Music Composition Techniques 1: Getting Started | Jason Allen | Skillshare

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Music Composition Techniques 1: Getting Started

teacher avatar Jason Allen, Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      My Background


    • 3.

      Difference Between Theory And Composition


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Pencil And Paper


    • 6.

      Instrument Or No Instrument


    • 7.

      What Comes First?


    • 8.

      F Sharp


    • 9.

      Program Music And Metaphore


    • 10.

      Charecter Sketches


    • 11.

      Free Writing


    • 12.



    • 13.

      Good Composers Borrow


    • 14.

      What Is Form


    • 15.

      Different Forms


    • 16.

      Start With A Plan


    • 17.

      Graphic Representations


    • 18.



    • 19.

      Building Triads


    • 20.

      Diatonic Chord Progressions


    • 21.



    • 22.

      Roman Numerals


    • 23.

      Song Analysis


    • 24.

      Analysis No. 2


    • 25.

      Circle Of Fifths Overview


    • 26.

      Borrowing From Related Keys


    • 27.

      Song Example


    • 28.

      NonChord Tones


    • 29.

      Analysis: Canon In D


    • 30.

      Writing Melody Alone


    • 31.

      Anticendet Consiquent


    • 32.

      Writing Melody With Harmony


    • 33.

      Using Other Influences For Melody


    • 34.

      More On Process


    • 35.

      Coming Soon


    • 36.

      Thanks Bye!


    • 37.



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About This Class

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 the 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 to Skillshare in an online format 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 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 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 Top200 Charts and radio broadcasts nationwide. In 2014 he was named a semi-finalist for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

He currently is a professor at Augsburg University and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for classes by Dr. Jason Allen:

  • "Without a doubt the best explanation and east of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quickly, so you can be on your way to being proficient. What are you waiting for!"

  • "Amazing - Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I'm so happy! Learned 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."

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Allen

Music Producer, Composer, PhD, Professor


J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of "glove" controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he's not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation's Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: - way now in order to do that, we have several different software programs that can do that for us. They're basically like a Microsoft word kind of wearing like this one now and let's add another one there. So I'm just pasting this all over the place. Let's start this one over, so just just keep on, go and, um, put one there. We like our audiences toe have that recollection moment like, Oh, I've heard this before, but that's what we want toe happen. Usually you don't have to have that. You don't have to have that or not. Um, but we tend to like that since I'm gonna talk about major and minor chords in a second. But let's just finish building out. All are possible chords. So right now we have a cord with the root of C accord with the root of D different core progress. But I'm thinking of this is like a verse and a chorus kind of thing to kind of more of a pop song. But it applies in really all music, this concept of borrowing, so I have a chord progression that's there to finish the cord or the third it could also be a note on the bottom to finish the court. Right, Because these 2/3 are either going to be the top 2/3 part of the top third or the bottom three. Everyone welcome Teoh. This class is what we're gonna do in this class. My goal is to de mystify the process of writing music, as I say in the class. You know, most people think of writing music as you know, this genius person hiding out in an attic with a grand piano and a big white wig and writing music. They're basically picturing Beethoven. And, you know, Beethoven was good composer, but that's not how it works in the modern world. Sometimes you just need a way to come up with some good ideas. Need to understand some of the fundamentals of how music works on. And then you just gotta hit the ground running and try it. You're gonna fail a little bit. You're gonna write some stuff that doesn't sound great on you're gonna learn from that. So that's what this class is about. It's about coming up with ideas getting started and demystifying the process of writing music. I'm going to tell you a lot of stories about what I do. I'm gonna tell you about what some of my friends do, what some of my teachers have done. And then we're gonna talk a lot about theory to I've got a big chunk in this class about music theory to get us started. It's not a comprehensive music theory class, but there's enough in here to get us off the ground. If you don't have much theory background primarily, though, we're gonna be talking about ideas and process for writing music and getting started writing music. So I hope you decide to join us. My name is Jay. You're gonna learn a lot about me in the first Couple videos. I'll give you my background, show you some of my music on talk about some of the orchestra's I've worked with and films I've done and things like that. Please jump in, Let's get started right away. It's gonna be a really good time, and I'll see you inside the first lecture. Adios, 2. My Background: Okay, let's start with Ah, little bit about me. I m a composer. I've been writing music for a long time. Um, I started writing when I was in high school doing some jazz stuff played in rock bands, as probably many of you started off that way. It's actually quite common to find modern composers that started off in rock bands and things like that. As I went to college, I started studying composition more seriously, and eventually I got a degree and not composition. Actually, I got my first degree, was in guitar performance, and then I went to grad school and got a degree, a master's degree in composition. And then I went to another grad school and I got a doctorate, a PhD in music composition. I've taught at a bunch of different universities. You can read all that. My bio I've written for some of the major American orchestras have played my music. Um, some other orchestras, chamber music. I've done quite well, and I have written for films, television, ah, video games and a lot of chamber music. I also do a lot of electronic music. Ah, and combining acoustic music and electronic music this class primarily is gonna be about writing music in general, primarily focused on notes, how to kind of choose notes, pick notes and arrange notes in a way that makes for a composition. We're gonna talk too much about the differences between Elektronik music and acoustic music , because when it comes to writing music ah, it's all kind of the same in in many ways, not in all ways. But in many ways, um, you're either writing music or not, depending on it doesn't really matter what tools you're using all the time. So, um, that's my background. I thought maybe we dive in and just look at a piece of mind just to, I guess, give me a little bit of credibility. As they say in the ah, online teaching game. This is a piece from not too long ago. This is a string quartets in my third string quartet. Um, this piece was was fun. It centers around this one kind of unison note. Everyone's on this E, and it's a perfect unison, which will talk more about about the theory stuff later, Um, and then it kind of spreads out. So here they kind of open up a little bit, and then it comes back to a unison. And it's all kind of about this opening and closing of notes. Um, that's the first movement, but what? I wanted to play for you just cause I don't want to take all day is the third movement because I have a rather nice recording of it are the second movement. Sorry. Um, here we go. Let's listen to the second movement of the string quartet and I'll follow along in the score. What? We do it? Yeah. Okay. So, um, now, if you can't follow along with the score, if that's tricky for you, don't worry. That's OK. It's hard to follow along with score. Um, you'll get good at it, so Ah, don't Don't let that stop you. I didn't expect you to be able to just kind of read along with this whole thing. Just relax on that. We'll get there. Okay, so that's a little bit about me in the next video. I want to talk about the kind of difference between music theory and music composition in my mind's is a highly opinionated thing that I'm about to say. So, um, let's dive into that 3. Difference Between Theory And Composition: Okay, So, typically, when I teach music composition, what I'm focusing on is ideas, generating ideas. Not so much on music theory. What I'm assuming once someone gets to a composition class of mine, is that they already have a little bit of a grasp of theory or in some cases, not very much theory at all. Which is what I'm kind of assuming with this class. If you have some theory, that's great. If you don't have much theory background, that's that's okay. Um, but this is not a music theory class. You're gonna learn some music theory, um, in this class, but I like to separate out composition and theory. It's kind of like if you imagine writing music is this umbrella and composition is in that umbrella, and theory is in that umbrella, but they're separate things. They live under this category of writing music. Now, again, this is a fairly opinionated thing, and many composers will see this differently, and that's fine. Um, that's kind of the way I see it. And so the composition is the creative side. So for about half this class, what I'm going to be talking about is the creative side a little more than half the class, actually, um, tricks that I do to generate ideas, how to start what the process is what, my processes, what some other processes are for other composers that I know, um, and ways of just getting your head out of a rut, thinking of new ideas. That's what composition is to me. Now. We're also gonna dive into some of the basic theory here. I have a lot of music theory courses I've written, so I didn't want to redo all of the music theory. If you want to get in detail learning music theory, which I suggest you do if you really want to write music, well, then, uh, I have other classes that are, uh, hugely devoted to that. We're going to do some basic theory in this class, but primarily I want to focus on the act of composing and coming up with ideas and the process. So that's what this class is really all about. Okay, that being said, let's get into the next section and the next section. We're gonna talk about tools in methods. Um, this is just, uh, kind of some of the practical bits. Um like, do you write in software? Do you get manuscript paper? Um, do you sit at the piano? Do you sit at a keyboard? Do you sit with a bagpipe in a kazoo? Whatever. Everybody does this differently. So I'm going to tell you my opinions and how I do this, Um, and how I know other people work on some other tidbits to So let's dive into that section. 4. Software: Okay. First, let's talk about software. Now, when you're writing Well, I should I should say when I'm writing. And I should preface that everything in this class, when it comes to the creative techniques and things like that, are really my opinion. Um, but I think I already said that. Okay, so when I'm writing acoustic music, meaning for real instruments, um, I'm doing it in notation. So standard notation the stuff Like what you just saw Ah, in the string quartet. Now, in order to do that, we have several different software programs that can do that for us. They're basically like a Microsoft word. Kind of where, in Microsoft word you type, you know, letters in these other programs. You make notes. Um, and it's a kind of a similar thing. It's a little more complicated than that, but more or less so. There are three different programs kind of on the market right now. You do not need all three. Ah, pick one. Pick one. That will be good. What you need is a professional notation editor. Now, I know that programs like logic and, um, some of the other ones have notation things built into him where you can work with notes on a staff doesn't really kind of they're okay, but they're not really quite ready for prime time. You wouldn't make a professional score in those programs. The three that exist that are the professional scores. Like if you buy sheet music from somewhere. Ah, it's probably made in one of these three programs. The 1st 1 is finale. It's what I have pulled up here. Um, it's one of the most popular ones. Ah, it works great. All of these programs are hard to learn their fairly complicated. You know, people complain about finale having bugs in this and that and the other thing and they all do. Nothing's perfect. But finale is ah, good program for notations off where the other one is called Sebelius. I don't have a copy of Sebelius here, but Sebelius is kind of the big competitors to finale. Now, if you're going to buy one of those two, I'm going to tell you right now, as I'm, this will change soon, I think. But right now, Sebelius is not a good bye because recently the company that owns Sebelius pulled the plug on it. So Sebelius was not gonna get developed any further. So anything that's wrong with it is wrong with it forever. Um, it also probably won't support new operating systems, new computers and stuff like that. So Sebelius is not a great buy. It's also more expensive than Finale. I think I don't remember the prices on any of these, but finale is probably around through your 400 bucks. Sebelius is like six. I think so. Those are the main big, too. But, ah, there's 1/3 option and kind of sort of 1/4 option. So the third option is this one called Muse. Score. Muse Score is totally free. This is a free program that you can download. Go to muse score dot org's. You can find this program. You can download it for Mac or PC. I believe now this is because this is this is a free program. It doesn't get developed at the rate that the other ones do a little slower to develop. But in the last year or so, this has come a long way. I've been keeping my eye on this program for a while, and ah, I've seen students do some really exceptional looking scores in this program, and I'm really impressed with it. So, um, it's a really legit good alternative now, so check out music or it's totally free. Eso don't spend a ton of money on financially until you know you're gonna need to do something that music or can't do. And the score can't do anything. Everything. So it's legit to get there. But stick with the free one for now. Right? Um, don't buy something expensive, so you scores. Great. Now the I also much and there's kind of 1/4 option, and the kind of four option is one that's going to be released soon. There's a new notation program that's going to shake up the the world of people that are super nerdy enough to keep track of notation programs like me. It's gonna be released by Steinberg, and I can remember the name of it. But if you're watching now, um, look for this other program from Steinberg. It's a looking pretty interesting from the little previews I've seen of it. Um, but for now, music or is great, I'm gonna use music or throughout this class. So, um, you can follow along with me and you score if you like. So those are the three main programmes. And remember, these are professional notation, software says, different than a sequencer. We cannot do anything with audio in these programs. All we can do is input notes and playing back so I can make notes. I could make cords and I can listen to them, right? So that's all we do in this stuff. That's all these programs do. They're very kind of mono thematic. They do one thing and they do it well. Um, I guess there's another thing which is print out good looking scores that we can then give it to performers to play. Ah, that's a whole other can of worms. Okay, so that's the background and software. Next, let's talk about going a little bit old school and using pencil and paper 5. Pencil And Paper: okay, you can get paper with the five lines on it. It's called staff paper, and it is great tohave I I prefer to write by hand with a good pencil and staff paper. I know it sounds crazy because I'm such a computer nerd, but if I'm writing totally acoustic music, music for instruments, I like to just have a good pencil and some good paper and sit somewhere comfortable and inspiring and just right. I like to get away from computers when I'm writing acoustic music. Sometimes there's something just kind of not organic feeling about sitting in front of my computer in my studio. You know, sometimes you just want to climb a tree and write music. So I suggest getting some good staff paper if you're going to be taking composition seriously, whether you decide to write, ah, using staff paper all the time, or you're just going to use it to, you know, scribble out of melody here and there. You know, maybe you're on the bus on your way home from work or something like that, and you just want toe, write something down that's floating through your head. Get some staff paper. You know like it now I suggest getting good staff paper. I'm on Amazon here. I just searched for staff paper. The brand that I like the most is archives. That's this stuff. It's bound. You can get nice, big sheets of it, which I like. I like to have big sheets of it. You can get it bound on the top or the side. There's different kinds at sea here. This is This is the actual one that I get. I think Let's look at it. No, that's too small. This is the actual when I get yeah, 12 by 16. Ah, 18 states per page. So if you open it up, it looks like that. So the staff lines are really small, but you just gotta draw a little dot on him. It's not real heart, so I have trunks full of these things with pieces are written in them. So what I do and we'll talk more about this soon when we start getting into the process. But what I do is for a lot of acoustic music. I write it out on paper like this, just with pencil, and then I meticulously copy it into one of these notation programs, and that's kind of my step of Ah second draft kind of is putting it into the notation program so that other people can read it that way. I don't have to worry about my handwriting, right? Like I wouldn't give a hand written score to anyone to play, but that's just kind of part of my process. I write it by hand most of the time, not always like film scores and stuff like that. I don't do by hand because you've got to be working with the film files and things like that TV stuff, although lately you kind of can get away with it the way TV stuff works. But that's a whole other separate story and get a good pencil, go to an art store, go to an art store and find a good pencil that fits really well in your hand. I used to work as the assistant when I was in grad school for a ah famous composer, and he wrote always by hand. He didn't use computers at all. He always wrote by hand, and then he mailed his handwritten score to someone to put into a computer. Someone far away, and it blew my mind because he would spend a month on some big orchestral thing and then just put in the mail. The Onley existing copy in the world he just dropped in the mail may be nervous, but he wrote sitting at his piano every day on staff paper in pen. Um, that's kind of how intense he was, he wrote in Pen, because he didn't really need to a race I've tried it on. And he had. Here's here's the funniest thing. Um, he had a certain kind of pen. It was like his composing pen. He bought him by the truckload like, seriously, by the truckload, he had a room in his basement that was just boxes of these pens. Could you go through, like, one a day? I still want his pens. I tried writing with it anyway. Feel pretty good, but, um, I had a lot of, like, scribbled out stuff because I, you know, scribble things out and make mistakes so you can try writing in pen if you want. I get why he did it like your hand kind of flows faster and it feels more it feels natural , but I like pencil. I like a good mechanical pencil for me anyway, I'm not. My students always make fun of me for, like, going on and on about the qualities of staff paper. Okay, I'm gonna shut up and stop talking about the beautiful nous of good staff paper. Let's move on and talk a little bit about the process of where you are while you're writing . I've talked a little bit about that, but let's talk a little bit more about that next. 6. Instrument Or No Instrument: So when you imagine yourself writing music, you are sitting at your instrument. So if you play the guitar, you've got a guitar in your hands and maybe you're at your computer. Maybe you're at a desk with pencil and paper. Um, if you're a piano player, maybe you're sitting at a piano, um, and reaching over the piano to write music on the stand around Music on the stand or you've got a laptop next to you. Both of those are fine. And you know the way probably most of the world works. Um, if you watch an old movie that features a composer, um, which there are several very good ones out, By the way, that's really what you're gonna see. You're going to see Composer sitting at a piano and ah, writing music, and that is just fine. You can do that all day long, and it's great, but let me take this brief second just to advocate for not doing that. Um, I'm not saying you have to, and I'm not saying you're gonna write better music. In fact, for a while you're probably right. Worst music if you do it this way, but let me tell you why. I don't like to do that. Um, all the time. Sometimes I do. Would I like to do is get away from my instrument. Um, anything I know how to play. I don't like to have handy, so I don't usually set at a piano. Um, I don't have a guitar nearby. And the reason is I find myself to be very limited by what I can play. So in other words, if I'm sitting at a piano, I'm probably like a mediocre pianist. I'm not, you know, great pianist, by by any means. Um, I can plunk my way through stuff just fine. Um, but if I said at a piano and I'm trying to write a piece of music, I'm gonna kind of get stuck in what I can do. You know what? My piano skills let me dio and I find it really hard to get out of that. Sometimes I write really difficult music. Um, and that's really hard to do when I'm sitting at a piano. I never set out to write difficult music and sometimes all right, I don't write difficult music, but the you know the skill level of what I'm writing is something I don't consider while I'm writing. If it turns out to be a hard piece, it's a hard piece That's just fine by me. So for the same reason I don't have a guitar in my hand, I'm a reasonably good guitar player. But I get stuck in cliches, stuff that guitars do well, and it limits how creative Aiken be on that thing. And maybe this is just a fault of my own, Um, and maybe you won't have this problem, but I find that when I have the instrument in my hands and I can put my hands on it and makes him sound, I get kind of stuck in what my technical ability lets me do. So for that reason, I like to get away from an instrument and just use my imagination. Sometimes I sit at a desk. I have, like a drafting table in my studio here. Um, it's like if you imagine, like when architects except sits at I have that Ah, it's out of reach of any instruments. Um, so I just sit there and right and use my imagination, and when you do that, sometimes you're gonna be wrong. Sometimes you're gonna write something and be like that sound the way I expected it to. And that's totally okay. We're gonna talk more about that shortly. Um, how to develop that skill? But for now, I just kind of want Teoh advocate that you try this. Now, this is something that in the next big section of videos I'm going to talk about in terms of just, I generate generating ideas. But consider that. Consider that if you don't have an instrument handy, you might get more creative in what you can come up with. My favorite place to write music is a loud coffee shop. Ah, so you know, I just sit there and I couldn't just right all day long and feel pretty comfortable doing it. I like being in a place where there's other people creating art around me. No one else is sitting there writing music. I'm definitely the weirdest person in that coffee shop. But, um, there are people, you know, drawing and painting. I like to go too kind of grungy coffee shops, but I find that atmosphere to be inspiring more so than sitting in front of a computer more so than sitting at a piano. Even that being said, sometimes I do sit at the piano if I'm really trying to figure out a tricky harmony or something like that. But usually, even in that case, I'll figure out what I want to figure out what? Get the sound in my head, and then I'll step away from piano and just work on it. Um, on paper once, I kind of memorize the sound that I'm going for. Okay, so I just wanted to advocate for that. Um, we'll talk more about it when we talk about free writing, but think about it. Think about if that will work for you. And maybe that's not something you do right away. But if you were in one of my college classes, I would demand that you try this at least once. I would require you to go sit in a park and writes a music for a while with no instrument in your hand, just to see how it goes again. We're gonna talk more about that soon. Um, but for now, let's move on to the next section. The next section is about process. This is going to be focused on how to get started. This is one of the hardest things that, um I see people struggle with. I see my students come to me all the time and say, Okay, I want to write a piece for orchestra. How do I start? Um, what's the first thing I do it It's just too daunting of a task. Right. So I have, ah, long list of tricks. Um, just ways to kind of kick start the writing process, get some ideas in your head and get you up and running quickly. So in the next section, I'm gonna go over Ah, handful of those. Ah, some tricks just to get you up and running and writing music. So let's dive into those right now. 7. What Comes First?: what comes first. How do we start? Let me start by telling you a story really quick. One of my teachers, once I was writing an orchestra beats and I came to him and said, OK, I'm going to write this piece for a full orchestra. It's like 100 people on stage, tons of different musicians. I can literally do anything I want. I've got a big piece of blank paper in front of me and I have no idea how to start this thing. And his advice wise is brilliant advice, he said. Here's what you need to remember about the orchestra. If you give everybody in the orchestra the same pitch, you tell everybody to play middle C and you just say, OK, play everyone play middle C You know, the same volume, the same everything. It's going to sound beautiful. The orchestra has evolved in a way that it sounds beautiful all the time. So by default, that ensemble sounds awesome. So all you really have to do when you're writing for orchestra, do not screw that up. It's a bit like thinking about the I think Michael Angelo, I think it was. Did the statue of David. That right? Um, when he did it, people said, How did you How did you do that? How did you car of this statue of David? This beautiful thing, he said, Well, I took a huge chunk of stone and I just sliced away everything that wasn't the statue of David. You know, like it sounds so easy, but it's obviously not. But sometimes all you really need to do is get your head thinking differently. And then the doors start opening up for what needs to happen. So what I want to do in this section is talk about how to open some of those doors in your head. These air kind of creative thinking exercises ways of getting started. Um, and in many ways, ways of keeping going. So some of these ideas are ways to write a whole piece. Some of them are ways to just get, um, get the first couple notes on the page, and then hopefully everything starts to come together after that. So let's dive in. This is Ah, I'm gonna give you a list of a handful of mine, maybe more later. But for now, um, let's start with one that is one of my favorite ones. And students always scratch their head when I tell them this, but, um, this is how to get your first note on the page when you're writing music when you're writing a piece of music and you just don't know where to start. 8. F Sharp: Okay, Here's my first Ah, trick for how to get started. This one is so simple and stupid, but it works. Here's what you do. Um, you're gonna come to your teacher. Let's say that's me for now because you're in my class and you're gonna say I I I want to write this piece. I don't know where to start. Um, I could literally do anything. I could write any note in the world, and he was gonna be my answer for you. I'm going to say f sharp right enough sharp, and then see what comes next. That's it. Why do I say that? The reason his all you need is that first note and then the next one might be easier. And the next one might be easier and easier. So if I say f sharp Ah, it's it's as good as any note. It doesn't really matter because because if you know anything about music theory, the notes really don't matter until they have context. So f sharp, g A Doesn't matter. Um, you can always change the key later. A single no is just a single note. It needs notes around it to create harmony for it to feel something, So I like F sharp. Um, whenever I'm stuck on a piece, I always just throw enough sharp in there and then see if I can work my way into having it sound good. And that usually generates a pretty interesting and strange idea. So if you don't know where to start, just throw enough sharp on the page because it's as good as any other note. And at the end of the day, we're just writing a whole bunch of notes down. That's what writing music is, and you don't need to make it so so complicated, right? It can be simple, just just right enough sharp. And if you don't know what to do after that, right, another after and then wait for the next note to start to materialize, it's a dumb trick. Um, I came to that through a teacher of mine. Um, I was writing a string quartet, and I didn't know where to start, and one of my old teacher said, Well, the F sharp above the bass clef staff is the most beautiful note on a cello. He was jealous, so start there ties that. Okay, so I wrote that note. Um, and then things started to come into focus. Um, after slaving over that for a little while, So I just stuck with it. Um, I have a lot of pieces that starts with F sharp. It's kind of silly, but it works. It does the job. So if you're totally stuck and you don't know where to start, just thrown F sharp on the page and then start going from there. At least your first note is taking care of right? OK, moving on. Let's talk about in the next video a much more complicated one. Um, that's the only one that will be so dumb and silly. The next one is has to do with metaphor and creating a story. This is probably the most powerful thing that I have. My students do, um, and also a bit complicated. So next video, Let's talk about it 9. Program Music And Metaphore: okay up next, we're gonna talk about program, music and metaphor. So program music is a term that we use in music all the time. It became popular, I believe, on 18 hundreds, mid to late 18 hundreds, actually, Um and it's still used a lot today. Um, I use it all the time. What it means is that there is a program to the music and buy program. What I mean is a story. So what we're actually talking about here is instrumental music, music that has no words that is intended to tell a story, right? So So there are musical things we do throughout the piece that helped to tell the story. So in order to do that, we need to use a metaphor. So we do things like, let's say this story. Waas, Jack and Jill fell down the hill. OK, so if we wanted Teoh musically create that what we do is something like we'd make a melody that symbolized Jack. And then we make another melody that symbolized Jill. And then we might play with those two melodies a little bit to show that their friends or something like that and then we might do something to symbolise. They fell down the hill so the melodies might just start going Ah, down in like they might just do a big scale going down. They might do a chromatic thing going down. Um, depending on how nasty we want there their fault to be like that, they really get hurt, In which case we might add some percussion and just really make it sound like it was a tumbling fall. Um, either way, we can do a run of notes going down, and that went would symbolize like they're falling down the hill. So the question I always get asked with this is how can you do it so that the audience knows what you're talking about because you're you're gonna be working in such a metaphor, you know, like if the audience is just listening and they hear these two melodies and this run of notes going down, are they going to know that the two melodies symbolized two different people falling down to help? The answer is no, Probably not. Um, but that's okay. They don't need to know. It could be just for you or traditionally, how this works is you give the audience, the program. So the story written out and they read it before listening to the music. That's how it used to work. And you can do that, Um, or you can not do it and just use it as a device. I wrote a piece once where, um, I took two years that I lived. So I I lived in a certain city that will remain nameless for two years, exactly two years when I was in grad school, and, um, it was kind of a messed up time. So what I did once I left that city when I moved to another city is I kind of outlined everything that happened in those two years to me, like like break ups and getting mugged and kind of like significant emotional things of those two years. So I put it on a timeline of the two years, and then I sped up that timeline and got it down to 10 minutes. So now all those events happened over the course of 10 minutes rather than two years, and then I used that as a metaphor to creates the music. So in the music, everything was kind of calm for a while and then, you know, when the timeline hit that I got mugged. I made some big gesture. And then when the timeline hit, you know of some other big emotional thing. I made some other musical gesture. Some thing that happened, uh, and that's program music. So I want to give you a piece of program music to study. Um, in the next section, I'm going to give you the score, Um, and the program notes to a piece by Hector Berlioz's called Symphonie Fantastique. This is one of our most famous pieces of program music. What you're gonna have here is, so I'll give you the score. But don't worry about score. If you don't want to score or to look at the score, don't look at the score. It's fine. Um, the thing you really need to do is read the, um, program notes. There is, like a paragraph or two for each movement of the peace. I think there are five movements, maybe only for so I want you to read that and then listen. I can't include the audio file here, but I can include a link to it, so I'll also give you on the next page a link, Um, where you can listen to the audio recording. This is a piece where he wrote this story, and it's a twisted story. It's a really twisted story. Um, it's not for the faint of heart, so it's and it's maybe not even for kids. Um, but he wrote this story. It's like a one page story. It's not long, Um, and then he wrote music that was to depict that story. And you can hear throughout the music you can listen to the music and read the story and kind of follow along. You know, like that's the idea of doing this. So that's gonna be the next in the next little chunk here. I'm gonna give you those materials. So I want you to read that, um, program note and listen to the music and see if you can see how this idea of program music works, and then maybe think about a program as a way to start your own piece, because that's what we're talking about Here is process. So do you have an idea for something that could be a program? You know, it could be a simple as using musical metaphors to walk through your life or a story that you liked or something like Quote. All right. So have at it. And then, um, after that, we're gonna keep talking about a couple more, uh, creative ideas in terms of process for writing music. 10. Charecter Sketches: okay on a similar idea. As the program note idea, you can use metaphor to also do, kind of like a character sketch. Um, the way I think about this is think about the last good book you read or the last good movie you saw and pick a character from that. Let's do it just for ah, easiness. Let's think of something that everyone knows Are a lot of people know, Let's say, uh, Star Wars Okay, let's say Star Wars, the original Star Wars Um, let's say Luke Skywalker. Okay, um, easy, Right. So we've got this character of Luke Skywalker. What would his music be like? And you could almost think of this like a film score. Think of it like, um, I want to write music. That is his theme music. And I want to go through with the music, a similar journey that he goes through. So what I'm gonna do is I'm going to start off the music. The first section of the piece is going to be, you know, maybe a little bit of innocent. I'm thinking of the very, very first Star Wars movie. Um, you know, maybe it's a little bit innocent has a naive sound to it. Something like that, Um And then as it goes throughout the piece, it's going to get more aggressive but still use the same themes that I introduce in the very beginning. Um, let's think of another one. Star Wars is actually a hard one, because it it literally has theme music already associated with it. You know, we think of the score to that movie is very iconic. Um, let's think of something. Maybe something classic like, um, well, how about here's one that's not classic, but it's one that I have actually done. Um, there's this book that I love. It's not a widely known book, but I love this book to death. It's one of my absolute favorite books, which is saying a lot, cause I read a lot of books. Um, it's called geek Love. If you've never read this book. Oh my gosh, you have to read this book. Ah, it's about ah, I won't give you the whole synopsis of the things kind of complicated, but it's, ah, about a circus family in, like, kind of old dust bowl era like 19 twenties ish. Um, and they have a what's regarded at that time as a freak show. And in the freak show, there's, um, a Siamese twin or there are Siamese twins. Not sure what the about plural of that is, but there are Siamese twins, and, uh, she has it's It's a woman with two torsos. So forearms, two heads and they play piano in the in the book as part of the show. So I wrote a piece about kind of just imagining what their music would sound like. And I wrote a piece for piano four hand that means two people sitting at one piano. Um, the idea was, you know, the person on the left would be would play a little bit more aggressive music than the one on the right because in the book, that's kind of how their characterized Ah, and they go through some kind of wild stuff. They're not even like the main character of this book. It's It's pretty crazy book. So I use the narrative of the book to kind of tell a musical story. You know, I I follow what happens to them throughout the story, and I kind of make musical analogies to that to kind of help guide what I'm going to write . Remember, these are just ways of generating ideas, that's all, Um, but I really like this character sketch idea. I tell this to students all the time, and I have students do it all the time. Everybody can think of a character. And the great thing about this character sketch idea is that it sets you up to write a suite of music. Um, right away. Because what you can do is if you write, let's say you write like a piano piece about a character from a story that you like. Um, then, ah, for your next piece, right, Another piano piece about a different character. And now you've got a two movement peace. Ah, and then, if you do 1/3 1 you've got a three movement piano piece, and that's great to have. Ah, that's a great thing to have in your portfolio is a three movement piano. Ah, piece so that you could call it a piano suite if you want. And if you're another kind of take on this is if you're really into creative writing and writing yourself, then write a story you know, write a story that has a character, if that's more comfortable to you, do that and then see if you can translate that into music, using metaphors and, um, some of the other things we've talked about in program music and things like that. So the characters catch idea can get you a lot of material pretty quick just by thinking about it. Okay, let's move on to another technique I have. The next one is a bit more literal, Um, so let's dive into that. 11. Free Writing: Okay, This next one is something that is probably the most scary thing for my students to dio. But I insist that everyone do it at least once. It's very valuable skill tohave if you get good at it. But that's not what this experiment is about. It's not about getting good at it right away. What it's about is generating ideas, Um, and finding a process that works for you when you're first getting started. I call this just free writing, and what I ask students to do is get some staff paper, get a pencil and go away. Go somewhere comfortable. Go sit in a park. Go sit in a coffee shop. Noisy, noisier. The better go somewhere where you have no business being writing music. The goal here is to get somewhere comfortable that is away from any instruments. You're going to rely purely on your imagination here so you can not bring any instruments just to pencil in a paper. I really let coffee shops for this. There are certain coffee shops that I have in Minneapolis here where I live that I do this all the time. There are ones that I find I am more productive at than others. It's kind of weird, but anywhere that you can sit for a good couple hours and work is great. Parks are good. I used to go to the beach and do it when I lived by, Ah, a significant body of water. Um, on a nice day, anything that can be great. I used to go to the airport and do this when I lived in a different a major city. Um, I would do this for, you know, like a good, like, 10 hour stretch. And I needed a place where I could be for 24 hours, like in the middle of night. Um, that was safe. And, ah, the airport was was kind of the safest place to be, So I would take the train out to the airport. I would sit at the baggage claim, and I would just write Ah, for all that long, uh, anyway, find somewhere comfortable to you that you can sit for a long period of time. I don't recommend bars. Bars are, um, less good. They tend to be, um, not filled with creative people. It's more people socialising and having fun, which is good but you want, like, ah, creative atmosphere. Um, also in bars. If you sit for a long period of time at a bar, it kind of being rude to the host, um, the person running the the waiter or the waitress or whatever. Um, because they're not gonna make a lot of money off you, so it's not great. Also, I find that looks like when I drink, I get, ah less focus. It's harder for me to focus, so it's not good. Um, stay away from bars for this. You go to go to bars when you're having fun with your friends. Don't go there alone just to write music. Although I've done it. Um ah. And it's had some interesting results, but, um OK, so we're gonna go to this place, we're gonna sit down and we're gonna write Just start writing. Um, don't think too hard. Just put start putting dots on the staff. Ah, imagine what you want to hear and then start writing it now. What you're going to say to yourself and what you're probably saying to yourself right now is I don't know how to do that. I don't know how to look at music and just hear it in my head. That's okay. You don't need to. Don't worry about it. Just follow your gut. Just start writing. See what happens. Um, write down how you think something goes, If you can imagine a sound, just start writing it down. Take a guess. Um, if you're right, then call. You wrote something cool. If you're not right, you probably wrote something interesting. Anyway, that's the joy of doing this. Um, you can. So here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna We're going to spend a couple hours doing that. Then you're gonna come back, uh, to your instrument or your computer or whatever you do. And you're going to put that music into a notation program like finale or Sibelius from you score. And then or you're gonna just sit at the piano and play it. That's what you do. Um, and you're gonna listen to what you wrote. It's not going to be what you expected that you wrote. It's not going to what you thought you were writing. Um, unless you're You're really good at hearing stuff in your head from music. And if you do this long enough, you will get good at it. By the way, Um, that's kind of a side effect of doing this. You just keep doing it. You'll start to have more and more confidence in what you're writing. But even if it doesn't sound anything like what you thought it was gonna sound like it will sound like something. And it might sound interesting. Probably a good half of it will be interesting stuff that you might not have otherwise came up with. So we're gonna take that music, and then we're gonna start playing with it and working on it and turning it into something that we really like using while we're at it. Instrument. So we're going to do this initial session of just, like, sitting away from our instrument, just free writing. Ah, and then we're gonna bring it back, and we're going to see what we got. Um, and then we're going to start crafting it and working with it as a piece. It's gonna be our our starting point for a peace. This is great for just your general musical abilities. The more you do this, the better you'll get at it. Um, the more you look forward to doing it. Um, and the more music you'll right? I mean, you write a lot of music while you're doing this, so I could not recommend doing this more. Ah, I just Please try it at least once. Just get some staff paper, go somewhere comfortable. Ideally, somewhere where there are other people around making music, doing interesting stuff and see what they and and see what you come up with. You'll shock yourself. Trust me. Use that music as a starting point for a piece of music. Okay, um, that being said, let's move on to another one. Another kind of process related thing, This one. Ah. Ah, much more liberal or ah, much more literal, but a way of generating a lot of ideas quite fast. So something I like to do a lot as an experiment to get me started offer you 12. Canon: Okay, so let's say we have a melody. I don't usually start with the melody, but let's just say we do. Let's say we found a melody that we like. Um, just gonna riff one really quick. Okay. Uh, pretty simple. Here is the melody I just came up with. Okay, Nothing amazing. But it'll work for this. So let's say you've got a melody. What I want to do is take this melody and see if I could just generate a whole bunch of ideas. Um, and a whole bunch of music just using it. So what I'm gonna dio as I'm going to do. Ah, canon with this A crazy amount of canon. Um, Now what Canon is you've done a cannon before. Ah, cannon Is this thing that you mean that you probably did when you were a kid? Maybe. Where the the easiest one is? Row, row, row your boat. So you did. So you had, like, four people and one person started singing row, row, row your boat and right on the word boat. Another person started at the beginning. So in row, row, row your boat row, row, row your boat and then 1/4 3rd and 1/4. So it all kind of happened in sequence, right? It's sometimes called around. Um, there's a slight difference between a cannon and around, but basically, for our purposes, we can think of them as the same thing. So I've got a whole bunch staffs here. I'm just gonna copy this. Oops. Go now. I'm just gonna put it there. And the two What I got just with the two. Okay, That was not brilliant to me. So instead of that, let's try it Lined up a little bit differently. Here. Get. So now I have it starting to beats later. Get rid of that and that. I just use those for spacers. Let's try that. Okay? It's kind of interesting. Let's add this one now and let's add another one there. So I'm just pasting this all over the place and let's start this one over, so just just keep on, go and, um, put one there, one there, one there, and then we'll start this 1/1 more time. Okay? Now, I just pasted that melody all over the place, and I generated a bunch of music by doing it right. I didn't transpose it. I didn't do anything. All I'm really doing here, and this is the important thing about this process, is I'm listening for what's in that melody. Once we get once it starts to get thick, like right here where there's four voices going. What I'm gonna here is a whole bunch of notes. But the sonority I'm going to hear the general sound that I'm hearing is going to tell me a lot about what's in that melody, right? This is kind of like a little bit metaphysical. It's a little bit hippie, but, um, I like doing it because it really lets you explore a melody and no, like what chords are gonna work well in it. What? What? It's gonna sound like what you confined in it, um, for harmonies all over the place. So it's a good experiment just to generate some stuff. So let's see what we got and then we'll see if we can pick anything out of it, - Okay ? There's actually some interesting stuff here, and in particularly these cords you hear a lot more times I can remember where those were. Okay, I put it much like all the down beats It's kind of weird, So check it out. Okay? I'm gonna keep all my down beats. So this cord and this cord and this cord this cord I just wanted down beats this cord, and I'm gonna leave the top line alone. You'll see why in a second. Okay. Okay. So I have nothing but down beats. Let's let's be consistent and finished this out with this. Okay, um, now I'm going to turn all of these notes, the whole notes. So take that and turn it into a whole note if it'll let me, which it will. Okay. - Okay . Now, how I got to hear is remember, I just layered that melody. Ah, 100 times or not hundreds, but, like, five times, um, throughout here. And I kind of liked the sound of the harmonies that it was making. So I got rid of all the other notes, and now I've made an accompaniment to this melody at the top. Um, let's see what we've got. However, I'm going to change these to a string sound so that they resonate a little bit longer, so let's do that. Okay, Let's see what we came up with. Now that I've changed those two strings. - Okay , Slightly interesting. Um, now, let's just keep going with this. Let's keep playing with it. Um, the thing that I hear that I need next is to connect some of these notes. So let's go here and let's just anything that has a big gap. I'm just gonna, um, put a note in between. So it's putting out there. Ah, here's a big gap. Let's put this note there. Here's another big gap. Let's put this note. Do something like that. That sounds okay. Here's a big is a smaller gap, but let's put something in between. Do that. I'm just eyeballing stuff, not thinking too hard. You that that's fine. That's fine. That's fine. Maybe this one needs something to stay in. Key is the only thing I'm really thinking about here. Those were fine. Maybe this one could go there, find that one could go there. It's put through that one there. It's put something here, but I want to much motion. That's good. And that's fine. And let's maybe put some notes at the end. Some sees, because we're in the key of C and that will sound nice. Okay, so I just had a little bit more emotion in there. Let's see how that goes. Okay? - Okay , um, not bad. Here's what I'm hearing, though. Check this out and this is totally okay. This is part of the exploring process that we're gonna dio when we listen to music and we're writing music. But we're listening to what we've written. Sometimes you discover a whole new things inside here. So here's I'm going to do I'm gonna take my original melody I'm gonna get rid of it Now I'm gonna take my tempo way down and I'm gonna hear this as a slow string ballad. What do we have now? Okay, not bad. Um, that's quite a nice little string Addazio I came up with out of that initial little happy melody. Um, and I got to that just by wearing it with cannon, you know, making a big, giant mess of a cannon out of it and then peeling away the layers and then finding what was in there, you know? And this was in it. This was in that piece in that little melody was this And that's how I found it was by using the cannon. So another idea to just generate a bunch of material to kind of get you started 13. Good Composers Borrow: Okay. Want to wrap up this section of the class by giving you one more idea? Um, and for this one, we go to a quote from one of the most famous and ah influential composers of the 20th century and then Igor Stravinsky. Stravinsky very famously said good composers borrow great composers steel, So I think what he means by that is ah, lot of good composers listen to what other people are doing and then dissect it, analyze it, and use and and adapt it into their own style. So you might hear something you might, you know, use your music theory, figure out what the core progression is that you heard and then pick it apart and say, Oh, this is how I can use it. But what Stravinsky is actually saying is, you know, that's for good composers, but great composers who is pretty much straight up steal it. And here's how I interpret that, what you can do. I mean, you don't really want to just steal music. You don't just take a piece of music and slap your name on it and say, Here's something I wrote. Um, you don't do that, but what you can do is listen to a piece of music that you love and take a much from it, as you can listen for the form of it, we're gonna talk about form a lot in the next section. So we're gonna be talking about form. Um, but we're gonna listen for the form, and we're gonna try to adapt the form measure for measure. If we want. We can totally do that. We're gonna listen to the harmony. We're gonna be talking about theory very soon, and we're gonna get some, ah, information about how harmony works. Um, listen for the gestures, you know, Is there a big thing that happens at a certain point? Is there a quiet section? At a certain point, you can follow a score and mimic a lot of what a good piece does, and that might turn into a great piece of music. I know very successful composers that do this. I do this. I take pieces sometimes. And, you know, I might take one staff in a score and just like, put in ah, the melody line from a famous piece of music and then harmonize it and then delete that melody line and then keep going on my own thing and just use it as a way to kick start what I'm doing. That's OK. You can do that. Um, you don't have to admit it. You can keep it a secret, or you can admit it if you want. But everybody knows this Quote. Every composer in the world. No. Well, in the Western world knows that Stravinsky quote Good composers borrow great composers steel. So think about it. Keep it in mind. Um, especially to me, its most powerful. When we look at form because there's a lot of forms that, you know, I might listen to a great piece and say, Wow, that just flowed really well. So I'm gonna look at the form of it, and I'm gonna do exactly that form. You could do that. You can't copyright a form. That being said, let's move on And let's talk about form. Here we go 14. What Is Form: okay up next. I want to talk about form now. Form or a musical form is probably the most underrated aspect in my opinion of music theory and music composition. Um, so in this first video, let's talk about what form is, and then I'll give you some things to help you work with it. Okay, so first of all, I found this little video which we don't need to watch it. Um, it's just someone reading this paragraph, so I'm just going to read it to you. So here is the, ah, somewhat technical definition of musical form. After this, I'll distill this for you. Don't worry. The term musical form or musical architecture refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections. In the 10th edition of the Oxford Companion to Music, Percy Scholes defines musical form as a series of strategies designed to find a successful mean between the opposite extremes of unrelieved repetition and unrelieved alteration. According to Richard Middleton, musical form is the shape or the structure of the work. He describes it through the difference the distance moved from a repeat, the latter being the smallest difference. Differences, quantitative and qualitative. How far and of what type? Different in many cases formed depends on statement and restatement, unity and variety and contrast and connection. Okay, that was a lot of technical stuff. Let's slice that down to what that actually means. The best thing about the sole paragraph is this term right here. Musical architecture. It's the shape of the peace. Okay, so, um yes, these are all true, and they're all interesting to know the other three paragraphs here. But what it really boils down to is the shape and the contrast. That's kind of what these other two paragraphs were saying here. The contrast is what makes music interesting. Think about a pop song. Ah, in a pop song. We have the verse and we have the chorus, right, and we have some other stuff here and there to But primarily we have versus in courses. They tend to contrast each other a little bit. By contrast, I mean, if the chorus is big and loud, divers might be quieter right or less thick. It might be if it's a pop song where, like, people are yelling in the chorus they might not in the verse or even the opposite of that. So the verse and chorus are two main pieces of the song, and the form is how those are arranged over time. So the form of a pop song might be intro, verse, chorus ah, maybe another verse chorus and that a bridge and then a chorus that could be a typical pop song. There's a lot of different ways you can do pop songs, but those air typically the piece is kind of like a puzzle. Here's another way to look at it. Here's a piece of music. What this is doesn't matter. This is just a big piece of music. Ah, this is an orchestra piece. Um, here's what I want to show you, though, so we can look through this and we can just see a ton of notes, right? Like, Ah, a lot of notes. But if we zoom out, if we just zoom way out, we can actually see the form pretty clearly. Okay, so let's do it. Let's zoom way out. So even here we're looking at 123456789 pages. We still just see a bunch of notes. We don't see the form yet, but we go way out. Who's go this way? Honestly, the whole piece in one line. I don't know how well, this is gonna translate to your screen. Hopefully, clearly, we don't want to see the notes here. I don't care about the notes. Okay, here's the entire piece. Okay? This is the whole piece of music. Obviously, I can't read the notes, but I can see the form. Check this out. Here's a lot of notes. That's the A lot of notes were looking at before Here it gets thinner, right? Not as many notes, less dark stuff on the page, less ink on the page. Here it gets thicker again. This is probably related to this. I like I can almost see similar stuff happening there and then quiet again. This might be related to this, probably by the shape of it. It kind of looks like it is, but it's longer. So that's interesting, Then. We have thick stuff again here, probably related to this stuff and this stuff, and then we have something new here. I can't really tell what it is. It's somewhere in between this and this in terms of the density of it, like how many notes are happening? Uh, So what I can tell here is that there are probably three different sections of this piece. Ah, two of which are repeated. So let's call this section the A section we usually call form with letters. So this is the A section. This is a B section. All that means is that it's something different than a this we could call the a section again, and we need to listen to it and look at it a little more finally than we're looking at it here, um, to really know if this is a repeat of the A section or not, but let's call it the A section again. Here. We could call this the B section because it looks like the same thing again. So we have a B A B, and this is longer, so we might call us an altered be Something's different about it. It's based on the B section, but it's different, so we can call it an altered be or a fancy way to say that would be be prime as the way to say it's unaltered. Be here. It looks like we have in a section again similar to these. So it So we have a B A B prime a and then maybe something that we that looks totally different. If it's totally different than a and B, we would call it. See, we would call it a C section. Um, if we got in there and analyzed it and really look close at it, we might even call it an altered A where in the same way this was unaltered be This might be an A plus some stuff, so this could be an altered be earn altered am sorry, but it kind of looks to me like that's something new here, so we could call that see? So that means the form of this piece, as far as we can tell right now, is a B a b prime a see. So what good does that do us knowing the form and being able to see the form as composers does a lot of good because when you're writing something, first of all, audiences like to hear a clear form, they like this. So here we have in a section here we have the A section again. That's good. That's not laziness. That's good. What that means is they hear something here, they hear something different. And then here they go. Ah, yes, I've heard that before. That is a feeling. We like our audiences to have familiarity, something they know. They've heard this before. They can latch onto it. That gives a positive response from your audience members most of the time. So that's why form is important. Repeating things is okay, Um, so from the audience perspective, it's good. We want them to get music that they've heard before or an alteration of it. Ah, because it gives familiarity to the music and makes them more comfortable. That's why form matters and for another reason. We like form, because it kind of makes our life a little bit easier, right? Like we write this a section and then we write the B section, and then we write the C section right? That's like the only things we've really had to right here. And we've got a whole long piece by doing the A B. Let's do the A again. Let's do the B again. Um, let's do something new right? Like you had to write half assed much music as the actual length of the peace. So that can be handy. Um, that's not like the best reason to do it, obviously, because we don't We don't use form just cause we're lazy. Um, but it is a nice by product that you can write a little bit more music a little bit faster , so form matters, and there's a lot of different forms that exist already. There are some that are, like, kind of like templates. So this one, we would call a B a be primes. Sorry, A B A b prime a. See, um, some of those patterns have names, and we kind of keep them metaphorically in our back pocket. We pull them out and we say, Oh, I'm going to use that one now. I'm gonna use this one now, and we put that into the plan. When we're sitting down to write a piece, we say, OK, I'm going to use this form, use this key, this kind of stuff. That's part of what we plan on doing. So let's talk next about some of those, uh, forms that are like these standard forms that people use all the time. There are a couple that I find to be really useful just toe. Keep handy and think about think about using in your pieces. Let's talk about those next. 15. Different Forms: Okay, Now that we know roughly what form is in music, let's look at a couple of different forms. Um, so the three that I want to look at in this video are something called binary form, something called coronary form and something called Rondo. As you can see, there are a lot of different forms, and this is only a very, very, very short list. There are, like, probably hundreds of different ways you can organize in a section of B section A C section , A D section, and you section however many you want. Um, in fact, I'm gonna talk about one more. In addition to these three, Um, I'm gonna talk about 1/4 1 and I'm going to start with that 4th 1 right now. The 4th 1 is called through composed form. What, through composed form means is that you would have in a section followed by a B section followed by a C section followed by a D section followed by an E filed by an F, followed by a G etcetera, and it will go on forever. This is typically not how we like music toe work. Um, because of what I just said, Ah, in the previous video, we like our audiences toe have that recollection moment like, Oh, I've heard this before, but that's what we want toe happen. Usually you don't have to have that. You don't have to have that or not. Um, but we tend to like that toe happen so through composed form doesn't get used very often. Um, so especially when you're just starting out writing music, I would suggest you don't use through composed forms. Um, just going from one thing to the next thing to the next thing to the next thing. Don't do that. Um, there are ways to do it well and there are some composers that have done it very, very well. Um, but it's it's harder than you think. It's actually quite difficult. So let's look at some of the other ones. Binary form to things is what binary means. Ah, you have in a section and then to be section. And that's it, right. A be done. Um, So the B section is gonna have some kind of nice ending to it. And the A sections gonna have a nice ah intro to it. Maybe, but it's just a and B So a section of stuff, a section of different stuff. And that's the end. Quite simple. It's called binary form. Super simple. Okay, it's making a little more complicated. Urinary form now. Urinary form. Just based on that word, you might think that means it has three ah, different pieces, different parts of music. Ah, and it kind of only has two, but three different sections turn Every form is a B A. This is probably I don't know if I'd like put money on this, but I would say the most common kind of music ah, is turn Eri form. I guess it depends on the genre, but there is a lot of music written Internet reform a b A. It gives us that repeat of a so it makes it so that we have something familiar that we get at the end. So we hear some music. Ah, maybe you've got melodies and harmonies and things in here. Um, and then something different, something that contrasts the A section. And then after that different thing, we get it again. So this a section is going to contrast the b section that we just heard right? So there's a contrast there as well as their So that makes a be a quite rewarding right Feels good. We like the way in a B A piece feels Ah, the next one I want to show you is more complicated One. But it's one that I find to be really useful all the time. This is called Rondo Rondo. Just fancy word for it. What it means is we have in a section and we're gonna use this a section every other section is gonna be the A section We're gonna go a section and then something different be something that contrasts a right, and then we're gonna do a again And then we're gonna do some something that contrast a again but something different than before. So we're gonna contrast it again and then we're gonna do a again and this can keep on going a B a c a d a e a And it can go on forever A song As we start and end with a and we put in a in between something new It's basic. It's almost through composed where we have these b c d e f g h i j. It could go on forever. But we just put the familiar thing in between each one. Right? So it's like through composed. Except we have this familiar stuff. Keep coming back. Um, that's called Rondo. These are fun to write, actually, because it lets you come up with one really solid chunk of music and then you know something different and then go back to the home run again, and then something different, and then the home run that something different and you can just kind of keep experimenting around. It's a fun ah, form, toe work in. So those are just some some of the many, many, many, many, many forms. Um, what I'm gonna ask you to do is when you start writing music, pick a form that you're going to use. I want you to know before you put the first note down what kind of form you're going to use , even if it's not one of these simple ones, even if it's a more complex one. We're gonna talk about that in the next video, So let's jump to it now. We're gonna talk about starting with a plan 16. Start With A Plan: Okay, So here's how I'm gonna start a piece. Now that I know about form, I'm gonna come up with just, like, a little list of things that I'm going to use in this piece. So the first thing I'm gonna do is talk about form. So I'm gonna say, What's my plan? You know, like what? For my going to use. And the reason I'm saying it's a plan is because it can change. Like if I'm writing something and I find something really cool like, Oh, I'm supposed to go back to the A section here, but, um, I can still do more. Maybe I'll change it. You know, like, let yourself change the form if you want to. But we're going to start with plan, knowing that plans can change. So ah, starting my piece, I'm gonna say the form of this piece is gonna be turn eri. Okay, so that's a B A. What else do I need to know for my plan? Um, let's describe the A section a little bit. Let's say a section is going to be, um, melodic with a, um major key Melody hoops and, um, simple harmonies. Meaning, um, try adds nothing bigger than a triad. We'll talk more about that in the next section. We're getting a theory, uhm, but I'm not going to use any kind of extended crazy harmonies. Could be pretty much straight up triads. Okay, so that's a good description. I'm just, you know, painting and real a broad strokes. Here. Let's talk about the B section. I won't know. I want something that contrasts. So the contrast to melody would be texture. So it's gonna be very texture oriented. Texture means, like you might not here a melody as the most primary thing. But instead, like a rhythm or like a groove. Or, um, it's not a good way to describe texture like in a texture you give, like the general feel of the piece. So it it feels like haunting. Or it feels like aggressive or passive or something like that. So I want something that contrasts my nice major key melody. So I'm gonna say texture oriented. Um, minor key Melody doesn't have to shift for a major to minor, but why not? Minor key melody? Um, and I'll keep this simple harmonies because you wanted to contrast, but you don't want it to be, like, totally left field, right? Like it's still the same piece. Um, it still has to be related and feel like it works together. So then the coronary form my third section is just my A section again, so I don't need to outline that differently. Okay, so one other thing to point out here, let's talk about this melody. So I've identified then the a section I'm going to do some kind of major key melody And in the b section I'm gonna do Ah, minor key Melody. Okay. What I want to do is I want those melodies toe work together. So I wanted to be a really similar melody. Um, even though I want these two contrast, I want the melody to have some. I want the melody of the B section to have some kind of relation to the melody of the A section so that it feels like cohesive. It feels like it's in the same piece. So if I do a major key melody, I might do the exact same melody in a minor key. So I've got a major key melody here. I might do a minor key melody. Um That's all the same notes, But I might use different harmonies, right? So the melodies will sound this same. Let's try, um, you jump over to muse score here. Let's just do it on one Staff will keep it nice and simple. Okay, so let's say in the a section, we'll stick to see Magic Major here, my melody Is this okay? There's my melody. Let's hear it. Okay. Nice simple melody. Now, let's add some harmony to that. So I'm gonna copy this. I'm gonna call. This is my a section, and then I'm gonna put my B section here. I'll leave normally. I wouldn't leave an empty measure right there, but just humor me for a minute. Here. Now, let's add ah, harmony to it. Actually, I am gonna have to add another staff here, so, you know, add these cliff removed. Okay. Okay. So I'm gonna put my harmony and the other staff, Okay, So remember, we're gonna talk about about harmony in a minute, so if you don't know harmony, that's okay. Um, it's gonna add simple two note chords here, Um, and then let's go. Okay. Pretty major sounding stuff. Let's hear it. Okay, so if you do know harmony harmonies I use here is this is our one chord Ah, this is our six chord are relative minor. So in a minor Ah, this is a part of a five chord. This is the other part of a five chord. So this is all five and then one. Okay, now let's re harmonize it differently. So in R B section to make this a little, we want something that contrast. So the first thing I would do with a different rhythm to the notes. So let's dio see something like this. Um, me. Okay, I'm just I'm just gonna make I'm going to start on the minor, So Oops. So this is all kind of just a six chord. Let's copy that. So I don't have to rewrite all those rhythms and just change the notes. Let's to this kind of moving to a four chord Here, it's it again. And here, let's go to, um good one e minor chord. That would be the three. Let's do that. And then let's day on that cord and then go back to our first chord. Okay, Can I have a very different thing? I have a different texture, right? This was just whole notes. So very thin because not a lot of notes happening here. I have something a bit thicker. Lots of notes happening. Um, the same melody. Now I'm just harmonizing it in a different way. Let's hear what happens. Okay, let's hear him back to back now. - Okay , So now I didn't even do the thing I said I was going to do, which is change this to a minor key. I left it exactly as is and just gave it a whole new harmony, right to give it a whole different feel. That contrast id the A section that works, too. So again, here's a good example of, ah, changing our plan. So let's take this and say Same melody as the a section. Let's just call it darker. It's not necessarily miners. It's darker. Okay, so that was my plan, right? So this is my plan. Start with plan. That's the whole point of this video start with plan. Um, you will thank yourself later. Next. Let's talk about a kind of even more thorough way to plan. Um, your pieces using a graphic representation is one. My favorite things to do 17. Graphic Representations: okay, I want to show you one more kind of, ah, thing that I do with form that follows under pre composition, which is a term I don't think I've talked about yet. By the way, um, pretty composition is what we do before we start writing. It's all the stuff we're talking about now. Um, so the things like coming up with a plan, that's all pre compositional stuff. Um, this next thing is an exercise that I like to do a lot. Um, myself and I have students do it too, but I do this for my own projects. Um, and that's to draw a graphic for the form. And this sounds silly. And I normally just do this on pencil and paper. And it's mostly just me scribbling because I can't draw to save my life. So I just scribble. I'm gonna try to do it here digitally. Um, and it'll probably look kind of the same. Ah, first thing I need is just kind of a timeline. So I say, Okay, here's my piece, and this is gonna tell me how long this piece is. So this is zero over here, and this over here is How long? Let's say this is gonna be a three minute piece. Pretty short. Okay, so that makes right about here. The one minute and 52nd mark. Let's keep track of that. Okay, So here's my piece from beginning to end. Now, I'm just gonna start scribbling some stuff. So I said I wanted to do a That's a by near your turn, everything before I think urinary. So what? I'm gonna do it and then move this up a little bit and this up a little bit because going to get messy. What I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna start scribbling thinking about the texture. Like, remember when we zoomed way out of that score and ah, we could see like there was a lot of notes in a section that not a lot of notes in another section. That's kind of like the texture. So for my a section, if this is turn ery first of all, my A section is gonna be right about this much. My B section is gonna be about this much, and my C section is gonna be about this much is not an exact science. So let's just cheat that in a little bit, and then we'll move that up and let's just be clean about it and do that film there. Okay, A section B section C section. Okay, so my a section is it's gonna have a little melodic thing. It's gonna be this nice little melody that's gonna kind of hover above things like that. That's cool. Harmonies are going to be long and simple. So this kind of, ah harmony thing and then, you know, it's going to be just like notes held. So I'm just gonna do that, that kind of thing, You know, this is really just a very general thing. This will be useful. Trust me. Might be section I'm gonna have a similar nice melody floating above it, but underneath I'm gonna have a lot more turbulence here. My harmony is going to be moving around a lot more. Okay, so it's gonna be a little more frigid or not frigid. A little more, um, motion in the harmony down there. So that's cool. And then my see section is going to be really similar to this. I could just copy and paste it, but I'm not going to you, so I'm gonna have this nice mala hoops like you're at the wrong tool. Gonna have this nice melody that does that kind of a thing. And these kinds of straight harmonies again. This time, maybe it's going to have a little nice little ending on it. So let's just do that kind of thing to show that it kind of comes together and ends nicely . Okay, this becomes useful now that I've done this. What I can do is while I'm writing, use this as a reference right again. Don't be afraid to change it. Do not be afraid to change it. But while I'm writing, I could say, OK, I'm at 1 50 I'm halfway through this piece. I should be about halfway through my b section. Um, and if I am, this is the kind of texture I should be making right. This is more useful when you're doing a much more complex harmony when you have lots of different stuff. But we can even dissect our timeline a little bit more. Let's say this should be about 50 seconds. Actually, 30 and oh, did anyone notice my goofy air? That should be about 1 30 This should be about one minute, and this should be about two minutes. Okay, so now you're writing once you're 30 seconds in, this is gonna help, you see? Okay, I should be halfway through my a section now. Right? So that means that it's time. If you're writing a melody and you're working on it, it might be time to start thinking about how you're going to wrap it up and lead it into this b section. Right. Um, so this gives you these kind of landmarks things you can see that will help you plan so that you don't have this abrupt transition from a to B. Right? Um, it's a map. Think of it like a map. It tells you where you're going, right? It gets you from from literally point a to point B. But in this section, in this sense, section a two section B Having these little graphical diagrams is really useful to me. I do it all the time. Um, for big orchestra pieces. I've sat there and just, like, scribbled and scribbled and scribbled just to make Ah, good map for how I'm gonna make my peace. So don't be afraid to do this. This is a great tool. I strongly recommend it. Okay, now that we've talked about forms sufficiently and the pre composition, let's dive in and talk about theory. You know, I have all these other theory classes. Um, so in this class, what I'm gonna focus on, I'm kind of assuming, you know, a little bit about theory. Not a lot. But what I'm gonna do in the next chunk is I'm gonna just talk primarily about harmony. Um, writing harmony and writing core progressions, chords and chord progressions is what we're gonna talk about. And then after that, we'll talk about writing melodies and some tricks to writing melodies. Okay, so let's dive into harmony next. 18. Triads: when we're building cords. The magic number to remember is the number three three is what gets us through our courts. Now here's what we're first going to start talking about triads. Triads. As you can probably guess from the name that starts with. Try tr I. Ah, it means chords with three notes. Okay, we can have more. Eventually, we'll see accords with four notes and we'll see chords with five notes, maybe even six notes. It can happen. Um, but a triad gives us the basic building block. Ah, for all courts. So it's got three notes and we need these three notes to really give ah to get enough information out of the cord for it to give us the sound that tells us of its major minor or all these things we can't have less. There. You can have a to note chord. It's called a die ad, and we often when we see those, we kind of think of them as triads with a missing note. Usually so we don't really focus on die adds very much. Triads is the way that we it's kind of like like a triad is like if you had um, imagine you have a very simple house. That's a triad you can add on to your house and build more. You can add another room and have four notes on your record, and that's going to give it a little bit different character. You can add, Ah, pool in the back. It's gonna add five notes to your cord, and it's gonna have a little bit different character still, Um, but you gotta have the basic house in order to add on to it, and that is a try it. It's the most basic thing. So I told you to pay attention to the number three, and that's not just because of Triads. Triads, as we talk about him, are made up of three notes. That's why we care about the number three. Now. There's another reason that we care about the number three also is because each note in A Triad is 1/3 apart. So this magic number three has two things. So that third apart business, let's focus on that for the next section. So for this video, the thing I want you to remember is that we're going to start with our most basic building block of chords, which is called the Triad, because it has three notes in it up next. What are those three notes? How do we decide what three notes to put in there? We can't just put any three notes. There's a pattern to it, right? I promised more patterns and this is it. So in the next video, what three notes. 19. Building Triads: So, in order to figure out what notes make up the different triads, we kind of have to go back and look at our scale for a minute. So let's stick to see, Major, because it's easy to see and we like it. Some skin draw C major scale here. Okay. Okay. Okay. There is a C major scale. Now, remember, in the last video, I told you to pay attention to the number three because of triads and also because it helps us figure out what notes make up accord. And the reason for that is that we build cords using something called Turn Eri Harmony Trinh Eri. And what that means is that our cords are built on thirds. And when I say we build cords, what I'm talking about is the is all kind of western music. Um, any classical music, pop music? Anything like that is all based on, um, this turn Eri harmony idea, which is cords built on thirds. And if you're I mean, there's some See, there's some Indian music, a lot of Asian music that's not built on thirds. But that will sound quite strange to us. Um, most music that you know, possibly all music that you know is built on thirds. So let's look at it. We have a scale, and this is where the thirds come into play. This'd our first note of our scale. This is our third, and we go up. Another set of three things is our fifth. Those are the three notes we need The first, the third and the fifth. That makes our first triad. Okay, so let me write that over here. First note. Third note, fifth note. Hear that? Who's I can't claim all at once this way. But that is this note this'll note. And this note the first note of the scale The third note of the scale and the fifth note of the scale makes a C major triad because we used the scale of C. Let me say that one more time. If we start off with the A c major scale and we take the first note, the third note and the fifth note of that scale, that is what makes a C major chord. Okay, A seeing major triad, Another way of saying a c major chord. Okay, so the first to third and the fifth every other note. Right? Um, that gets us our group of three. Because 123 123 1st 3rd and fifth. So that 135 pattern is important for us to remember. Now check this out. Let's go over to our Caden song here. That's what we were seeing right here. This is in the key of C Major and they're playing the first note of the scale. The third note of the scale in the fifth note of the scale and then an octave. The first note of the scale again. 1st 3rd 5th That makes a C major triad. Now again, they don't play it at the same time here. But that's OK. So that's how we make the first triad. Let's do it in a different key, shall we? Let's do it in the key of G. Okay, so how do we make a G major record? Easy. What we're going to dio is let's write out a G major scale. Uh, let's do it up here. Okay. Now for counting out are half steps in whole step pattern here. You would know that I need an f sharp. Oops. Not on that note. but on this note, and then I get to the end of the scale. So I put an f sharp here. What I also could have done is not done that. Let's just be consistent. And now I could add a key signature. What I did this time is I just wrote from G to G and then added the right key signature. Either way works. Um, I could just manually put the accidental on it. Or I could add the key signature prime. Not both, though. So let's look at our how do we make a G major record? We have a G major scale. So we're gonna take the first note, the third note and the fifth note, and that's gonna make our scale. So first note, third note fist note. Okay, Now new vocabulary word. When we look at a cord like this, what we call this note is the root we've I guess this is not a new vocabulary work. We've seen this before because in the scale what we called the root of the scale down here is the note the scale is named after, right? Same word applies to the court. This is the root of the court because you can see you can almost imagine the scale within these three notes. Right? We're missing this note right here, and we're missing that note right there. But if you put those in, you'd have all the 1st 5 notes of the scale going up. Right? So this is still the route because you can see these in that order. Now, soon we're gonna talk about what happens when they're not in this order. What if there like that right now, you can't really imagine that scale in there anymore because there's a gap right here. So that changes things a little bit. That's called an inversion. Are we gonna talk about that shortly? But for now, let's not worry about that too much right now. So we know how to make our first triad a major triad by taking a major scale and taking the 1st 3rd and fifth notes of it. But we can do more with this. We can do more. What we're doing right now is we're using a whole scale to make one chord. There are more chords in this scale and in order to kind of pick apart the cords in that scale, we need to talk about something called the diatonic chord progression. Now, this thing, we're gonna talk about it in the next video. But this thing is one of the most powerful things that you'll need to know if you're a songwriter especially. But in any music theory, this is an extremely important concept. This is going to tell us all the cords possible in a given key. So in the key of C major, I can do a C major chord. Right? We know that, but I can do a lot more courts. Look over here. Remember these courts, right? Three different chords in this group and they're all in the key of C major. So how do I figure out these other two chords? This one is my root third and fifth of the C major scale. What about these ones and these ones? That's what a diatonic chord progression is gonna tell us. So let's dive into that right now. 20. Diatonic Chord Progressions: Let's go back to see Major on. Let's just put a scale on the screen here. Okay? Okay. Note that I got rid of that key signature Fergie major, that we were just looking at. We're back to see Major. So that's all correct. C major scale now for a diatonic core progression. What we're going to need to do is we're going to figure out every possible cord that can be assembled with this group of seven different notes. Okay, How can we arrange these in a 1st 3rd 5th pattern in a way that makes seven different courts, right? Because we can build a cord with each one of these notes being the root note, right? Any one of these notes can be a route. We've only looked at that one. And what we did is we took every other note. So let's do that. Something. Zoom out. Just a hair so we can see what we're doing. Okay, so let's put our 1st 1 here. We know this one. Okay? A major chord built on the first, the third and the fifth. Every other note. Now, let's just throw a big wrinkle in here and put a d there. Okay, so I put the second note. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna build a cord off that using the same process of every other note that's gonna be this note, this'll note. And that note, right? In this case, it's the to the scale. Degree to scale degree four, and skill degrees six. But if we treat D as the root than its root 3rd 5th So let's put that here, De. It's gonna be f a 2nd 1 Gonna skip G. I'm gonna put in a okay, let's keep going. So we'll wait before we keep going. Let me explain that a little bit more in this court, this is accord with see as the root. This is a chord with D as the root in the key of C major. So let's let's parts that a little bit more. What this is gonna end up with is not a major chord. This is a minor chord s. So hold on to that for just a second. I'm going to talk about major and minor chords in a second, but let's just finish building out. All are possible chords. So right now we have a cord with the root of C accord with the root of D. Let's go to e so e going to skip f and use G because we always use every other note. We're doing this. There's G I'm gonna skip a I'm gonna put B. Okay, let's go to the next note F So here's f A skip g gonna put in a I'm gonna skip be I'm gonna put a C Okay. Lets keep going after f comes Jeep Here's G in a skip A gonna put a b e in a skip So I'm be I'm gonna skip, see? And then I have to circle around again. Here's see that I just skipped right, cause I was on B and now I'm gonna put a D But I'm gonna put an octave higher, right? So I just cycled around again. Or we could rewrite this scale to go up another active, and that would help, uh, G Let's go to a So here's a I'm gonna skip be I'm gonna put a C and then I'm gonna jump down to the bottom again. Here, See that I just used I'm gonna skip d. I'm gonna put a e Okay, up next is beef. It's right here on a skip. See that one hanging put a D and then I'm going to skip E and I'm gonna put enough, okay? And now that's all seven. Right? That's seven chords a route on CIA route on D A rude on E a rude on F route on G A road on a and a route on B. Let's do one more just for the heck of it. So we go all the way up to see so let's call that this. See, I'm gonna skip D. I'm gonna put a e. Well, we keep jumping forward here on the skip f and I'm gonna put a G. Now if everything lined up right this last chord because it's also a route on C and that's a rude, unseen These should be the same notes C, e and G See, e g. Um, so if you did everything right, this last chord and this first court will be the same notes, but an octave apart so that our that is all the possible chords in the key of C major. And we call this the diatonic chord progression. Remember? Diatonic means in a key. So this is all the chords in the key. Let's just hear it because it's kind of fun to listen to. I'll start on the C major scale meat, right? Um, you know, another way you can figure this out is you could just write a C major scale going up and then start on e but right, a C major scale from E t. E on top of the sea. So C E f g A B C D E, and do the same thing. Starting on g g A B C D e f. So it's basically three scales are one scale, but starting on three different notes, you know, and then going up and gives you the same result anyway. Okay, Now we need to figure out what kinds of chords these are, because I have, ah, variety of major and minor chords here and then one just kind of weird one. So this is when patterns come into play again. A while ago, when we talked about the relationships of half steps and whole steps, when we're figuring out the scale over here, I said the whole step, whole step, half step whole step, whole step, whole step, half step pattern was something that you had to memorize. Ah, and ah, engraving your head. And I also think I said that I'm not gonna ask you to memorize a lot of stuff, but that is the one that is one of the things that I'm gonna ask you to memorize. And this is the other. This is worth memorizing. And that is what is the quality of each of these chords of the quality is another way to say, Is it major or minor? Or one of the other ones? Because this always falls into a pattern. Also for in a major key, this 1st 1 built on C built on the key were in right the scale we used to make all of this . This is gonna be a major chord. Okay, so this is C Major. The 2nd 1 is gonna be a minor chord. So there's a D minor, the 3rd 1 It is also going to be a minor chord. So this is D E minor. The 4th 1 is going to be a major chord. So this is f major. The six or the 5th 1 is going to be a major chord. So this is G Major. The 6th 1 is gonna be minor. So this is a minor. The 7th 1 is just the weird one. This is what's called a diminished chord. Um, it's kind of you can think of a diminished court is kind of like a super minor accord. Ah, it's kind of ugly. Um, this is so this is going to be be diminished, and then we're back to major. So it's a C major. So the pattern to remember is major minor, Minor, major, major, minor, diminished, major. Okay, um, that is a pattern worth remembering because it always works. If you're in a major key and you take your major scale and you write it out in thirds in the way we did here so every note has 1/3 and 1/5 above it. Then you get a series of chords where the first one's gonna be major. The second one's gonna minor. The third one's gonna be minor. The second, the fourth one's going to Major, The fifth one's gonna be Major. The sixth one's gonna be minor and seventh one's gonna be diminished. And then a major again if you decide to write, Ah, the active cord on there. So that is the diatonic chord progression. It's that pattern of major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished major say I get good at saying it cause they think about it every day. It's a very common pattern. It's important to memorize, Um, and you should know it before we leave this one thing to point out here. What this has shown us is all the possible chords in this Keith. So let's say you're a songwriter and you're writing a song and you, you're playing a C chord you're playing, Ah, core progression on your guitar and you're playing something like See G and a minor right? That all works and see Major right, a C major chord, a G major chord. And in a minor court, those were all in the key. They're all going to sound good together. But you're like, What else could I do? I want to add a new chord for the bridge already something different in the bridge of the sun. You can look at this and you can say, Well, here are my possible options that are in the key. There's always more options if you want to go outside the key. But in the key, consider E minor. E Minor is totally in key. It's gonna work. It's going to sound good. Consider D minor in the key. It's going to sound good. Consider F. I wouldn't consider be diminished because be diminished. Doesn't pretty really sound very good special on the guitar. Um, but you could try B minor, Um, as a substitute for that one. Also, probably get some great, but these other chords this kind of gives you a road map. Like what else could I do? I'm using these cords. Everything's in C major. What else could I do? Think you d minor? You could do E minor. You could do F major. It shows you all your options, you know, by laying this out. So that's why it's really useful for songwriters now. For music theory, it's useful because it tells us the quality of all the cords. It also can help us figure out what key were in if we don't know. Um, and in some cases, we don't know. So enough on that for now. Be sure you understand this. This is super crucial information. Next, I want to talk about inversions. This is the thing we talked about a second ago, where we had Ah, a case where there's a weird gap here. And, ah, it doesn't look like a cord built on thirds, but it actually is. So let's jump over to a new video and talk about inversions. 21. Inversions: consider the following. Here we have three different chords. Four chords total with the first and the last one are the same, right? Three different chords in the key of C major. Okay, we have one. That's with the route on C. We have one with the route on G with the route on F and then another one with the route on . See? Okay, so these are all in C major, so we could calculate this, right? We could, um, crawl. We could figure out if this was a major or a minor chord. And if this was a major minor chord, in fact, let's do it. So how we would do it as we would count up the scale from the root of this cord to the root of that court. Eso Let's do it. See, the next note would be D. The next note would be e So be the third note. The fourth note would be F, and the fifth note would be G. So that is ah, cord built on the fifth scale degree. Next to figure out if that's a major mind record, we would apply our pattern of the diatonic or progression. So remember, It goes major, minor, minor. Major. Major, The 5th 1 is major, and this is built on the fifth scale degree. So this must be a major court. Okay, let's do it for this one. So first thing we're gonna do is we're gonna figure out what note of the scale the root of this court is. Um, it's an f. So we're going to count up. We're in the key of C, so we're gonna count up from C to F, so C D E f. It is the fourth, the fourth scale degree. So this is a chord built on the fourth scale degree. So now we're gonna apply our pattern of the diatonic chord progression pattern and that goes major, minor, minor. Major is the 4th 1 for the 4th 1 is major, so this must also be a major chord. So I have a bunch of major chords here. I have C major chord, a G major chord, an F major chord and another C major record. Cool. Now, what I want to talk about here is inversions. Now that we know that these are major a minor, um, let's just hear this. And then I'm gonna show you. Ah, how to make it sound A little cooler. So here it is. Okay. Now, these cords are all in what we call root position. Meaning the root note is at the bottom. That's route position. They don't have to be in route position, though. You see that when we have a Siris of cords that are in route position and they're all stacked perfectly in their thirds and they look like perfect cords, which is great. They can sound a little jumpy. Like, listen, between these 1st 2 it sounds like the court goes from here, and then it jumps up high, and then it falls down, and then it follows down. So it would be nicer if there was a little bit more elegant motion in between the cords. It would sound like how music usually sounds because people are usually using inversions. So let me play that for you again and think about the jerkiness of this jumping from here to here and then falling down. Okay? Now, you might not hear it as jerky, because this is just the way you're You're hearing it for the first time. Let me fix it. not fix it. Let me change it to use inversions. So we're all all these chords. Aaron, root position here. I'm gonna take I'm gonna leave my C major chord in route position, but I'm gonna change my G major court so that it doesn't jump up so high. Now, I'm not going to change any notes. All the notes are going to stay the same. I'm just gonna change octaves, so I will take this d at the top to bottom. Okay, so it's still g b and D. I just put the d at the bottom. Now I'm gonna take this, be I'm gonna put that underneath the D way. Go still the same notes. But now we see this note stays the same, right. And this c and e just kind of falls down. So now I have. So this is now an inversion. And there's fancy names for which inversion we're doing. Um, whether the fifth is at the bottom or the third is at the bottom. In this case, the third is at the bottom. Um, so it has a name. We'll talk more about those later. I just want to get the idea of inversions in your head before we get locked onto, like, the fancy names for stuff. So this is now inverted, so we don't see the perfect stacking and thirds because if we did, this would be G. D. And then there will be a f here. Right now, it's stacked in thirds, but that's the wrong chord. Thistles the court we actually want. So it doesn't look like it's stacked in thirds, but it is right. The octaves air just shuffled a little bit to make it sound a little smoother. Let's fix this one. No, let's take the sea and move it to the bottom. Okay, so that makes a nice little motion. Let's try. It's try moving the aid of the bottom Also. Okay, now there's a lot more. A lot less motion between these three chords, so let's hear them now. Right now. That might sound a little more like what a pop song sounds like, because the notes are not jumping around so much to stay in route position. When you play on a guitar, you hardly ever play in strict root position. Ah, the guitar is kind of designed so that the shapes we use for our cords. They usually have the root at the bottom, but the way we stack the actives above are kind of different, so that notes flow together quite well. So these are called inversions, the way I've changed these so that the root note is not necessarily at the bottom. These are en route position. These two are not. And that the reason we would do that just because it sounds better, it's still the same court. We still call this one a g major still call this one an F major, So we didn't change any notes. We didn't change the name of the court or anything. We just shuffled around some octaves so that it sounds a little more interesting. Let's take this a and put it back and let's see how that sounds. It's gonna be a tiny bit different, right? So now it kind of goes up a little bit there and then back down. One of the reasons that kind of shows why we like it is imagine these air singers imagine we have three singers, each singer singing one of these notes, so this first singer is always going to sing the top note. So he's gonna sing a G, and he's going to stay on a G, which is nice. He's gonna go up to an A and then he's gonna go down to a G right? So this really nice melody of having the same note and then up and then down back to the same note. Very simple line. Let's look at the middle singer. Ah, she's gonna go on an E down to a D up to an F because they're always going to be on the middle note, and then she's gonna go down to any rights was going to start in on the same note, but go down, up and then back. Let's look at the third singer is gonna go debt, uh, here and then down to a B and then back to a C. Evan stay on a C. So a much simpler melody than just jumping around like crazy, which is hard to do with your voice and because, well, not because it's hard to do with your voice. But, um, it sounds better to not do that. So this is an inversion now. This makes spotting chords a little trickier because of the change here. But if we wanted to confirm that this was actually a gene major chord, what you can do is to start playing with the notes and try to get them tow line up in that 1st 3rd pattern. So if you see one of these in the what in the wild and you're like, I think that's a triad, just start playing with the octave. Ah, yeah, there it is. Somehow you're gonna be able to get that back into, Ah, 1st 3rd 5th pattern. If it is in fact, a try it. Okay, this will be important when we look at that piece that we were looking at earlier. This one, because we have a couple of those. There's one right there. There's another one right there. So we'll look at that again in just a second. I have one more thing to point out for you before we do that. So let's move on to our one last thing for this unit, and then we'll relook at that song 22. Roman Numerals: All right. Next thing we're gonna talk about Roman numerals. Roman numerals are exactly that. Sound like the Roman numerals. You probably already know what Roman numerals are. The reason we're talking about Roman numerals is because we use them in music theory to know Tate. Ah, the name er the type and quality of the cord that we're looking at. For example, um, I've taken are same core progression here, and I've taken the inversions off just to make this simple for for a minute we'll do it again with the inversion zone, but ah, word we now have. Ah these chords in route position again, right? So it's C major G Major F major, and then see Major right bunch of major courts. Um, here's how we would use Roman numerals here we're gonna use for this first quarter. We're gonna put a big Roman numeral one because that's going to tell us this is the one chord we would call it, right? So it's the one chord we use a Roman numeral one to signify that, and, ah, weird thing. You may have never come across lower case Roman numerals. It's rare in the wild that you see them, but we use them in music theory. Now, here we're gonna use a capital Roman numeral. We use capital Roman numerals for major chords and lower case from the numerals for minor chords. So that shows us so by using Roman numeral. It tells us the scale degree of the cord. So is it built on the first scale of the key? The center, The second scale degree of the key, etcetera. And it also tells us if it's major minor buys a capital, these are all major chords. So what we're going to see here is a capital one causes the one chord. This is the five chord because it's built on the fifth scale degree of G. And it's major. So this is Ah, five chord. This one is a four chord because it's built on the fourth scale degree, and it is also a major, and this is again going to be a one court. Okay, let's add some minor chords in here. Let's change this one to a minor chord. Uh, e just have to go. Let's keep it in route position for now. What? What did I do there? Okay, now we have a what? This is a chord built on a is the root cause it's in route position. And if we counted from C up to A, we would end up at think about it. Say the answer out loud. I hope he said six. Ah, this is the sixth scale degree. So what we're gonna put year is a Roman numeral six, but a lower case, because this is a minor chord, and we know it's a minor chord. Because if we do our diatonic chord progression pattern of major, minor, minor, major, major minor is the 6th 1 that gives us a minor chord. Okay, so let's go back to looking at the hole. Diatonic chord progression sequence, shall we? Okay, there we have it. OK, so here is our diatonic chord progression in the key of C major. Right? We've seen this before. We know that the root of all these chords, we know exactly what it is because we're in route position. So it's gonna be the bottom note. So this is a chord built on C. Is the court built on d etcetera? We also know already just by looking at this what the quality of the court is this is gonna be a major chord because it's the 1st 1 in our pattern. This is a minor chord, another mine record, a major chord, a major chord, a minor chord, a diminished chord and then another major chord. Okay, so we know the root of all these chords and we know the quality of all these chords. Now, let's use Roman numerals on all of these. So this 1st 1 we're going to get the Roman numeral one. It's gonna be capital because it's major 2nd 1 we're going to use a Roman numeral to, And it's gonna be lower case because it's Meyer. 3rd 1 this is Roman numeral three and it's gonna be lower case because it's minor. Major F Major is gonna be four in the key of C major. So that's going to be a capital for this is gonna be a capital five, cause G major is the five in the key of C major. This is gonna be a six because and it's going to be lower case because a minor is the sixth chord in the key of C major, and this one is a member. This is our weird one. This is a seven chord. We're sorry. This is the seventh Ah, chord in the key of C Major built on Be So it's the seventh. And remember, this is a diminished chord And I said it before. That is kind of like a super major record are sorry, a super minor chord. So what we're gonna use for this is we're going to use lower case Ah, seven Roman World seven. And then we're gonna put this little ah subscript circle after it. That's that little symbol means diminished. So this means diminished seven chord, seventh chord diminished is what we see there. And then when we get up to the top here, we're going to use Roman numeral who want we never use Roman numeral eight, uh, seven is the highest Roman numeral we ever use in every news Roman world eight Always one. So this is a one court again hoops because it's a C major and we're in the key of C major now. Important thing to note. Here, let's take this F for example. This is an f major chord, right? So it's gonna be Roman numeral four. Um, but only in the key of C major. Right? If we were in a different key, these numbers line up a little bit differently. Let's do this. I'm gonna delete some chords here on. I'm gonna put us in the key of F major. Okay? The rest of this works. So let's go. Let's finish this out. So I'm going to do a diatonic chord progression in the key of F so f g A B. I'll put the key signature on it in a second. See de e and then f again those quite high in hell. Okay, And instead of doing a key signature, let's just manually put it on here. Um, so the key signature for F remember, that was one of our exceptions. That's the one that has one flat, and it's and it's b flat. So let's just Oops. So I gotta turn all thes flat. Oops. Cheerio. And there's that one. There's another one. There we go. That's it. Okay, Smell all my be used. Our flat. Okay, Now let's put Roman World on this. So now f is now going to It was four before in the key of C major. Right? But we're in the key of f now. So an F major chord is a one, right? Because now, in the key of F So now everything changes. So now this is f major. So this gets a one capital one. And now this is a G minor chord, because it's the 2nd 1 So you remember the pattern major, Minor, minor. So this is a G minor circuits of Roman numeral two. This is an A minor, and we saw a minor in the key of C major and it was a minor. It was the sixth chord. But now it's the third court Still minor, though here we have a B flat major chord That didn't happen before. We didn't see that in the key of C because it has this on it, and none of those are in the key of C. So B flat is going to be the fourth. And so it's gonna get a major four C is gonna be the fifth. Remember, that was one before, and now it's five because we're in a totally different key, etcetera. I think you get the point. So the point is ah, Roman numerals are related to the key. Um they only tell us the function of the cord as it relates to this. The key. Okay, so you can't just say the f chord is ah, four chord as a universal truth. That is not true. That is only true. In the key of C major. Um, the F chord is a one chord in the key of F. So, um, as we get more advanced in the music theory, we'll see how this Roman numeral stuff gets kind of wacky. We start doing some really wild stuff with Roman numerals after a while, but for now, let's keep it simple now, Now that we know how Roman numerals work, let's jump over to R. C Major qingsong and do a true technical analysis of it using Roman numerals. Cool is gonna be our first real analysis. This is like what my students would hand in as like their first big analysis. So let's try it 23. Song Analysis: All right, we're back. Teoh are friendly. The C Major Caden song. So this is in the key of C Major, as we know for two reasons. There's two things right away that tell us it's in C major. One of them is the title. Um, you know, that's kind of obvious, but probably right if they called it the C major song, right? Another thing is the lack of a key signature, or another way you can think about that is the key signature. So it has a key signature, but it is nothing. So that means we are in the key of C major. So what I want to do here is let's just identify the cords. What I want you to do is listen to this piece and I want you to see if you can hear when there's a new chord that change a new court, right? So when the chord changes, so just listen and see if you can hear the chord change. It might be hard to hear in these first couple bars, but once we start to get cords down here spelled out more, you know, like all played at the same time it might be a little more obvious. So just see if you can get a feel for when the court is changing. Don't worry if you're wrong, I'll tell you what's right. So let's just listen to the song first. And, um, listen for that and then I'll talk a little bit more about it. - Okay ? Now, how often did you hear a new chord happening? Um or, uh, let me rephrase that to be a little more clear. How often did you hear? Ah, change in the court. Not necessarily accord we hadn't heard before. But a change in the court The answer is every bar in this particular piece, the chord changes every bar. Now, that's not something that's not a universal truth in all music by any means. But in this piece, the court changes every bar. So this bar has is made up of accord. Now, this is a case where the notes are spelled out. But if you take these three notes whose 1st 3 notes and kind of the 4th 1 But let's just focus on these 1st 3 for a minute. If you played those at the same time, it would be a cord, but this particular one is spelled out down here. We start to get chords. So this is what I mean. Watch that. So here's three notes of the chord that's happening in this bar right here It is again. So it see E g. And then we hear c g right. It's all one chord. This is just another C. So it's another active. But it's all the same notes of this cord, even the baseline. See, e g. Right? So we're just using those three notes. See e g in this whole bar. Same thing here. We're going to be using three notes also, but they're three different notes. It's C F A A. Right, So one of the notes is the same cf a another see on C F. So we have three different notes, so it's a different chord here. We're back to the first quarter. Same notes again right here. We're on. Ah, third chord, right, A different chord. That's not this one or this one. Or that b d g e d G, and another beep right and active right there and be D G. So it's just there's a chord. Every bar but It's kind of spelled out in a few different ways. Um, here again, we have C e g. We've done this before. Okay, um, so now another important thing that I want to point out here is how many different chords are in this piece? Right. Let's do this. Let's just look, listen to this base, the left hand part here from about here to the end. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna delete the right hand. And let's just delete this just to make it easy to here, OK? So let's listen from right here to the end, I want you to try to pay attention to how many different chords we hear right? Eso there's one chord, every bar, and it be It's really obvious in this section, which is why I chose a section with the exception of right here, because this is a chord. And on this is a different court. So they threw a little curveball in right there. Right? So they throw in one additional cord there, and that's OK. You know, the composer could do whatever they want. Let's isn't from here. How many different chords do you hear? Okay, Um How many different quarters do you hear? The answer is three. And this is true of this entire piece. Even the stuff I deleted. Um, there are only three chords in this whole piece, and they keep alternating. If you thought for the odds are maybe you thought this cord was different. But if we look at the notes B d g, that's the same court. We're getting all over the place up here, here, here and right, So that's the same court. Now, once we have names for these, which we will shortly you'll see that the pattern goes this cord on something else and then this chord again, and then something else. And then that's the pattern over and over. So this let me just tell you this is a C major chord. So it goes. See, Major something else. See, Major Something else. And then again, see, Major something else See, Major or something else. See majors, etcetera. What's going back and forth that seem made record every other bar pretty much and this is a pattern of four bars. These four bars repeat for the whole thing. Even if we go back up to the beginning we'll see. See? Major Something else, Theo. Same something else as down below sea major again. Something else on. Then see Major something else. So this four bar pattern of chords repeats for the whole piece. Now they do different things with the court because there's a lot you can do with cords other than just playing the court. But you can do all this other kind of stuff. But the's four bars of the chord progression in these four bars we're gonna talk a lot about more about that little phrase chord progression. Shortly, the core progression repeats over and over and over. In this piece, it's just those four bars over and over. And those three different chords, right? This one, this one and this one are three different courts. So it's actually relatively simple. Its just three chords in a four bar pattern because one of them repeats over and over. Okay, so that was just kind of a teaser of what we're going to see in this piece. We're gonna do a full analysis of this piece shortly, but next, let's dive into what makes accord. And I told you this was a C major chord But why? Why is that a C major chord? Why those three notes in particular, and why three notes at all. So we're going to get into that right now, so let's jump into triads next. 24. Analysis No. 2: So let's go through this song and and label all the courts. Now, one thing that's gonna make it easier for us here is that I've already told you kind of ah , hint here that there is one chord happening for every measure. With the exception of this very last one right here. Okay, there's one court, every measure. So we're gonna put one Roma numeral on every measure. Okay, so let's start at the very beginning. So we know in the key of C major, right? Cool. So if we look at this whole measure and we kind of had Teoh, even though nothing is spelled out as a cord and played at the same time like it is down here, we can still put a Roman numeral on on this by saying everything in this measure falls into accord. If it does, And in this case, it does, because we have C, E and G, right, and then another. See the baseline, C, E and G. It's all doing C, E and G, and we know that in the key of C major, if we see c, e and G, that is the one chord right? It's gonna be capital because gonna major. So here we have a one court. Let's move on. Here we have C f and A right and here CF in a C and C So it's all CF in a. There's only three notes in that whole bar. So what can we call that? Well, c f a. Don't stack up as a court. Let me just jump over here really quick. Let me just slide it forward. Give me some little workspace here. C f and A. There's our court. So we have a gap here, so we know it's not in root position. OK, how can we get it into root position? Let's try moving this note up. Inactive right there. Boom. It just falls right into to a root position cord when I do that. So now we know this is an f chord, because that is root position. Okay, lets go back and look at that. So this is an F court. So what is F in the key of C Major? We just spent a long time talking about that, didn't we? It's the forecourt, right? And it's going be major because major, minor, minor major for so this gets Roman numeral for Let's go on to this one C e and G Beautiful . We've just seen that. So we know that this is the same bar as that one. So this is going to get a room and a moral one. Cool. One more cord. Here we have a, B, D and G. Okay, another being that R, B, B, D and G. Okay, so let's go back over here and let's look at that one. She's right here when I say be D and G okay, not in root position. So and we know that because of that gap right there. So let's try to get it in route position. What can we do? Let's move this. Let's move the bottom note up. Inactive. Okay, we're getting close because now these two are in route position. Let's move this one up and active to another deep boom. There it is. Now that's a root position. So now we know it's a G. It's a G chord. So, uh, G is going to be what, in the key of C G is going to be the fifth scale? Agree, um, so and we know the fifth is major because of the pattern. So this is going to get a Roman numeral five capital because it's major. Okay, now the good news is we're done with most of the peace because it repeats. So here we can see a C. So this is gonna be one here. We're going to see an F that's going to before again. Here. We're going to see a sea. So that's one again, B D. G. So that's five again. Okay, so now we can probably assume this is going to keep going. So one, 41 five then it gets a little bit different here because we have these upper actives. But let's look at what the actual notes are. C E G C E G C O. And here's an actual chord in route position. See, E g. And has another active on top of it. So that looks like there's a gap there, but we get our three notes and root position, does everything we need, So that's gonna be still a one chord. Same deal here. Here, we can see our our route position up there with an F as the root. So there's four court again, same thing here. Here's our C. So it's a one chord. Here is our This one's a little tricky. This is our five chord, but it looks a little different. If you go here. It looks like an e chord, right, Because we see e g and be so looking closely at that, that is not a record. The last beat of right here is an e minor chord, which would be three in the key of C major. However, given that we've seen this pattern a bunch of times, I am fairly certain that this is a typo on the account of this composer. If we wanted to be strict, though, we would call that an e minor right there, because that is an E minor. But I think they probably meant to write that e as a D, which would give us a G my r a g major chord, the same one we've been having throughout the peace and for the rest of this measure. So it's just that one note that's off that turns it into an E minor chord. So, uh, we could do what we want with that. If we were being really strict, we'd call it any mind record. Um, but I think it's probably a typo. Let's move on here. We've got a root position, C major. So that's a one. And all these notes fit in with that. And even if they didn't now that we have just full chords lasting the whole measure, we could just look at those. So that's a C major here. Same as before. We have an F A and then if there was a see above it, it would be in route position. But that sees down here. It's perfectly fine. It's an inversion. So that's 41 again and then five again inverted but five nonetheless, there's one again. Four again. One again. Five again. One again. Four again. One again. Five again. Now we get to the end When we got this one weird court in here. So here we've got a one chord. So a C major here, we've got a five or a four chords, all right, cause it's f major F A C is what we expect to see. That the four chord. Now we have a one court again, as we expect, and now we expect the next court to be five by the pattern, but instead they put the five one beat early and then jump right back to the one. So it goes 151 So there's our whole piece. We analyzed it. Now this is a good piece to analyze, because this pattern of using 14 and five very, very, very common. Um, it doesn't mean it's bad to do by any means. Those air just three chords that work together really well. 14 and five. They work together. Great. So it's it's nice to write music, just using that. Um, it's gonna be fairly simple, but, um, everyone loves the sound of a 14 and five Awesome. We didn't analysis good job. 25. Circle Of Fifths Overview: So by now we know how to find the name of the key that were in based on the key signature. We know how to find all the notes in that scale once we know the name of it. And we know how to build some courts using it. Seven of them, actually. Ah, and then actually no more than seven. Because we know how to build the seven chords that air in the diatonic chord progression. And then we can build seven more that are sevenths. And then I guess that's it for now. But we're gonna learn how to do some more later in this class. So let's start with something relatively simple. The circle of fifths. Now, you may I have seen this before. This is kind of a cliche, right? Like you you've made. If you've been in, like, a music classroom before, you've seen this thing called the Circle of Fifths on the wall and you're like, Yeah, okay, that's neat. But I want to try to convince you here of the value of this thing, particularly if you are a songwriter. I'm gonna show you how to use this to get over any mental hurdle you have, in other words, writer's block. If you're stuck, if you're writing a song and you're stuck, go to the circle of Fifths. It's a great place to be to give you Ah, whole bunch of new ideas. So first, let's just talk about what this thing is. Ah, simply put it is all of our keys laid out in a circle of fifth related keys. In other words, a circle of fifths. Right? So we put see at the top. And if we go to the right, it's gonna be 1/5 higher. So G right? So if we count up C d E f G, that's five, so that's 1/5 higher. So then we're on G. If we count up five notes, we get to D and here's the key of D right. We kind of five notes. We get to a and this is a key of a We get e. And that's the key of E counting up five notes around the circle. Now let's look at before we go any further. Let's look at some of the the kind of interesting things that pop up when we do this. What happens is When we go to the right and we go around the circle, we always add one accidental right zero accidental one sharp to Sharp's three Sharps four Sharps That tells us something kind of interesting about how keys are laid out. If we're in the key of C, there are zero sharps. If we go to the key of G, there is only one sharp. That means that the key of G is kind of close to the key of C. There's only one note that's different and see you would have an F natural and see Erin G. You would have enough sharp so these two keys are closely related. We call them closely related keys is the actual term we use. Similarly, G and D are closely related keys so you can go either direction in this and find a closely related key. Okay, now let's keep going. So we're on E right. If we go up 1/5 of e we and on B and that is the key signature for B. Now, this particular drawing of the circle office is showing us see flat because at some point, usually at the bottom here, we've got to switch over to flats. Right? So typically very bottom is where we do it. This one is doing it on C flat, and it's going to give us a C sharp down here, too. So what that means is, let's jump to here for a minute. F sharp and G flat are the same, right? Um, they're gonna have all the same notes, but they're going to be spelled very differently. So at some point, we got to switch over to flats to make this thing work. So this is the key signature for F Sharp. This is the key signature of her G flat. They're all the same notes, but they're spelled completely differently, but the way they sound will be the same. So we overlap here just so that we can kind of transition to flats going forward, and you'll see a bunch of different ways of drawing the circle of Fifth. This one shows the key of C flat down here. It's kind of weird. Um, they don't all do that. Some of them look different. That's okay. They all basically show the same thing. Let's keep going, Be up. 1/5 gets us to F sharp or G flat whatever. Ah, let's go G flat to transition to flats up 1/5 gets us to d flat and there's a queue signature for D flat and C sharp if you like D flat up 1/5 is the a flat of a 50 flat up 1/5 to be flat up 1/5 toe f up 1/5 from F gets us back to see so it makes a complete circle . Okay, so let's look again at how our accidental is Behave when we go around in that circle. So we add a sharp. We had two sharps while from here to here we had a sharp from C to d we add another sharp. So we're always adding one sharp right here We're down to five Sharps f sharp six Sharps If we stay in Do see Sharp were at seven Sharps but let's jump backing switch to G flat here. So we're at six flats and now organ. So now that we're in flats were gonna lose one at every turn. So G flat two D flat, five flats a flat four, 321 and then back to zero, Right? So every neighbor is a closely related key. For example, if you're in the key of B flat and you want to find the closely related key, this is telling you two options F or e flat. Both of them are on Lee. One accidental different, then B flat, right? So those are closely related keys. I'm gonna talk about how that factors into song writing and things in a minute. I want to point out one more thing here. Remember in the previous class when we talked about inversions, right? So what's the inversion? Or, in other words, what's the opposite of 1/5? It's 1/4 right? A perfect fifth. Inverted is a perfect fourth, which means we might call this the circle of fourths if we start here and go to the left, see up 1/4 is gonna be f up. 1/4 is going to be B flat up. 1/4 is gonna b e flat that'll work all the way around. So it's a circle of fourths. If you go to the left around it and a circle of fifths, if you go to the right, okay, shows us all our key signatures and all are closely related keys. That is the value of the circle of fifths. And that is what it is. Now let's break to a new video, and I'm gonna show you how to use this thing. Ah, as more than just a wall decoration, but as something that will actually help you to create more interesting music if you are a songwriter. 26. Borrowing From Related Keys: Okay, let's say we're writing a song. Let's write a song in the key of G major. Okay, so we're working on her song. It's in the key of G. Major. I know all the cords I can use right, Because I use my diatonic chord progression and it shows me all my possible cords that air in the key of G major. Right? So I'm playing around for those cords and have, you know, something comes into my head and I just think I just need something different here. None of these cords air working. What else can I do rather than just use all the cords in my diatonic chord progression, right. Gotta have a new idea, something a little different, something that is gonna sound a little out of place. But not a lot. It's still gonna be a nice sound. Here's what you're gonna do. You're gonna consult your friendly circle of fifths. You say I'm in the key of G. Um, what are my closely related keys? They are C or D. They are one accidental away, right? G has one sharp C has none. So it's only one accidental away and D has two Let's say we decide to go to D. Okay, now there's two things I could do here. I could do a key change, but we're not really talking about key changes right now. What we're talking about is just borrowing borrowing from a closely related key, and you can do this. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna look at all the chords in the key of D and see if any of those will work right. We're just gonna borrow one from a closely related key. So let's have a look at that. Okay, so here's my diatonic or progression in the key of G major, let's review it really quick and look at what my chords are. So these are the courts I've been using in my son, right? G major, That's our one chord are to cord is gonna be an a minor chord. And remember, I know this because I know that pattern of my diatonic chord progression. If you forgot that review the previous class, it's super duper important. Um, so the pattern is major minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished, major. So my third chord is gonna be minor and it's built on a B so it's gonna be a B minor chord . I have a C major. I have a d major e minor F sharp diminished and then another g major. So I'm working with these cords and they're sounding kind of cool, but, uh, nothing's really working, you know, like, I need something a little out of the box for this thing I'm thinking about doing so Let's look at a closely related key. Let's try de. So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna write out my diatonic chord progression and D and I'm going to do it dangerously without adding a key signature just for fun. So remember this one has to sharps And if something if a key has two sharps, they must be f sharp and c sharp. So all my f sharps and see all my f's and C's are gonna be sharp. So e g b no sharp there f sharp, a c sharp G b D no Sharps a c sharp e b d f sharp c sharp e g and D f sharp. Okay, okay, so here is my diatonic chord progression in d So here doesn't g here it is indeed. So let's look at what's different, right? Let's just know, Tate, what chords we have here. Okay, so my possible cords are g major A minor. I'm looking at my McGee here. I'm just gonna write down the names of the cords. Uh, be minor. I guess I gotta move this box. B minor, C major D major e minor and F Sharp diminished. Put space there and then g major again. I don't need to write that one down. I've already got it. Now let's do it for D major. Right? So I have d major e minor F sharp minor G major, a major B minor hoops C sharp diminished on d major again, Kate. Now let's just put these back to back and let's reorder them a little bit for the order. Isn't gonna matter too much. So here's I'm going to do in a copy of these three and put him at the bottom of the list. So now we're lined up with G major G major, A minor. A major. Right, because this is what I want to do. I want to see what chords are different. So if I want to remember the scenario here is that I'm in G major and want to do something just a little bit different, a little bit more colorful I could throw and a major in right that's borrowing from the other key. And that's OK. It is out of key. It isn't a major, is not in the key of G major, and we're still in the key of G major here, but it will add a little bit of color. Don't be afraid to go out of key. Um, it's gonna sound kinda cool. B Minor is the same C major. Now remember, See, Major is one that gets see is the sharp That's added. So there is no see major or minor in the key of D. It's C sharp, and it's gonna be diminished so that one would probably want to avoid, because we always avoid the diminished chord in most kinds of songwriting type applications , D major is gonna be the same e minors. The same an f sharp was diminished. Now minor. That could be a good one to use to because our F sharp diminished in the key of G, we may have avoided because of what I just said. It's a diminished chord, but in the key of G d. Sorry, F sharp minor is a perfectly good cord. So what if we added an F sharp minor into our G major chord or a key? That's totally possible. We could just by borrowing from the key of D major. My favorite one so far here is to grab the two chord a major and make it a major to cord. So this is called borrowing from related keys. Sometimes we call it motile. Borrowing were not exactly doing motile borrowing quite yet. We'll talk about that shortly. Let's jump to a new video and let me, um, I'm just going to write a little song and I'll show you how this can work. 27. Song Example: Here's a little example I just threw together for us, but I have Here is two different core progressions I'm thinking of. This is like a verse and a chorus kind of thing to kind of more of a pop song. But it applies in really all music, this concept of borrowing. So I have a core progression. That's two bars long here and then I've done it twice. So this these two bars are just a repeat of these two bars because I just wanted to get it in your head a little bit better. Let's look at what we've got here. We're in the key of G major eso. Here's our possible cords here, so we have a one chord G major right here. We have a C chord. It's inverted, but that's OK to C major chord. So it's a four. Here we have an e minor chord. It's also inverted. That's a six, and then we have a D major chord That's a five and then again, one ah, for 65 Okay, so 1465 Now we go over here in this little section. What I've added here is an a major chord So that is not in the key. That is in de, though. So it's in the key of D. It works so closely related key. I've borrowed from and added this a major chord. Then I go to a D major chord. So back to G Major and to the five. However, that's also in the key of D. So it could be in either and now again, but with a slightly different inversion. But the same chord a major. And then here I threw in a a d seven chord, so this is inverted. But if we want to see it a little more clearer, it's put a D at the bottom. So here's our d seven chord. For that, we need this scene natural again, and that's gonna push us back to this G cause. Remember, we would learn last time that 57 chord has a pullback. Teoh the tonic, which is G in this case. Hopefully it still feels like tonic. So I gave us the core progression one more time and then resolved to G major. Okay, let's hear this and then we'll take this sharp off and hear it again as if we stayed in key . Okay, here we go. Okay. So something a little strange happens here, right? There's a little bit of of like, oh, what kind of sensation that happens right there. Because this c sharp is not in the key. Right? But we've borrowed it and thats okay, let's hear what happens when we take that down to a C natural Here is Well, okay, so now nothing is out of key. Everything is completely in key. Let's hear what we've got. Uh, right. So to me, it sounds fine that way it sounds perfectly fine. But sometimes you want something that sounds a little out of the ordinary, right? And that's where this borrowing situation comes into play. Composers have been doing this for centuries. Just borrow from a different key when you need something a little more. Ah, just a little bit more colorful in your core progression than just what we expect with diatonic. And that's how we can use the circle of fifth four writing music. We you can't find that cord you're looking for. Jump over to the circle of fifth, find your closely related keys, grab one, and then look at your possible keys. your possible chords within that key. See, if anything, they're works, right? This got us two good options by doing this. It got us. This a major and a goddess is f sharp minor, which I didn't use, but I could have Let's do this one more time back with the C Sharps in it. 28. NonChord Tones: okay, non chord tones. Now it's easy to see if we already know that this is a D major chord, and it's taking up this whole bar, which, by the way, remember that that's not always true. Ah, it's true in this case in this piece that we're looking at right now, that the cord applies to the whole bar. But I think it was true in an earlier piece we looked at. But it's not always true. Sometimes cords only last a beat, or sometimes even less. But in our case, the court is taking up the whole bar because that's what it's been doing. The whole piece, Um, and we know that this is a cannon and it's, you know, repeating the same pattern over and over. So we know that this whole bar we're calling a D major chord or a one chord, right? So how do we explain these two notes that are not in that court? Let's just use this bar right here as an example. There's a couple different ways, Um, first of all, we're going to call those non chord tones, so non core tone just means that it is a tone that's happening or a note that's happening inside of the cord That does not fit the cord. Right? If we didn't know what cord was happening right now, let's just kind of erase everything from our brain and say we don't know what cord this is . So how can we figure out this court? So we have a d in the base way. Have a D above now. We had e Does that belong in the cord? Does this f and this e and this de belong in the cord? This is G belong in the court. Probably not. Um, because we wouldn't have any assortment of thirds by adding all four of these notes, right? If we dig through here and we try to find thirds, what we confined is this D M S f sharp. We can also find this in this cheap. Okay, so that's a little bit better. Clue. Let's look a little bit deeper and say well off those 2/3. What's more likely right of D and F Sharp is 1/3 and E and G is a shirt. Ah, Third, what's more likely to be in the cord? That's taking up the space while one big clue is gonna be our base note. Our base note is a D. So the D in the F sharp are much more likely to be our chord tones, the tones that contribute to the cord and not the non chord tones. Here's another big clue on our big clue is where they happen on the beat. So, uh, in general and this is a big general. But in general, we want chord tones to fall on strong beats of a measure. Strong beats are the downbeat right here, the first beat of a bar and halfway through the third beat of a bar if we're in 44 time. So these are strong beats, so we want our chord tones toe happen on strong beats. That's not always true, but, ah, it certainly helps contribute to deciding that this is in fact, a D major court. Right? Our base notice d we have 1/3 of D here. We also have these two notes on strong beats, and e and G notes are on week beats, so it's a pretty safe assumption that this is going to be a D major court. Even if the pattern wasn't repeating, and we didn't know what it was. I would look at this and called us all a d major chord with two non chord tones now a little bit more about non chord tones. There's a whole bunch of different, um, terms for non chord tones. There are, like non core tone is like one big term. And then we have a whole bunch of smaller terms to call very specific tones, right, for example, how they behave. They get different names, and there's like there's probably about eight different kinds of non core tones. I'm not gonna be concerned with those right now. Right now. I want us to identify non chord tones. I don't want us to worry about the technical definition of Is this a passing tone or a neighbor tone or a changing tone? Those air the names of the kinds of non quarter tones. So to say that one more time, maybe a little clearer non core tone is a general term for tones that are not in the court . Inside of the term of non chord tones. There are a whole bunch of little terms to specify how that non cord tone is behaving like Is it walking up? Is it jumping up things like that? We're gonna look at those in a future class, but right now I want us to just focus on identifying on court tones. So these, by the way, are if we had to put one of those fancy terms on there, we will probably call these passing tones. Um, but door about that. They are non chord tones to us. For now, let's look at this bar and see if everything holds holds true. So let's just forget everything we know. We don't know. Um, what court this is or anything. Okay, we haven't a in the base, so right away, I'm thinking this is probably an accord. The odds are in my favor that this isn't a chord based on a So can I build 1/3 anywhere using this? Here's an A. That's good. Um, if I had what I really want is a c sharp and an E to finish out that chord. The next note is an E. That's good. The next note is another A. So no non chord tones have happened here, right? This is gonna be a non core tone this G because in a triad is made up of a C sharp e. So this isn't one of those. So this is a non core tone. It's happening on a week beat, so we can kind of just call it an encore tone. And that's okay. Ah, but everything else falls into the chord of a We don't have 1/3 here, right? We don't have a C sharp, but that's OK for this. This instance? You know there's no C Sharp, but we don't have anything that points us away from a right. We're just missing a tone. Let's do one more. Here we have a B. So again, my hunch is that we're on a B and I need to be proven wrong here. So here's a B. My notes of a B Triad are going to be D and F sharp because we're in a minor key. So are sorry we're in D major, but that means B is going to be a minor. Try it so B, D and F Sharp makes a d. R a B minor in the key of D major. That's the sixth scale degree, so it's a lower case. Six but it's gonna be a B minor chord, so let's try to find a B a D in an F. We have an F on a strong beat. That's good. We have a B on a week beat. That's okay. You haven't a on a strong beat. We have a non core tone on a strong beat. It's OK. It's not a deal breaker. Um, and then we have a G also a non core tone, right? Cause we won't be the n f. We don't have a d anywhere. Ah, we have a bee in an F, though, and we have a B in the bass. So even though this A is a non core tone on a strong beat, that's not concerning me too much because of this B in the bass. Same thing with this G. This is on a week beat, so I'm really not concerned about it. Um, but again, this B in the bass is kind of winning out, and we have to chord tones, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. Cool. Let's do one more. Uh, here's F and this is ah, lot like this first bar. We looked at where we're just walking right up to scale. Except here. We're walking right down the scale. So here we have an F f sharp, Remember, because our key signature if I scroll over here, is has an f sharp in it bass clef. Here's our trouble. Cliff F sharp to here. Here we have an f sharp so and f sharp in the key of D is the third scale degree. Okay, so that means we're on a minor chord and it's gonna be f sharp. Here's enough sharp and an A and a see those air are chord tones that we're looking for. Here we have an f sharp in a Those are chord tones. G is a non core tone. We have an f sharp, has a cord tone and then e non core tone. So again, just like this bar, you have chord tones on strong beats one and three. We have court own. We have the route in the base. We have non core tones and weak beats. Pretty safe Bet that we're on an f sharp. So those are just a couple clues, you know? And sometimes you just have to use your ear on this like does it sound like? Like let's go back to this particular case. Here's a D. We have a D and F. We could make a case that the cord is e and G. So it's maybe an e chord or if we went the other way, a C chord. So if this was the bottom third, we would add a note on top to make the other third, which would be a B. And if this was the top third, we would add a note on the bottom, which would be a seat to finish out the Triad so we could make a case that it was an e chord or a C chord. But use your year. Does it feel like a C chord, or does it feel like a D chord? I think this bass note is really going to tell you that it feels like a D chord, so sometimes you just have to use your ear. Those are what non chord tones are now in a future class. I'm going to get more nitty gritty into Ah, those ah, other terms for specifically what kinds of non quarter tones there are because when you're doing an analysis and something like a college class. You It isn't enough just to identify something as a non cord tone. You have to specify what kind of non core tone it is. Um, so we'll talk about that in the near future. But now you know what now? In court tones are and how to identify them. Great, let's do another analysis. 29. Analysis: Canon In D: all right, Cannon and D. Now, before we analyze, we should always listen. Um, let's just get this in our head And, um, you know, just so that it's just a healthy practice to do, so make sure that we we understand musically what we're looking at before we dive into it. Analytically. So, um, let's take a listen. - So you've probably heard this song before of this song? It's arranged 100 different ways. Um, so you may have not heard it exactly like that before, but more or less, this is how it's done. Um, you know, a lot of the times we extend this section, you know, the other sections. This is, like, really commonly used in a wedding when, like the bride is walking down the aisle or something like that. Eso It's very popular for that reason, the composer is possible canon in D. So right away we know that it's probably in the key of D, and that is the first thing we need to figure out when we analyze it. What key are we in? Um, and we can look at our key senator. Let me zoom in on this. Let's just look at this first bar or this first line here. So two sharps remember the rule for Sharps, The rule is to figure out the name of this key. We take the last sharp and we go up 1/2 step. So the last sharp is C sharp. So if you go up 1/2 step, we're gonna be on D. So it is in fact, in the key of deep, which is convenient because it's called Canon in D. Now, this word cannon tells us something, too. But hold on to that for a minute. I'll come back to that, Um, it doesn't tell us anything about the notes, at least not right away. Okay, so let's look at what we've got. So here we only have two notes for this whole first passed through the kind of main theme. Let's call it over here. We have three notes, but really, I think we still only have two notes. This is a D. And that's a d. Ah, that's an A Oh, we have three notes here. Okay, well, let's look at the first part, though. Um, it's repeating, so let's compress these. So I'm gonna take this D and This is an f sharp, and I'm just gonna make see if it'll let me do this. I'm gonna put this d up a whole bunch and put him right next to each other. OK, so I haven't added a note. I'm just moving this note way up here so that we can see him right next to each other as we can see our thirds. Okay, here's an A. It's right there. Here's a B right there. Here's ah f goes right there. Here's a G because we're there. Here's a D Here's G. Here's an A Ok, so now we can see a little bit clear just on this staff what we're dealing with so we only have two notes, right? And we need three to figure out what these triads are. But in most cases here, we can make a pretty good educated guess. So here we have d and F sharp. Now these are 1/3. So if this was going to be a full chord, what we would need is either another note on top, which would be right there to finish the cord or the third. It could also be a note on the bottom to finish the cord right, because these 2/3 are either going to be the top 2/3 or the top third or the bottom third. If they're the top third, we need to add a note underneath. We don't need to add it, but we need to determine if the missing note is a B underneath or in a at the top. So let's make an educated guess here. I'm going to make an educated guess that the A is in the missing note, and this is why we know we're in the key of D. If the A was the missing note, this would be a D major chord. Now it's super incredibly likely that a song in The Key of D is going to start on a d chord t d major record, right? So I'm going to assume that that's a pretty safe assumption. Another good assumption is that there is a D in the base, meaning the lowest note is a D that points us to. This is probably a D accord. It's probably not a B Corps, so let's keep going now. This one we have 1/5 so we know what the missing note is the missing note is the one in the middle, right? What? We don't know if it is if it's major or minor, but, um, we can probably we can make a really good educated guess here that it's the one that's in key. So if I just put a C here and I look at my key signature, that means a c sharp. So now we know that it's probably the note that's in key, right? So we have that chord completed. Now I'm gonna go back and put names on all of these. I just want to find my missing chords first, thereby missing notes of the chord First, just for this first section up Next, we have a bee in a d. So 1/3 and by the way, notice how this whole pattern is going. You know, we had this third and then 1/5 on the third, and then ah, 5th 3rd and then 1/5 and 1/3 and 1/3. And on 1/3. But it's alternating between thirds and fifths, which is an interesting sound. Right. Okay, let's figure out what note is missing here. We have a G and a B. Well, let's see what's in the base. A B is in the base. So very well could be a B chord. Very well. Could be a G chord. Let's stick to my previous hypothesis that are based note is gonna help us out. And let's call it hoops. Ah, B chord. Okay, let's keep going. Here's an f n a c so we know the note. The missing note has to be in a because we want to make triads here, and it's probably gonna be the one that's in key. So we're just gonna leave it just as it is without messing with worrying about if it's 1/2 step whole step for right now. Our Sorry if it's a major third or minor third right now, we're just gonna put it in there and then we'll check it on the next pass when we put ah do our Roman numerals on this G B. And what so we have a G in the base. So let's assume this is a G chord and added D to fill out the Triad F. They're sorry D missing and a So we're missing an F. Let's assume it's just in key. And then g b we have g in the base. So let's assume we're missing the d to make a g triad And then our last note a in the base a c So it's a sumer missing e to make that in a triad. So that's one pass through the main theme here. All right, Now let's see what we've got. So in the key of D So we know by our diatonic chord progressions Ah, what are possible? Cords are right. Let's go over them one more time. So Okay, here's the staff in the key of deep. Let's just write out a really quick D major scale. Okay, Okay. I don't need to add any accidental is because I've put them here in the key signature, right? So R C s C sharp and our f is f sharp. So these are notes now, the pattern here remember, it's any triad built on D is going to be a d major chord. If it's built on E, it's gonna be an e minor chord. F is gonna be a minor chord. G is going to be a major chord. A is going to be a major chord B is going to be a minor chord. C Sharp is going to be a diminished chord, and we know what those are now and then d again is going to be a major chord. Okay, so here we have our route. So I've put all of these triads and root position, so it should be pretty easy to figure out D is our roots. So this is a D major chord here. A is our route. So that's going to be a major chord. Here be is our route. So that's gonna be a B minor chord. F is our route. So that's the third d E f f sharp, I should say, because of the key signature, So f sharp is going to be our It's our third scale degree, So that's gonna be a mind record. G is going to be a major chord. Therefore, scale degree de is our route. So it's our tonic. As we sometimes say. That's gonna be a major chord. G is going to be a major chord, and then a is going to be a major court as well. And that's the pattern of this opening section. No, luckily um, now that we've figured out the basic seem here the core progression of the basic theme. Let's talk a little bit more about this word cannon because that tells us something important about this piece. A cannon is a type of piece of music, um, in which things cycle around and around and around. Usually it means that there are two different things happening in, uh, somewhat different wings. So, uh, another way to think about it is you may have encountered something called around. Canon is basically the same as around and around. We often do it as little kids with the song Row, row, row your boat. Right? So we go like row, row, row your boat and then someone else starts right there. Row, row, row your boat, Row, row, row your boat While the first voice keeps going and they overlap off from each other, a cannon is very similar. This particular arrangement has most of the cannon elements removed. So we don't see that kind of row, row, row, your boat kind of overlapping sound. But what we do see is a repeating pattern for the whole piece. We build on that pattern throughout the piece. So let's take a bigger view here. Let me just zoom out. Okay, So this is what we've analyzed so far, right? This is going to be the exact same core progression. Okay. And then here again, same core progression here. This bar all the way to hear same chord progression. Again, this bar to hear. Same core progression. Again this far Teoh here. Same chord progression again, this bar to hear same core progression again. So we've effectively analyzed the harmony the cords of this entire piece already, right. We've know what the cords are for the whole piece. By figuring out that first part and then realizing that it's a cycle, this piece is transparent enough where we could actually just follow the baseline. Right? So here's d and then a on Let's jump to the next start of the pattern the A The next start of the pattern D A next sort of the pattern D A and the baseline is exactly the same for the whole piece. Just repeats again. Let's see yet. So we've analyzed this whole piece? No, Um, we didn't talk about non chord tones yet, and we have some right here. Let me just point them out really quick. Here's a fairly easy one. Here's a D chord. What are the three notes and a D major chord? D F sharp and a That's our triad, right? So here we have a D. Here we have a D that works that all fits into the cord. Here's an F sharp that fits into the cord. This e does not fit into the court. There's no E in a d major court, nor is there a G and a D major chord. So these two notes are not in the court. They are non chord tones. We're gonna talk more about non core tones in a minute. So what's left? Remember Roman numerals? Let's put Roman numerals on this sucker. All right, so remember that because all these chords are the same. The Roman numerals. We just have to figure it out for these first for this first kind of, you know, passed through through the theme. And then they're gonna be the same for the whole song are the whole piece. So let's figure him out for this section, and then we know the entire piece. Okay, This is a D major chord. What's the Roman numeral one? Because we're in the key of D. So it's going to be a capital one because it's a major chord and it's our first quarter tone court built on a What is our Roman numeral there? Well, let's temp over here really quick. A is what? 12345 So the Roman New World's gonna be five. And is it gonna be capital or lower case capital? Because five, by our pattern of major minor, minor major major, that means Major. So Capital Five here Ah, be Where's bee? In our scale? That's five. So six is B and it's six gonna be major minor. Gonna be minor. So here we have a lower case. Six up. Next, we have an F chord. Where is F? It's our third scale degree, and that means it's a minor. So a lower case three on F G is going to be Can you do in your head D E f sharp G four. It's gonna be four. And is that major reminder it's major. So here, we're gonna have a major four here. We're back to D. So that is a one right, A major one. Now we're back to G where we just were over here. Same chord. So this is gonna be a G. Ah. Are ah, Major for and then five. And that's going to be a major five. Same court as we had back here. So there we go. So that that would see 123456788 bars. We can put on the whole rest of the piece repeating every eight bars. And that is how this piece works. That is. The analysis of that gets you an analysis of the whole piece minus the non chord tones. So let's talk about those next. 30. Writing Melody Alone: Okay, Now we have some music theory under our belt. Not everything there is to know about music three. That was just kind of ah, running through a whole bunch of basics, Remember? Like I said before, I have ah, hole litany of huge comprehensive music theory classes. And if you really want to get into the theory side, I suggest that you take some of those. However, throughout these composition classes, I will be kind of sprinkling in the theory as we need it. So hopefully that got you up to speed with core progressions, um, picking apart songs, doing some analysis and things like that. Now, um, let's talk about writing melodies. This is something that's always really tricky, um, to teach, probably because I firmly believe that I kind of suck at it like, I don't think I'm very good at just writing melodies. I've come up with some good ones and let me tell you how I've done it. Writing melodies alone, just being like Here's a blank page. I'm going to write some melodies that's really hard for me to do. I find that I just kind of, I don't know, I just never really latch on to what I'm doing and never sounds great. But if I start with the core progression and then I just listen to that core progression over and over and over and over. Then I could feel like a melody kind of emerge out of the court progression. I confined the melody in it much easier than I can just write a melody and then write chords to go with it right, because you want both. We want I melody and chord progression that fits with it. For me, the core progression comes first, but that's just me. That's totally ah, preference thing. That's just how I do it. I know many, many, many composers. Probably I would maybe even say most that do it the other way around. So I I have a little core progression here. Let's just try this little experiment. So here is a core progression. Okay. How what can I get to come out of that? Let me just see if I can feel something here. Groups. Um, so the sea kind of sticks out. I have these little to note chords going, so I'm gonna try going to keep a sea going here Now that C goes up to a D. I have a B and a D here. Remember, this is bass clef of being a d. So I have kind of a two chord. I could also call that a five chord if we filled in and g there, Um, I'm gonna use a non cord tone here, and then I'm going to resolve it down to a to that. Be so this be is there. That's my core tone. Sit on that for a minute and then let's maybe see what we have here E and a B so I could stay on that be or I could go back up. Well, let's stay on the B And then I want a new note here, but, um, but simple all the way down. Let's do that. Now we have this. This there's a bee in common with these two chords. It could be a nice touch, actually. Let's do that again. But let's go to one A. This time. Now the A is going to be the non core town. I don't know how the well that's gonna work. That might not be great. And then let's keep going on that non cord tone and the more resolve A This is an A minor courts will put on a there. So let's see. Let's see what happens. Let's see how we like it. I kind of like that. Um, if this one or two a c at the end, I'd like it more. Um, and if it was a little slower, those non chord tones really kind of give it. Ah. What kind of a tearful, sad sound right there. Ah, nice. So I like that now. I probably would have never come up with a melody like this had I not done it against a core progression. So for me, um, I really prefer Teoh work with cords and then let the melody kind of come out of that. Um, but other people do in other ways, so I just wanted to point that out. That's a good trick to do. Um, if I hear ah, lot of students come to me and say what comes first? The melody, You're the cords. Um, and the answer is, everyone does it different, but for me chords. Um, so there you go. Okay. Next let's talk about kind of the two main components of a melody that aren't in all melodies. But typically when we think about my melody, we think about them and kind of these two phrased ideas of an antecedent consequent. So it's jumping to a new video and talk about that. 31. Anticendet Consiquent: okay. There is a formula to writing melodies, and you don't have to use it. Ah, this is just one way to do it. This is one way to write a melody. Um, and it'll sound nice. Uh, so let's look at it. What we do is you can do this kind of on any scale. And what I mean is not like musical scale, which you can do it on any musical scale, but I mean on size. So I'm gonna do this over a four bar, um, core progression. So these four and then we'll resolve to this last one will just put, like, a whole note here. Um, but if we had a longer core progression, we could do this. Over eight bars or 16 bars tend to do it in groups of four. That's just how we like our music to be is in these patterns of four or eight. Um, so I'm gonna do a small one where it's over four. What we're gonna do is first thing. We're gonna divide it in half, so I'm gonna look at the 1st 2 bars and then the 2nd 2 bars. Okay, so this is gonna be called the antecedent, and it's gonna be the quant consequence. Think of it like a question and answer. The 1st 1 is asking a question. The 2nd 1 is answering the question. That's kind of how it's set up to be. It's like a phrase between our conversation between two people. So first thing we're gonna do is we're going to write a little melody. We tend to start that melody on either the route or the third, maybe sometimes the fifth, but usually the route or the third of the court. So this is an a minor chord. So my notes are a C and E. So I'm gonna started on an E, and I'm just gonna come up with something here that works Well, okay, so there's my first bar. Okay, Now, my second bar, Aiken, do anything I want, but I want it to end on, not in E. And probably not in a. The reason I started this on 1/5 will on the fifth will be clear in just a second. Even though I said it's not something we do all the time, it is something that's okay, Um, and I'll show you Why did that just second. Trust me on that. Just hold on for a second. Okay? So what's my court here being a D? I could call this a two chord. I could call it a five chord with a missing G. Let's pretend it's a five chord and let's do this and let's do that and then we'll leave arrest here. That's kind of cool. Um, okay. Now, for my consequence, what I'm gonna do is the first measure of the consequent is usually exactly the same. And this is why I started on E because on this cord, So this I haven't e and a B. This is even more of a five chord than this was in this one. We had the fifth of the chord and the seventh of the court. We haven't I don't think we've talked about seventh yet, but that's going to make it so. The full court here would be e g B and D would make it 1/7 chord. But don't worry about that. For now, we'll talk more about seven chords in the future. So here's an E and A B. So let's treat this again as a five chord. So if I put this right here. So the same first measure of the antecedent is now the first measure of the consequence that more or less works. I have e d, which is the seventh. The sea is an encore tone. That's okay. Okay, Now let's go to the second measure. Second measure. I want to do something similar to the second measure of the antecedent, but it's got a change, and I typically wanted to resolve, um onto the root of the cord would be ideal. So what I'm gonna do here and there's a couple of ways you could do this, but what I'm gonna do is going to use the same rhythm. Except instead of going down to this G, I'm gonna go to the root here, which is what we want to call this cord. I just have a d and B, so I could give it to different names. It could be a two chord a B D f. Um, although that's not we don't tend to like that. That chord, uh, can't be a d f a. We could call it a seven chord by calling it a G. But I used a G down here and I want this to be different. So let's go to this. Core progression is a tricky one for this. Let's stay on. Be about that. But we'll just go down and active. So the same rhythm is this. But I'm gonna end on a be okay, and then we'll just resolve it to a C here or in a actually in a might be better. Okay, let's see what we got. Okay, so you can kind of hear how it's sort of like a question and answer. Here is the question and here's the answer. So they're really the only thing that's different is these last two notes. But this gives us that repeating stuff that we like. Um, we talked earlier when we're talking about form about repeating things and how that felt good to us. So this interceding, consequent pattern that you can use for melody but don't have to, but remember that it's an option. Um, it tends to work well because it gives us something familiar very quickly. And this bar between these two bars and it still makes a nice shape, it makes kind of you could call this in a B shape on a small scale, right, like it's just two bars of each. So it's different than the form. But it still makes for a very nice melody to do it that way. Remember, you can do this over the course of four bars like I did, or eight bars where the antecedent would get four and the consequent got four. Um, if you were working on a bigger piece, you could do even do it over 16 32 or whatever you want it like that. So that's how the antecedent consequent relationship works. It's it's ah, nice trick for coming up with nice melodies fairly quickly. 32. Writing Melody With Harmony: Okay, So when we're talking earlier to videos ago when we were talking about, uh, writing melodies to harmonies, I showed you how I do it when I've already got a harmony. But let's look at another way. So I'm gonna get rid of our melody here and let's just walk through it again and let's come up with something different. Let's start with an eighth note this time. So I have here in a minor. Let's actually just fill out our harmony here so that we know exactly what chords were dealing with. So we have an A C and let's add an E in there. Okay, this big a minor chord. Here we have a D and A B. So, like I said before, we could call this a five chord with 1/7. But let's not let's call it a G chord. So that's the two chord. Now we're sorry. This seven chord now, So that's a seven chord. She's okay and in a minor key. So here we have an E and a B. So let's call that are five chord minor five chord. So this kind of fun Ah dee and a B. So what do we just call that? I think we called that a g chord. Another seventh chord? Yeah, another seventh chord. And then this is gonna be one again. So it's pretty he in it. Okay, so I just filled it out so that it's not a big us. Um, let's do a melody. So where I'm going to start this time is I'm just gonna pick one of these three notes. Let's dio I don't think I started a melody in C Oh, no, I did. Let's let's do a Okay, So I have a now What I want to do is I'm gonna The technique I'm going to use here is this kind of golden ratio technique. What that means is that over the course of four bars, there should be one point that is the most significant moment of your melody, and it's always gonna be at the 3/4 point. This is like this is his oldest time. It's like a mathematical thing, and this is something that I do pay attention to. So, in four bars, that means somewhere in the third bar should be are kind of most significant moment in the easiest way to make a most significant moment in a melody is to make it the highest note right there in this bar. Okay? And actually, it should be near the end of this bar. Ah, if we want to observe exactly where it goes. So let's keep that in mind. Um, you confined melodies over the centuries that do this. Okay, so I'm just gonna Right, So I've got an a minor chord here, So let's do some a minor stuff. Let's do a Let's go down to e to g Their ex were about to go to G, so I like that. Okay, let's do that. Let's do a similar rhythm, but ah, on the new chord. So now we're on a G. So let's go down to a D because that's in the cord. And then we'll jump down to a G with an eighth note A because that's in the cord. So I'm just making these significant points chord tones. That's all I'm doing. This one goes by really fast and down off beat. So doesn't need to be a court tone. Um, let's make this accord tone. So I'm on a G. Let's go back up to D now here we have in E g B. We haven't e minor chord. So I could go up to e here, or but I kind of want to go down. So I'm gonna go be G. So now I gotta find my high point here, So I want to work my way up to it. So let's go there. That's not my highest point, because I've already hit it. So let's go a little higher. There we go. Now, that's gonna be my highest point, and it's right near the end of the measure. That's great. Okay, Now I need to just kind of come down and resolve it. So I have another G chord here. Let's do something kind of fast. Okay, so what I just did here was I like this pattern. Anything. So we have court tone. Ah, Non core tone, quarter tone, non core tone, quarter tone, resolving. So I think that's going to sound kind of nice. Okay, but key is most important. Most significant moment here. Highest note. Let's hear. Uh, okay. I think that worked out rather nice. Um, especially like these 1st 2 bars. I might finesse this a little bit. Um What if I reverse these two notes? Think I might like that better? Let's try that. I'm just putting this on a beat as all I really did. And I was kind of adjusted some other stuff to fit well with it. Good. I think I'm liking that. So there you go. All I did was pick chord tones, put some non core tones in between and then aim for this highest moment right there the 3/4 of the way. Now, if you're working on a melody, that's eight measures long. That's going to be near the end of the sixth measure. Um, that's just kind of how we aim for these things. This goes all the way back to, like Leonardo Da Vinci this 3/4 point, Uh, thing if you want more information on it, look up. The golden ratio is what it's called. Um, also sometimes called the golden mean things like that. Okay, let's do one more video on Melody and let's talk about using outside sources for Melody. This is kind of fun stuff 33. Using Other Influences For Melody: Sometimes you confined melodies outside of music. Ah, and composers have been doing this for centuries as well. They've been finding ah, melody in, um, everyday life. And it's kind of cool, actually, when it happens, Um, there are all kinds of sources of melodies around you. People have notated melodies of train, uh, clanking noises going by big machines, all kinds of industrial stuff, but also and probably more common is nature based things. Um, there are a ton of composers who have used the sound of birds. And so I'm not advocating just, like, go out and listen to some birds and use it for a melody. But what I'm the point I'm trying to get across here is listen for melody around you in, in nature, in machines, in anything you confined around. If you're interested in the birdsong stuff, well, first, let's check this out. Ah, this is just a website I found where this person is compiling bird songs. Ah, I kind of like what they've done here. So here's the actual song. Okay. Kind of hard to hear, hear that is in played on a piano kind of messy, but this is what's interesting to me. Here's the song at half speed and here's that played on piano, right? That's kind of interesting. You could use that. So there are all kinds of books and things like that on people that have notated different bird songs around the world. Eso check him out. Um, if that is interesting to you and you know you could tie that into the program of a piece if you're doing a program music kind of thing, um, it's very doable. And, ah, popular to do. It's a good idea. So if it makes sense to have birds in the story of your piece than you, some bird songs. Great. Right. Um so check that out of there. You can play around with these melodies that you get from birds, and you might end up with something interesting, right? If you want more information on this, check out a couple of composers that come to mind. That have done a lot with bird songs is, um Oliver. May CNN has done a lot with birds. Um, bar talk. Malabar talk did quite a bit even more so. His sometimes colleague Kodi, which is code eyes First name Anton, something like that. Could I spelled k o D A. L? Why, um, they did a lot with birdsong. Those are the two that come to mind off. Tough my head. So check that out. Um, it's really interesting stuff, and it's a really cool idea for ways to come up with Melody, so check it out. It's fun stuff. 34. More On Process: So throughout this class, we've looked at ways of generating ideas and ways of getting started. When you're writing a piece of music, keep in mind there are a 1,000,000 other ideas and ideas come from everywhere, right? So, um, don't be afraid to explore. And don't be afraid to get kind of weird you'll see once you get really into composition. If you look at some of the ways that composers throughout history have generated ideas, ah, you would be pretty blown away by some of the stuff. People have come up with everything from using a pool table and assigning notes to the balls in the pockets to dice games, dice. Games were really popular for a while to math theorems, those air still popular in some ways to any kind of randomized data star charts, um, using stars and just like laying staff paper over a map of the stars in any given area at any given night. And I'm just drawing note heads wherever there's a star. That was something that at least one person did for quite a while, and that person was John Cage. You'd be surprised. Um, so ah, let ideas come from anywhere when you're working on music. Hopefully in this class, I've given you kind of the first round of tools to be able to come up with some ideas to get you over that initial hump, which is, frankly, the hardest part about writing music. Get you over that hump of where do I start and what do I do? You know, what am I doing here? And once you're over that, um, you now have some theory tools that will get you up and running will get you off the ground and hopefully continuing on with your piece. 35. Coming Soon: coming soon in future editions of this class. So hopefully, if this class goes well, um, and people take it and people want more than I'll be making more versions of the class and more versions was the word, um, more classes that go in this sequence. And when I do that will focus more on the technique side, more on tools, less on the kind of leg, you know. Ah, somewhat hippy ways I have of generating ideas. Ah, the future classes will be more on technique and possibly some analysis as well. Where? Where We will take some pieces of music and analyze them. Feel free to leave in the comments, suggestions for pieces that we could analyse songs, compositions, anything you like. Ah, and I'll incorporate that into the future classes that we make, um, and let me know if you want to see more classes. That's really important for me to know, because I don't really want to make a bunch classes that people aren't gonna watch him. But if people are gonna watch him and they're gonna be useful Ah, I like making him 36. Thanks Bye!: Okay, that's it. That's the end of this class. Like I said, there may be more coming. Hopefully, I'll be making more classes. Ah, in this composition sequence. If there are by the time you're watching this, hopefully you'll see a ah composition. 2345 etcetera from me. Um, thanks for hanging out. I hope you got what you wanted out of this class. I had a lot of fun making it. Um, please leave some. Ah, nice comments and feedback for me. That goes a long way to my fragile ego, Um, and also helps more people decide if they want to take the class or not. Hopefully we've given you some good ideas and got you over that hump of getting started with writing music. I think if I was going to sum up everything Ah, in one kind of little sentence, it would be Well, this isn't a sentence is gonna be slightly longer than a sentence. It would be this when people think about writing music, what they imagine is sitting at a grand piano with a big white wig and is the stereotypical picture of a classical music composer. And they are called a genius. They are genius composers. That's what composers are. They are geniuses. That's the assumption. And what I want you to take away from this class is that, um you don't have to be a genius to write. Music helps, but you don't have to be a genius, and it's really it can be. Not as complicated as you think it can be as simple as organizing your ideas, coming up with a plan, Um, understanding how music works, that's important. And then start going and see what happens. Let yourself right Some stuff that isn't very interesting. Um, let yourself learn from your mistakes. You can get that picture of, you know, Beethoven out of your head. That's not what I look like when I'm sitting in writing. I'm just just a little nerdy dude in a coffee shop working on music that eventually is gonna get played by a lot of people. Ah, and that's how it works in the modern world, people are still doing this stuff. So hopefully I've demystified the process of writing music a little bit for you. Okay, with that, um, thanks much for hanging out. Hopefully I will see you in another class. Check out some of my others. Um, and ah. Writes a music post. Some, Ah, some of the projects that you're working on in the comments. I'd love to see him. Ah, and listen to them. Okay, Stick around for one more little video where I'm gonna give you some ah, bonus stuff on getting into my other classes for super cheap. Thanks a bunch. See you later. Bye. 37. SkillshareFinalLectureV2: Hey, everyone want to learn more about what I'm up to? You can sign up for my email list here, and if you do that, I'll let you know about when new courses are released and when I make additions or changes to courses you're already enrolled in. Also check out on this site. I post a lot of stuff there and I check into it every day. So please come hang out with me and one of those two places or both, and we'll see you there.