted to sound a little bit more flowy. Well, the court chart allows me to do that. Swing sweet, comin for to carry me home Swing low, sweet coming for to care me. I provided my own accompaniment based on the cores that were there in the court chart. Totally fine. And it works, So you have an advantage there because it gives freedom. But you have a disadvantage because, say, you're writing a song that you're wanting other people to know. Well, there's no way that they're going to know the melody to the song unless they hear it from you or unless it's written. And that's what the lead she does so moved down to the 2nd 1 The lead sheet, the lead sheet, is basically a court chart, but with the melody provided. So now we can look at that and see Oh, this is what the melody does and it's accompanied by these courts. But notice there still no, um, constraint on how that Mellor How the cords rather are to be used to a company. The melody. I could still choose Teoh. Or however I want to accompany the melody that's provided a lead sheet. I can. Lastly, we have sheet music now. Sheet music is used when we want to display exactly what we want. We want the people to know. We want whoever's reading this to know the lyrics, the melody, the harmony and how the harmony is supposed to a company. The melody. So, for example, I would Onley use my left hand to make thes block court's swing Sweet Chevy, uh, coming for to carry me home Swing low, sweet, comin for to carry me So I did exactly what was written there. At least I think I did. And that is why we use these three different things. They each have a different purpose. One at the top is the most free. It gives us the most freedom, but it also doesn't give us a lot of information. The lead sheets kind of somewhere in the middle and the sheet music. It gives us exactly what we need in order to perform this specific arrangement of the song you can use this when you're looking at looking for other people's music. If you don't know the melody will look up Google lead sheet to this song. Or if you already know the melody and you just need the cords, you can look up a court chart. If you want a specific arrangement of the song, you can look up Google Sheet music four Baba or the song title sheet music It'll get Get you there every time. So these are the three main ways that musicians use a graphic representation, something that we put on paper to represent harmony. 6. Timbre - The COLOR of SOUND?!?: Isn't it funny how different colors tell different stories? As in when I say red, a lot of people automatically think angry were hot. And when I say green, a lot of people think green grass something peaceful or calm, and each color has a different feel to it communicates differently just by what color it is . Well, it's the same with the element that we're going to talk about now. And that is Tambor. Tambor is the quality of sound or the color of sound that an instrument or voice produces now really quickly. I know that this word looks like it should be pronounced timbre or timber, but it's actually pronounced Tambor. Let's talk about the different colors of thes tones, these different colors that instruments produced the different Tambor's, just like different instruments, produce different Tambor's So can electron ICS. So here's a couple examples of instruments playing the same note, but with different Tambor's, the guitar, the ukulele, the mountain dulcimer, Theo trumpet and the ghetto. Lately and just like these, different instruments have different Tambor's. We can also change the timber on our keyboard, take a look here we have same note, but right up here. I have these options to change. What instrument? Place? So all of these give me a different Tambor, right? Every single one of these have a unique tone color to them. A unique quality. So by changing just the Tambor, we can actually change the feel of the music that were singing writing we're reading. 7. Course Rating Review Request: It looks like you're progressing really well through the course. And this is just a quick video asking this question. Have you found value in this course? And if so, would you mind leaving a rating and review? That is the most helpful thing that you can do to help me reach other people with this passion for music that I have now also helps other students find this valuable resource. If you could do that, I greatly appreciate it. Thank you. 8. Texture - How do the Layers Feel?: in everyday language. We use the word voice basically just to refer to the human voice. But in music, a voice can refer to any instrument. For example, the voice of the trumpet or a violins voice. How these voices interact is what we call texture. Whenever we layer different voices, we get a specific texture. For example, a thick texture would be one with many voices like an orchestra. You have violins, Viola's, Tello's other instruments. Very, very thick texture and a thin texture would be something like somebody's singing with a guitar, the voice and an instrument. Just two voices. How these layers, How many layers affect the texture, as well as how these layers interact? Let's take a look at GarageBand. It's a software that I use to create music on my Mac. Here I have four different voices. Up here I have the drummer voice, a grand piano voice, a bass and a. It's like a shaker voice. How these different instruments interact determines the texture. Let's take a listen. - You could see in there that those four different instruments were interacting with each other, and it changed in the middle to right here. We only have three instruments and right here the drummer came in, the texture changed. Now we can also change the texture in this by taking out a couple instruments. So, for example, I can mute the base and the shaker. And now all we have is so by changing the amount of layers or voices, we affect the texture. I'll put those back in now. Now, if I wasn't satisfied with this, um, this piece, this work, that I'm doing this song, I could add another texture, which I'll show you. It'll just add a little bit more life to it. I have on here a synth lead. Let's see what happens. - It's there. You have it. I added another layer of texture, another voice to my texture, to create a different feel in the music. That's the introduction to texture I'll see in the next video. 9. Dynamics - Giving Power to Your Sound: This first module has been all about defining the elements of music, seeing what they actually are. We started off with talking about rhythm and how it spaces everything out in time. And then we talked about Melody, which has to deal with the pitch. Well, here we are. We've gotten to the element of dynamics. When you break the word down into two parts Dina and Mix, you said it means this Dina means power and X means the quality of or relation so literally . The word dynamics means the quality of power in everyday terms. It's the volume of sound. Now, when we were talking about pitch, remember in the melody section, we were saying that a waves pitch is determined by how far apart each wave is from the other. So this distance here, this would be a pretty low frequency wave, something like, uh, right. But now we're going to talk about something else. There's another fact about waves that changes the quality of it. So I'm going to keep this distance the same, but watch what I do here, going to get this really high and Lo and I'm trying my best to match it up. Now this distance is still the same as up here, but it is a much taller wave. It has more amplitude, and this is what directly relates to dynamics to the volume of the sound. So whereas this would probably sound something like if we put into our computer and have it spit it out, this would sound like, Ah, this would be Ah, we can even go the other way If we want Teoh have a low amplitude wave, we could do something like this, right? Has the same distance. So it's going to be the same pitch or frequency. But here, if this was ah, this is now Oh, it's a very quiet wave. It's a quiet sound that is the science behind dynamics. 10. Form - It's Way Better than Your Taxes!: in our very first lesson together, we were talking about how rhythm is the element, that space is everything out in time so that we have somewhere to put the other elements like melody, harm, harmony, texture, all of those different things here in this lesson, we're going to be talking about form. It's similar to rhythm in that it has to deal with time. But here's the difference. Rhythm is always going. It's that constant beat that is underneath the entire song. It may speed up. It may slow down, but the rhythm is always there. Form has to deal with the chunks of the song that we break it down into. For example, a lot of songs nowadays have a verse in a course, maybe a bridge. How we organize those big chunks of the song is what form is. So as we press into this, I give you a little hint there of what's coming up with the verse chorus Bridge thing. As we press into this know that form has to deal with breaking down Ah, large work into smaller pieces 11. Philosophy - How To Know if YOU are Musical: Congratulations. You just got through the first module here. In the course, you have explored the seven main elements of music that make up all music. No matter what genre, I decided to put into this course also some kind of more informal times just to talk about music philosophy. Now, if this is some of the interest, you great. If not, you can carry on with the next with the next video. Right now, I want to talk about what people think about how how some people are born with the gift of music. I believe that to some extent, everybody, no matter their age or their upbringing, have musical ability. We've kind of I kind of hinted at this earlier in the lecture. Remember, we were talking about how rhythm is every day and, well, if you can walk, you therefore have rhythm you every single day. Feel rhythm inside of your body if you can talk. If you know the difference between a question and a response, a comment or a declaration, you have the ability with your ear to hear pitch. So everybody has a certain amount of musical ability with them. But a lot of people choose not to uncover their own ability. Here's what I mean, Not everybody is going to be a Mozart, Right? He was absolutely incredible. Was able to go and listen to an entire orchestra work, remember it all in his mind and went home and rode out every single part, every single voice in the orchestra. He actually got in trouble. People thought that he stole the music. He said No, I just remembered it all and wrote it all down in one sitting is like a work over 30 minutes long. Now I would be surprised if there's just about anyone today alive who could do that. But everybody has the ability to experience and enjoy and perform music to some extent, and whether or not they choose to uncover that talent or not, that's up to them. But I I congratulate you because you have chosen to take this course to really dive deep into what music is, how it works so that every single module, every single video you can uncover a little bit more about the musical potential that is inside of you right now.