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Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

Lesson 30 of 31

Song Analysis No. 2

J. Anthony Allen

Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

30. Song Analysis No. 2

Lesson Info

Song Analysis No. 2

Okay, let's do a little dissection. Uh, if you will, In the theory world, we call this an analysis, but let's call it a dissection. Just for fun. What I want to do is figure out the chords in a song. So I have queued up here, uh, this song, all the right moves by this band called One Republic. Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking this is not an electronic track, and this is supposed to be Elektronik. Um, the reason I've chosen this is because the, um the core progression is nice and transparent, so we can hear it pretty quickly. Um, it's stated by itself right at the beginning, so we can hear it alone without the drums and without, ah, the other instruments. And the other reason is that I have just a bizarre, odd fascination with this song. It's just I don't know, I'm not I don't normally listen to music like this, but, uh, this song is just really catchy and a lot of the music by these guys, I just really kind of dig it. It's like my guilty pleasure to be totally honest wi...

th you. So enough of that. Let's hear it. So here's the beginning of the song where we get the chord progression, Theo. Okay, so the song uses pretty much the same core progression through most of it, and we can isolate it right here. So it starts right there. So let's get right up on that. That looks about good. And let's put that right on down. Beat that. I'm going to do a tiny bit of warping on it just to make sure that I get, um, the core progression tow line up right where I want it. So let's do that. And let's do set 11 here and let's put that right on. Beat three on And this chord change right on this. The beginning of the second booth on this one. Right on. Beat three of the second. Bar that out. Let's put this drum hit right there just for the heck of it. Okay? And then that's all I really care about. So I'm gonna set my loop to be right there, and then I'm gonna ask It will tend to do its magic. Actually, let's do that. Okay. Great way. So first I'm gonna put let's use our old faithful piano that we've been using, uh, grand piano on this track. And now let's drag this audio file down onto it, and it's gonna ask me how it wants me to analyze it and let's say harmony. And then when it's done well, look at the notes and figure out what chords they're using for this. Here we are. OK, lots of stuff here. Let's just hear what a Bolton came up with on its own. So let's go up here and mute the actual audio track. Let's just listen to this, Okay? So that distortion in Ah, that since that they're using kind of threw it off. What we really what we know is that the court only changes on the down beats. So anything that comes in later, I don't care about as much. So let's throw out that in that. And then all this stuff, I don't know what that is. Um, that and let's see a need. Those. I'm just trying to find stuff that doesn't start at the beginning. All this stuff there's another stray one was anyone and then our last chord Hoops. I need that note. Probably. Okay. Now, remember, Able 10 isn't perfect at this. So let's, um, go in and look chord by chord. First thing I'm gonna do here is I'm gonna get rid of octaves of stuff. So this note isn't a so Let's see if I have any mores. There's another A Let's get rid of that. There's a G get That's it. Ah, here is an E. Do I have any more ease? There's another e. There's another eat, there's a G. So I have a e C. There's another see? And here's G now that G strikes me as odd. But let's put this into root position, right? So no inversion. So what? That basically means for us, since we don't know what the court is yet, that means we're going to try to get it into as compact of a ah, a way as possible. Let's start moving around octaves. I'm gonna jump that up, inactive. Let's jump this one up, inactive, and that is starting to look like root position because these are really close together. Now. This G doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but if I did, this would be root position. So here's an a pitch. The pitch of eight. So, uh, what I'm gonna do here is if I count up the a scale and in this case, it will be the a minor scale. This will be the root, the third and the fifth, and this would be the seventh. I don't know if I hear 1/7 in there. Let me hear this. I don't think that seventh is in there, so I'm gonna go without the seventh. I think that was able to in Glitch. And let's pull this out to be the whole thing. Let's do it for the next court. So let's look for duplicates by active. So here's a G d another g. Scared of that. A b, another G, another D and an f sharp. Wow, that really doesn't make sense. I'm just going to say right off the bat that F Sharp is not in there now. It's his real position things. So let's move this up in Octave and let's try to get it about in the range of this one. Let's put that up there. Let's put that up there now. I've got a big space here, so I don't think that's in route position because of that weird space. So let's take that down. That looks a little bit better. This is a much smaller space, so that looks pretty good. So let's stretch that out and let's go to our next chord. Oh, we've got this one note way down here. What does that? No, that's also a g. Cool. Get rid of it. Okay, let's do we have down here. We have a c another C. Let's get rid of the low one. You have This note is hanging over, so it's possible that it's in there, So let's leave it. It's a G. We have another. See, You have a d and e another see another D, another e and then an f sharp. That's weird. Get rid of that. And another G Did we have a G already? Yeah, G right there. Okay. Um, I don't see what we've got here. Um, let's try to put this in route position. If I want to move this around, I'm gonna have to break it right there, which is factually Let's do it anyway. So I was going to shorten that and make a new note right there just so I can move it around if I have to, Uh, some of that up and active gives me a big space here. So when you take that down No, that's not right to put this e down there. Now, this d doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I'm just seeing because I have an E A g and A C. So we know we've seen that cord like 100 times, right? In the key of C C E G is our triad. So let's kind of assume that this D note is wrong or we could leave it in there. Let's leave it in there so a d would be a two in the key of C. This is a C chord. And, um, that's not a note that we use to build chords with, but it might have a little bit of color, So to get this into root position, we're going to sit right there. So I'm still skeptical about that D, but we'll leave it in for a minute. We'll see if it sounds good once we play it. So I'm going to stretch this out to be the whole length and our last chord. So we have an f another f Let's get rid of the low one. Another f Let's get rid of low one and A and A C and that's it. A randomly floating g give her to that. Doesn't look right. Okay, so an F and A and A C Let's try to get that into root position, which I think it's in, actually, so let's stretch that out, all right? And let's it looks like we've got something floating around up here. Yeah, these couple of random sees. Let's give her to that. Okay, let's hear what we've got now that it looks like some normal triads. All right, that sounds just about right. That's here at the same time is the original turn the original down a little bit? Eso this d that I was skeptical of. It. Sounded pretty good, actually. Okay, cool. So that sounds right. So let's figure out what chords we've got with Zoom out. Just touch here so we can look at it off. So, first of all, we need to figure out what key were in. And this could be a little tricky. Um, remember, we could go to that idea of what sounds like home we could listen to this core progression. Say what sounds like the natural order of things. Let's hear it again and think of that theme. The easy answer would be the first core, because usually the first court is what it is, and the first court is probably right. But it gets us into a little sticky situation here because, ah, this is a minor chord and we haven't talked about minor keys yet, but we're going to you in the next class. The ah, there's a version two of this class. Um, that focuses on minor keys so we could pick this apart as though it were a minor, because this is an a minor chord. Here's our route A but we could also pick it apart as though it were in C Major. This is a C major chord minus that were D that's sitting there. But here we have a C e N G, and that chord feels pretty comfortable to me. Like we could kind of stop card, right bum. That's like that could be, um, the kind of home cord. So let's roll with that idea and see how it works out. So if we call this cord a one chord, and it's got a goofy note in it. But that's okay. It's a one chord. Then we look at our a minor chord. The A minor chord is gonna be what, in the key of C using our Roman numerals that we learned it's gonna be a six chord and there will be a minor six because we can count up to C C D E f g a that six. And we know from our pattern of major, minor minor etcetera, we know that the six chord has to be a minor chord. So this is going to be minor. Six. Let's look at our next one now, this cord. Since we have it in route position, we can tell the root of it is gonna be G because that's the bottom note. So what is the G chord in the key of C major? A. G chord is the five chord, right, because C. D E f g, that's five. And we know from our major minor, minor major major pattern that the five chord has to be major right? So that is our five chord and its major, and here's our one chord. And lastly, what do we have here? We have an F in A in A C and that is going to make a four chord. If we put together the major scale of of C major Ah, and build a chord based on F, it would be f a seat, which is what we have. And we know from the diatonic chord progression major, minor, minor, major major that it has to be the four chord has to be major if it's in key. So there you go. There is our core progression for the opening of the sun. It works out to be perfectly in key. Um, there are no notes, not in the key of C major here if we analyze it in C major. Incidentally, if we analyze it in a minor, all the notes will also be in the key of C. Major. I'll leave that as a big mystery for you until we talk about minor keys in the next class. Um, but for now, uh, look at its maybe we'll analyze this again in the next last. We'll look at it in the minor key. That could be fun. Okay, Seo

Class Description

This is a class designed for the electronic musician who wants to bring new energy and compositional strength to their tracks. In this class, we'll focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic, interesting melodies and harmonies. Experience with music therory, the ability to play an instrument, or read music is not necessary! We will focus on how to use your DAW as your instrument of creation.

Topics include:

  • Using the Piano Roll Editor
  • Octaves
  • Finding C and Middle C
  • The Perfect 5th
  • What it means to be "in key"
  • Moveable Patterns
  • Major and Minor Intervals
  • Building Triads
  • Chord Progressions
  • 7th Chords
... And much more!

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this is great and very helpfull class, i make and wirte music for more than 2 decades and never gave much about theory, i trusted my feelings to what sound good and what not. Bu t recently i became interested but it all seemed very difficult to me and i didnt got the points behind music theory and how everyhing works together. This class was a game changer for me.. music theory is so simple if you have somebody to explain it in words so that you finally can understand it, and thats Anthony, he is a brilliant guy and he explains it in a simple way that you can easily understand whats going on. This is perfectly the case with this course, the sections are short and to the point, not much talking around and leaving the path, you can make fast progress end learn how music theory works, this is a 5 Star ***** course and hopefully there is more to come

Emane Filali

Fabulous course. As a person with dyslexia, trying to remember the notes and chords as letters only is impossible. I love the visual way the chords are demonstrated and explained. I was originally put off by the "electronic" aspect, thinking it was only for learning how to use piano edit roller. However, as a beginner in playing the piano, this course is applicable to all who want to learn and understand music theory in an interesting visual way. Looking forward to next lesson. Will definately be purchasing the course after. Fantastic tutor and course.

Giulio Lazaretti

Very good class!! Makes it much easier to understand and apply the rules of theory. Anthony is also very wise to suggest to trust your ears, even if what you've written doesn't fit into those same rules. I am so very grateful for you putting this together, Anthony, and for making it available for the general public, Creative Live. I am also very glad I was given the opportunity to learn english in my home country (Brazil), in which many barely know how to read and write in our own native language (portuguese) due to our public education being so bad (which, by its turn, has to do with the myriad of vile creatures that inhabit our representative chambers). Tks XoXo!