Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 2 - Chords, Scales, & Keys
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Music Theory Comprehensive: Part 2 - Chords, Scales, & Keys

A Complete College-Level Music Theory Curriculum. This is Part 2: Understanding all chords, scales, and keys.
4.9 (78 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.
747 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 6/2017
English
English
Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
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Includes:
  • 5 hours on-demand video
  • 12 Articles
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Identify Scales, Keys, and Chords by Sight
  • Create Music by Using Music Theory Principals
  • Find Any Chord, Key, or Scale by Applying Principals - Not Memorization
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • Students who have taken Music Theory Comprehensive Part 1 - How To Read Music will benefit from some concepts, but it is not required.
  • This courses assumes students know the basics of how to read music. (Those who can not identify notes in treble clef should start with Music Theory Comprehensive Part 1)
Description

For years I've been teaching Music Theory in the college classroom. These classes I'm making for Udemy use the same syllabus I've used in my college classes for years, at a fraction of the cost. I believe anyone can learn Music Theory - and cost shouldn't be a barrier.

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.

My approach to music theory is to minimize the memorization. Most of these concepts you can learn by just understanding why chords behave in certain ways. Once you understand those concepts, you can find any scale, key, or chord that exists. Even invent your own.

This class is a Comprehensive class - it will have many parts, going through my entire annual curriculum.

This class is Part 2: Chords, Scales, and Keys.

Throughout this class, I'll be providing you with 8 worksheets for you to practice the concepts on. If you get stuck, you can review the videos or post a question, and I'll back to it as fast as possible. Also in this class I have several complete analysis projects that we will complete together - just like in my college classes.

In this class, we will cover:

  • My approach to Music Theory
  • Tools you will need to learn Music Theory quickly and efficiently
  • Chromatic and Diatonic scales
  • Ordered Pitch Class Collections
  • The pattern of a Major Scale
  • Scale Degrees
  • Solfege
  • Writing melodies with major scales
  • Analyzing melodies
  • What it means to be "in key"
  • Key signatures
  • How to identify key signatures
  • Popular song analysis
  • Building triads (chords)
  • Diatonic chord progressions
  • Roman numeral analysis
  • Inversions
  • Finding chords by formula
  • The thirds inside of a chord
  • Finding fifths by finding thirds
  • Diminished triads
  • Augmented triads
  • Chords on the guitar
  • Full Analysis: Canon in D (Pachabel)
  • Full Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach)
  • 7th Chords
  • Major 7th Chords
  • Minor 7th Chords
  • Dominant 7th Chords
  • ...and much, much more!

And of course, once you sign up for Part 2 - Chords, Scales, and Keys, you automatically get huge discounts to all the upcoming parts of this class.

You will not have another opportunity to learn Music Theory 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?
  • This course is designed for anyone who has wondered about music theory and is ready to fully explore it.
  • Songwriters, producers, and instrumentalists will benefit from this course by understanding music on a deeper level.
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
58 Lectures
05:14:00
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Introduction
3 Lectures 10:34

Welcome to the class! Here is a quick overview of what we will cover, and a little previous of what is to come!

Preview 04:50

I'm going to be using a program to show (and playback) notes throughout this class, and I think you should too. Its a free program, and can really help you learn.

Preview 05:35

You also can't go wrong with some good old-fashioned staff paper.

DOWNLOAD: Staff Paper
00:09
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Chromatic & Diatonic Scales
4 Lectures 15:32

Scales are the basic building blocks for musical keys and chords.

Preview 03:05

Two important words that we need to learn ASAP: Chromatic and Diatonic.

Preview 04:32

"Ordered Pitch Class Collections" is sort of a fancy term for a scale, but its important to know.

Ordered Pitch Class Collections
04:40

Chromatic scales can be both the most easy to understand and the most complicated.

Chromatic Scales
03:15
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The Major Scale
5 Lectures 21:06

A major scale is little more than a pattern. If you understand the pattern, you can find any major scale.

The Whole-Half Pattern
07:38

Tonic is another word for the first note in our scale. We label each note of the scale with a number called a "scale degree."

Scale degrees and Tonic
05:13

Do - a deer, a female deer. Ray, a drop of golden sun... This is solfege, and it can be a great way to learn to hear scales.

Scale Degrees and Solfege
05:35

Throughout this course I'm going to give you a bunch of worksheets. In this video I'll talk about how to use them and how to practice music theory in general.

Preview 02:32

Your first worksheet!

Preview 00:08
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Scales and Keys
4 Lectures 21:48

Major scales are only useful if we know how to use them. In this video we will start by looking at writing a melody in a major key.

Using major scales (writing a melody)
05:49

Next, lets look at a familiar melody and see how it uses the major scale.

Melody Analysis
11:25

You might be confused about the difference between "scale" and "key" - lets clear that up in this video.

What does it mean to be "in key"?
04:26

Here is your second practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 2
00:08
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Major Keys
4 Lectures 21:09

Time to talk about keys!

Preview 07:15

Key signatures are the quick way to tell what key we are in.

What is a key signatures?
05:42

There are 2 important tricks to identifying a key signature.

Identifying key signatures
08:04

Here is your third practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 3
00:08
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Chords!
9 Lectures 01:03:48

Chords are the building blocks that create harmony. Without chords (or harmony), we only have melodies.

Preview 04:28

Looking at a familiar song can help us to understand chords and harmony a little better.

Preview 08:56

The first type of chord we will focus in is a triad. Triads are the most basic of all chords, but all chords are based on triads.

Triads
02:51

Finding the pattern!

Building Triads
07:26

How do we know what kinds of triads are in a key? Another pattern tells us the answer to all of that.

The Diatonic Chord Progression
11:59

Now it is time to make those triads sound a little better using inversions.

Inversions
09:14

In music theory, we use roman numerals to label chords in a key.

Roman Numerals
10:16

Here is the song again, but now we know how to analyize chords. Lets do a roman numeral analysis of this song.

Song analysis, version 2
08:30

Here is your fourth practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 4
00:08
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Dissecting Triads
5 Lectures 25:40

Time to open up these triads and see what is inside!

The inside of a triad
04:01

The title says it all: The third holds the power.

The third holds the power
08:27

We can always count half steps to find the notes we need in a chord.

Finding chords by half-step
04:56

A faster way to find a fifth is to understand the two thirds that make up the full chord.

Finding fifths by thirds
08:08

Here is your fifth practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 5
00:08
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More with Triads
5 Lectures 22:09

Time to go back and look at that odd Diminished triad.

Diminished Triads
08:16

The diminished triad has a cousin, and it is called the Augmented triad.

Augmented Triads
05:18

How does adding more octaves to our triads effect their name?

Adding more octaves to triads
04:41

Chords on the guitar behave oddly with octaves. Lets take a quick look.

Chords on the Guitar
03:46

Here is your sixth practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 6
00:08
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Pieces for Analysis
8 Lectures 01:18:45

Why do we analyze pieces? Why is this a useful exercise?

Analysis Overview
03:29

You've heard this piece a hundred times. Sometimes called "the wedding song".

Analysis: Canon in D (Pachabel)
17:49

As we just learned, not every note of a piece will be in a chord. When it isn't, we call it a non-chord tone.

Non-Chord Tones
11:04

Get ready for a ride! We are going to go through this piece and look at every single note.

Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) - Part 1
15:20

Part 2 of our Minuet in G analysis.

Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) - Part 2
11:40

Part 3 of our Minuet in G analysis.
Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) - Part 3
19:05

Download and keep a copy!

DOWNLOAD: PDF of full Analysis
00:10

Here is your seventh practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 7
00:08
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7th Chords
8 Lectures 28:33

We know about triads, but what if we add another note? Things get more complicated!

What are 7th Chords?
02:46

With 7th chords, we have four types that can happen.

The 4 Types of 7th Chords
04:51

The "pretty" chord, and a little Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Major 7th Chords
04:55

Minor 7th chords have a bit of a jazz quality to them, but can be useful in a few different ways.

Minor 7th Chords
04:02

We've talked about "tendency tones" - and nothing is stronger than the dominant 7th chord when it comes to tendency.

Dominant 7th Chords
07:21

Lets take another look at that Minuet in G, but this time consider 7th chords.

DOWNLOAD: PDF of Minuet in G including 7th Chords
00:09

The blues is made up of mostly un-resolved 7th chords.

Blues and the Dominant 7th Chord
04:21

Here is your eighth practice worksheet. Please download it and use it to practice. The answers are on the last page.

Challenge yourself! If you get something wrong, review the videos or post a question!

DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 8
00:08
1 More Section
About the Instructor
Jason Allen
4.6 Average rating
5,338 Reviews
32,971 Students
59 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.)