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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 25 of 26


J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

25. Chromaticism


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Welcome and Overview Duration:04:15
3 Minor Scales Duration:06:27
4 Relative Keys Duration:11:03
7 Analysis: Ghosts N Stuff Duration:26:08
8 The Circle of Fifths Duration:09:48
11 7th Chords in Minor Duration:16:38
12 9ths and 13ths Duration:09:08
13 Suspended Chords Duration:05:03
14 Reading a Chord Chart Duration:11:02
15 ster and Unnamed Chords Duration:03:47
22 Bass Riffs Duration:08:49
23 Get Muddy Duration:03:02
24 Analysis: Windowlicker Duration:12:44
25 Chromaticism Duration:03:43
26 Thanks and Bye! Duration:01:15

Lesson Info


okay as we wrap up this class, um, there's a couple other things I wanted to point out one in particular. Um, and that's we've looked at cords, baselines, harmonies, diatonic chord progressions, all kinds of diatonic stuff. Diatonic means in a key. Um, there's a whole other kind of music. And if you get more in the music theory, um, you'll find ah, whole other kind of music. That's not diatonic. Um, that isn't in keys. It is chromatic music. Chromatic means it uses all pitches just freely. And there are a lot of different systems for organizing music in a bunch of different ways that are completely chromatic. Um, I'm not going to spend any time talking about it in this class because it is wildly unuseful to you if you are writing dance music or anything in the related genres of popular electronic music or semi popular electronic music. Um, but I do want to acknowledge that it exists. Not everything is in key, and there are some pretty wild sounding music. Music's, I think, is the right...

word for that out there that are completely chromatic. Here's a little taste. Ah, this guy's Arnold Schoenberg. He's Ah, one of the kind of founding fathers of complete Chromatis ism and some of the organizing principles behind it. Way. It's pretty wild stuff, right? And, uh, I would encourage you, though, to be open to it, because one thing that you'll see is that the more elements of Chromatis ism that you can incorporate into your music, meaning stuff outside of the key is when it gets more interesting. If you go completely chromatic like every note you're going to use all the time, Uh, then you're going to create a mess. But, um, the more outside the key you get the more interesting and unique it sounds. So don't be afraid to go outside of the key and experiment. Ah, which is throwing notes in that make no logical sense. If they sound good, they sound good. That's the most important thing of this whole class. If it sounds good to you than it's right, there's no ah theory explanation required, if you like the way it sounds. So I encourage you to check out some chromatic music. Check out the composer of Schaumburg, Um, spelled just like this, and there's many other composers. If you just look up Wikipedia page for, ah, chromatic chromatic music or 12 tone music. It's sometimes called. I want to be really fancy. We call it Dodik. A phonic music sometimes. So check that out. I don't think it will be super useful to you in your own, uh, production, Um, needs. But, um, as a musician, I think I think it's important for all of us to know that this other musics out there so So when you get some time, check it out.

Class Description

In the first part of Music Theory for Electronic Musicians, we learned how to work with the piano roll editor in a DAW to make harmonies, melodies, and whole tracks. In this second part, we'll expand on those ideas. We'll work with minor keys, focus some time on melody and bassline writing, and we'll talk about how different tracks work. 

Extensive Analysis 

In this class, we feature an extensive track analysis segment by Daft Punk, Avicii, Skrillex, and many more. In each of these segments, we'll look at their tracks on the piano roll editor. We'll talk about why they sound the way they do, and how you can use similar techniques in your own music. Each of these segments picks apart multiple elements of the song and dissects it in an easily digestiable manner. 

Who should take this course? 

Anyone interested in producing their own tracks. This will get you up and running and give your tracks a unique sound in no time.


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.  



Well, I slobbered all over you after your first class and this one is as good or better. I realize people don't go to college for 12 years and learn what you shared in a few hours and you didn't earn your doctorate with just this stuff. I mean Julliard must offer a lot more, but you have advanced my knowledge by miles and I've got to say thank you. Make some more of these simple, common talk courses - I'll buy them all.

Nick van Lochem

This course its so good he makes it al sound so easy. that ists easy to remember and use in your creations.

Scott Vincent

Very cool class - learned a lot from this class as well as from the Part 1 class. Highly recommend both classes!