Learn to Convey Emotion in Film & Game Music - For Beginners
- 2 hours on-demand video
- 10 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- Use rhythm, harmony and melody to craft emotionally focused music for games, film and TV
Comprehend the elements of music composition that convey emotion effectively
Tell a compelling story in music
- Learn from detailed analysis of "urgent", "calm" and "spooky" music examples
- No specific DAW or audio editor is required - you'll need a DAW, but any one will work. Examples are provided in MIDI and audio as well as Ableton projects/sets.
- An interest in composing music for video games, film or TV is recommended.
- No prior music theory knowledge is necessary, but the course includes a valuable introduction to scales, numerals, chord tones, color tones and the chromatic scale.
Whether you are a songwriter who wants to get started with writing commercial music or a chronic learner who has always wanted to understand how and why music conveys emotion more effectively than anything else, this course offers insights that you'll find very rewarding.
Learn by watching 3 walkthroughs on emotional music cues conveying "urgent", "calm" and "spooky". Watch and listen as the music speaks for itself AND you get step-by-step explanations about how the music examples work. These lessons are learned from my award-winning songwriting, studio production work and academic study in music and compositional theory.
I've always believed that music is one of the most powerful ways to convey emotion and help a group of people "get on the same page." Rhythm, harmony and melody all play a part, but a good composer can elicit specific emotions quickly - in order to do that, you'll need a strong vocabulary in basic music theory and you'll want to know what your ideas "sound" like before you even play a note. This course combines the art and science of this process. Plus, you'll get a full primer on music theory essentials like:
- Building major and minor scales by hand
- How major, minor and half-diminished chords are built from major and minor scales
- Learn to compose with chords as numbers, using numerals (how the pros do it)
- Write elegant, expressive and concise music that gets to the point and delivers the goods
Contents and Overview
After a brief introduction to there course details and your instructor, students will start by listening to 3 examples of music. Next, that music will be analyzed in terms of
- Color and Timbre
Next, you'll get oriented with a compositional approach to framing your musical ideas as "characters" and "situations". This approach is loosely introduced in the context of theme and variation - a common compositional approach.
Section 3 thoroughly explains how chord numerals work in the context of major and minor scales. This section explains concepts which music students may (or may not) be familiar with such as building scales, triads and 7 chords. This section also explains the appropriate nomenclature (for example a "five chord" or "root, 3rd and 5th"). This section will be a critical value to anyone without music theory training. However, students may skip this section if they already fully understand the rest of the course.
As we continue the course (in section 4) students learn about color and timbre - a crucial pair of elements for any composer to understand when writing emotionally focused music. Students will learn about register, range and timbral character.
After completing your training and background, this course will direct students through a 5 step melody/theme creation process and some clarification on how to create a musical "situation" to match a video game, film or TV scenario. Then, students will walkthrough 3 distinct and complete musical cues - each focused on either an "urgent", "calm" or "spooky" mood.
Each section of the course wraps up with a brief quiz that is designed to help students identify any areas of knowledge that they need to review. This course doesn't bog students down with a comprehensive compositional program. Instead, this course is designed in a workshop style - where students learn the most important take-aways and then are encouraged to try their hand and begin writing music that conveys emotion.
- Anyone who wants an introduction to writing music for video games, film or TV
- Anyone who is curious about how and why music conveys emotion
- Beginners who want to learn basic music theory with examples focused on film/game music composition
- This course is for beginners, rather than intermediate or advanced compositional students.
To get the most out of this course, you'll want to complete a course project. Learn about me, your instructor, and some of the details for completing a course project.
Theme and variation is a creative exercise that will help you create a variety of musical "characters" and "situations". By exploring a variety of melodies and harmonic/timbral contexts, you can play around and find the best way to express the emotion you need to convey.
Now that we've nailed down the major scale in all 12 keys, let's look at why some chords sound "right" together.
Now that we've nailed down the minor scale in all 12 keys, let's look at why some chords sound "right" together.
Watch how I use polyrhythms, an atonal harmonic progression without any clear cadence in addition to a chromatic melody to disorient listeners. The irregular pattern (polyrhythms) combined with diminutive timbres (bells and glockenspiel) convey a aimless and spooky mood.