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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

Lesson 15 of 26

ster and Unnamed Chords

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians 2: Minor Keys and More

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

15. ster and Unnamed Chords

Lesson Info

ster and Unnamed Chords

Okay, One more thing about cords before we move on. Ah, and do another analysis. And then we look at, um applying some of these things We're gonna do some some just production exercises on and and actually write some music and look at baselines and melodies in particular. Since we've spent the majority of our time so far on cords, um, chords will still be a major part of baselines and melodies going forward. But, um, we'll be applying them a little bit different. So the last thing I wanted to talk about was, ah, what happens when you have a cord that doesn't really fit into any of the rules? Uh, sometimes you might just like, ah, slap your hands down on a keyboard and say that was a cool sound, but it doesn't fit into any route. 3rd 5th pattern, right. So I could say, OK, this is cool. Um uh oh, I kind of randomly throwing notes around. Okay, here we go. You're like, OK, that's a cool sound. It's it's sounds a little dissonant and terrible, but, um, let's say for the sake of argument t...

hat you love that sound, um, we could analyze this and stare at it all day long and say, How does that fit into our route? 3rd 5th What's the key? What's the What's the root? That's gonna be a losing man's game? Uh, because it's not going to fit into those. And when we have cords that just don't fit into any pattern, we really kind of just call them cluster chords. Ah, cluster cord means it's got a whole bunch of everything. It's kind of are default name for stuff, so ah, it's a cluster cord. It doesn't fall into the route through fifth pattern. Um, it probably could. I mean, we could analyse it and find a good name for it if we really wanted to. And if this was like hardcore music theory, we would do that. We would analyze it until we found something that would work as a name for it. But we don't care about that. Were not like trying. Teoh get our master's degree in music theory here. We're just trying to write some cool stuff, so let's just call him cluster chords. Once things start getting ah past the rules that we've talked about so far to us, they're just gonna be close records. We don't really care about him. Um, after that, if that being said, you decide to go get a master's degree in music theory, you will find names for these things and there are more names for them, but nothing that really concerns us. Maybe someday we'll do, Ah, a, uh, music theory for electronic musicians. A tonal version in which we talk about complete, like Chromatis ism. Like anything goes. I doubt that would have any practical use for any of you, so we'll probably never do that. But if you really want to see it right in the comments of of this class and and we'll see, maybe maybe it will be worth doing. I don't know. Um so cluster chords, big groupings and notes that don't have a easy name that we can put on them. There you go.

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!