Music Composition Techniques 2: Tension & Release
3.9 (58 ratings)
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Music Composition Techniques 2: Tension & Release

Demystifying Music Composition Through Practical Exercises and Techniques for the Modern Composer and Songwriter
3.9 (58 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
778 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 1/2017
English
English
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Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
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Includes:
  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Articles
  • 8 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Write and Compose music using proven techniques and tips
  • Create their own music using software, or good old pencil and paper.
  • Generate musical ideas through creativity exercises
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Before starting this course, students should know the basics of how to read music
  • Extensive music theory training is not necessary for this course.
  • For those without any music notation background at all, the course Music Theory Comprehensive - Part 1 is highly recommended.
Description

When most people think of a composer, they imagine someone sitting in a dusty attic with a grand piano, big white wig, and the year is 1800. That might have been accurate back then, but the modern composer is just like you and me. In fact, I am one. 

In this course I'll show you techniques I use for writing music in a variety of styles and situations. I've worked with major American orchestras, film studios, and video game designers, so I've got more than a little experience. I'm also a PhD 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 Udemy 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 Part 2. As the class grows, we will go deeper and deeper into my techniques. This class is focused on the creating a sense of Tension and Release: one of the most fundamental concepts in music composition.

In this class, we will cover:

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

And of course, once you sign up for this "section" of the class, future sections will come to you at steep discounts! Over half off for all future sections!

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 PhD 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 as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for classes by Dr. Jason Allen:

  • "Without a doubt the best explanation and east of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quick, so you can be on your way at being proficient. What are you wait for!"
  • "Amazing - Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I'm so happy! Learnt loads! Jason is an awesome teacher!"
  • "I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."
  • "I like these courses because you can get up and running quickly without having to spend hours of time wading through TMI (too much information!). Jason hits the high points but shows you what you need to know. Thanks!"
  • "I've watched many other videos on scales and chords before, however, this one has been the best. I now understand minor scales and chords and even how to analyze songs. It really gave me the confidence to start producing music because I feel like I have some structure and guidelines to follow. AWESOME!"
  • "Clear and Informative - Jason has a clear uncluttered style (with the important dashes of humor) of presentation that is focused on the important key aspects of this course. Recommended for those starting out!"
  • "Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section, and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn't aware of."
  • "The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all means without giving what you don't want to know."
Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone interested in learning to write music for fun, or as a potential new career
  • Students who have written their own songs or compositions and are looking to explore composition deeper
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
43 Lectures
03:41:55
+
Welcome & Overview
6 Lectures 20:37



Review: Tools
02:47

[DOWNLOAD] Staff Paper
00:06

Review: Process of Composing
02:52
+
Tension and Release in Form
10 Lectures 01:01:38

Forms That We Know So Far
03:05

Forms That Create Drama
04:44

Sonata Form
02:11

The 4 Elements of Sonata Form
08:58

Sonata Form Examples
16:35

Using Sonata Form for Tension and Release
05:41

[DOWNLOAD] Moonlight Sonata
00:02

Modern Uses of Form for Tension
01:55

Example: Muse (Butterflies and Hurricanes)
10:21
+
Tension and Release in Meter
7 Lectures 37:26

Stylistic Concerns
07:36

Compound Meters
03:09

Compound Meter Definition
06:58

Compound Meter Signatures
05:47

Another Perspective
02:55

Alternating Compound and Duple Meters for Tension
06:07
+
Tension and Release in Rhythm
5 Lectures 24:36

Pattern Obfuscation
07:36

Example: Philip Glass (From the Soundtrack to The Truman Show)
05:16

[DOWNLOAD] Glass, Truman Sleeps
00:02

Example: Aporia
04:03
+
Tension and Release in Harmony
7 Lectures 47:00

Prolonged Dominant
06:42

Emphasized Resolution
05:29

Pedal Tones
09:15

Long Resolution of Pedal Tones
03:38

Pedal Tones in Higher Voices
07:08

Example: Aphex Twin, Ventolin
06:25
+
Combining Techniques
5 Lectures 27:29
Using Multiple Techniques
07:38

[DOWNLOAD] Sonata in C, Mozart
00:02

Example: Kinesthesia, Movement 7
10:40

Film music and Tension Techniques
05:55

Composing Music for Films
03:14
+
Wrap Up
3 Lectures 03:10
Coming Soon: Composition Techniques 3: Composing for Film
01:13

Thanks & Bye
01:26

Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List
00:31
About the Instructor
Jason Allen
4.6 Average rating
6,221 Reviews
36,065 Students
62 Courses
Ph.D / Ableton Certified Trainer

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.

J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Trainer. He is a co-founder and owner of Slam Academy, a multimedia educational space in downtown Minneapolis. Recently, Allen founded Hackademica – an innovative net-label for new music.

J. has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

If you run into him on the street, he prefers to be addressed as J. (as in, Jay.)