Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 3: Extended Harmony
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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 3: Extended Harmony

Producing music using the harmonic patterns of the professionals!
4.9 (123 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.
1,195 students enrolled
Created by Jason Allen
Last updated 3/2017
Current price: $35 Original price: $40 Discount: 12% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 10 Articles
  • 10 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Understand and apply new harmonic ideas to your songs
  • Produce music using techniques outside of just major and minor keys
  • Understand and use the 7 musical modes
View Curriculum
  • Although Ableton Live is used in the class, students do not need to be Live users. But they should have access to some kind of audio program with MIDI sequencing. Garageband, Logic, or several free pieces of software all work great.
  • No MIDI instruments are required.

This course is an extension of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, and Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2, in which we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this class we expand on those ideas and work with harmonic patterns (harmony) that is more rich than just major and minor. 

Production Techniques Through Theory
The most important part of this class is an extensive foray into using these techniques in actual tracks. I'll be creating 9 tracks through this class, right along with you, each using a different technique so you can see exactly how I incorporate it right into my music.

Full Sessions
After each production project, I'll give you the whole session of what I made using the techniques for you to play with. You can download it, expand on it, re-work it, and even release it as your work.

If Your Music is Missing Something, This is Probably It.
If you are finding that you are writing track after track, and while they sound good, there is something they are missing - then this it. You are missing the sense of harmony that professional producers have. In this class, I'll arm you with all the tools you need to produce those tracks just like you imagine them.

Who should take this course?  Anyone interested in producing their own music. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.

Structure This course consists of video lectures, which all contain a session in Ableton Live 9. If you are using a different program (or none at all), no worries! This isn't a class on how to use Ableton Live, and the concepts can be applied to any DAW.

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 Top20 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 and Music Theory 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 ideal for music theory beginners, as well as student with some background in music theory.
  • Anyone who produces music, or aspires to produce music, should take the course.
Curriculum For This Course
63 Lectures
Welcome & Overview
4 Lectures 26:07

Welcome to the class!

Preview 06:02

A little review from Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2, just to get us back into the swing of things.

Working with the Piano Roll Editor

A little review from Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2, just to get us back into the swing of things.

Major and minor chords, scales, and keys

A little review from Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2, just to get us back into the swing of things.

Diatonic Chord Progressions
Modes! New Harmonic Territories
10 Lectures 53:42

Say good bye to the plain old Major and Minor scales.

Preview 05:19

There is a simple trick to remembering the modes. In this lecture, I'll walk you through 2 ways to remember them.

Preview 07:15

There is a rich history to the modes, one that goes back 3000 years. 

Preview 09:56

The first mode: Ionian, is just like the major scale.

The Ionian Mode

The second mode is Dorian - a type of minor scale.

The Dorian Mode

The third mode is Phrygian, another type of minor scale.

The Phrygian Mode

The fourth mode is Lydian - a type of major scale.

The Lydian Mode

The Mixolydian Mode is kind of our jazz mode.

The Mixolydian Mode

The Aeolian Mode is just like our regular natural minor scale.

The Aeolian Mode

The Locrian mode is a type of minor, but really a kind of diminished mode.

The Locrian Mode
Using Modes
6 Lectures 31:46

Analysis projects have to work a little different this time.

A word about analysis projects in this class

This is how I use modes when working on a track.

Preview 03:04

Lets dive in, and just start producing a track!

Example Track Using Modes

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session

Lets take another approach to working with modes this time.

Example Track Using Modes

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session
Pentatonic Scales
4 Lectures 29:37

These work differently than major and minor scales, and very differently than modes.

Preview 05:44

You can use these all over the place - they are extremely versatile. 

Uses of the Pentatonic Scales

Up first: The major Pentatonic scale. It might sound familiar.

The Major Pentatonic Scale

The minor Pentatonic scale is the "guitar scale".

The Minor Pentatonic Scale
Using Pentatonic Scales
4 Lectures 23:47

In this video, I'll make a track using Pentatonic scales.

Example Track with Pentatonic Scales

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session

This time lets use a different pentatonic scale, and take a different approach.

Example Track with Pentatonic Scales

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session
Chromatic Mediants
5 Lectures 31:36

These are an altered chord that I hear all over modern electronic music.

What are Chromatic Mediants?

Lets make a track using some Chromatic Mediants!

Example Track with Chromatic Mediants

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session

Another approach to Chromatic Mediants.

Example Track with Chromatic Mediants

Here is my full Ableton Live set from the previous lesson.

[DOWNLOAD] Full Session
Creating with Advanced Harmonies
6 Lectures 23:30

Do you ever summer from "too many options"? If you do, you are like most producers.

Ok, We Have Tons of Options Now. What Do I Do?

You need to find a way to free yourself from the theory. This is my favorite tip for doing that.

Tip 1: Work Backwards

Lets explore that idea by putting together a quick track.

Example Track Using the "Work Backwards" Technique

You can use some built-in tools to your DAW to make a "map" of they sounds you want to use.

Tip 2: Map out a Mode or Scale and Explore it

Lets explore that idea by producing a short track.

Example Track using "Mapping"

Every scale is a group of sounds that evoke a certain "essence". If you can harness the "essence", you can work quickly with any genre.

Tip 3: Find the "Essence" of the scale, mode, or key.
Exotic Scales
21 Lectures 33:37

These scales are labeled as "Exotic" mostly because they are of non-western origin. 

What are Exotic Scales?

First up: The Algerian Scale

The Algerian Scale

Up next, the Arabian Scale - sometimes called the Diminished Scale.

The Arabian Scale (Diminished Scale)

Up next, the Major Arabian Scale, sometimes called the Major Locrian Scale.

The Major Arabian Scale (Major Locrian Scale)

The Japanese scale, this version is called the Hon Kumoi Shiouzhi scale.

The Japanese Scale (Hon Kumoi Shiouzhi)

The Japanese Scale.

The Japanese Scale

Next, lets look at the Balinese (Pelog) Scale.

The Balinese (Pelog) Scale

Next up, the Egyptian Scale.

The Egyptian Scale

The Whole Tone Scale was very popular with french impressionists.

The Whole Tone Scale

Next up, the Spanish Gypsy Scale.

The Spanish Gypsy Scale

Next, the Hungarian Scale.

The Hungarian Scale

The Hungarian Gypsy Scale

Next up: The Persian Hungarian Gypsy Scale.

The Persian Hungarian Gypsy Scale

This one is just called the Persian Scale.

The Persian Scale

The Chinese scale, seems like it deserves a more complex name.

The Chinese Scale

Next up: The Oriental Scale.

The Oriental Scale

The Neapolitan Scale comes up all over modern music. Keep your eye out for it.

The Neapolitan Scale

Next up: The Hindu Scale

The Hindu Scale

A few Ragas to close this section.

Raga Hanumatodi

Last one! The Raga Todi.

Raga Todi

Here is a session that has ALL of these scales in it for you to download and play with.

[DOWNLOAD] Ableton Live Set with All Scales Mapped Out
Wrap Up
3 Lectures 09:21

This is only the beginning!

A Few Parting Words

You've come this far, maybe you are willing to keep going...

Bonus Lecture: Discount Offers & Mailing List

I've received this question a few times, so I thought it was time to make a video walking through the answer. The question is if you can make a diatonic chord progression from the exotic scales. The answer is yes, but it will be weird. 

Bonus: Student Question: Making the Chord Progression from the Exotic Scales
About the Instructor
Jason Allen
4.6 Average rating
6,188 Reviews
35,990 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.)