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Music Theory Comprehensive Complete! (Levels 1, 2, & 3)

A Complete College-Level Music Theory Curriculum. This edition of the course includes levels 1, 2, & 3.
Instructor:
Jason Allen
38,421 students enrolled
English [Auto-generated] More
Read Music Using Proven Techniques
Understand All the Symbols (Not Only the Notes) of a Music Score
Read, Play, and Count Rhythms Accurately
The elements of the Score
Pitch Names
Pitch Classes
Octaves
The White Keys
The Black Keys (not the band!)
Half-Steps and Whole-Steps
Clefs
Intervals
Naming Octaves
Identifying Notes on the Staff
Identifying Notes on the Keyboard
Beat and Beat Divisions
Tempo
Downbeats and Upbeats
Dotted Rhythms
Time Signatures
Ties
Accidentals
Form in Music Notation
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
Tendency Chords
Using the Circle of Fifths for Songwriting and Composition
Borrowing from Closely Related Keys
Scale Degree Names
Tendency Tones
Compound Meters
Compound Meter Signatures
Reading and Writing Compound Meters
Triplets, dubplets, and Quadruplets
Finding Minor keys by alternations to Major
Patterns in Minor keys
Relative Minor keys
Parallel Minor keys
Minor keys in the Circle of Fifths
Using Minor Keys for Songwriting and Composition
Diatonic Chord Progressions in Minor
The V Chord and Minor and the Leading Tone Problem
Harmonic Minor Scales
Melodic Minor Scales

** UDEMY BEST SELLER **

Welcome to the COMPLETE Music Theory Guide!

This is a class designed for the average person who is ready to take music theory (or music interest) and turn it into a usable skill. Whether you are an active musician or an aspiring musician, this class is perfect for you.

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.

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. If you’ve tried to learn music theory before, or if you are just starting out – this series of courses is the perfect fit.

Dr. Allen is a professional musician, top-rated Udemy instructor, and university professor. In 2017 the Star Tribune featured him as a “Mover and a Shaker,” and he is recognized by the Grammy Foundation for his music education classes. 

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

This Edition of the class is the “Complete” Edition: It contains levels 1, 2, & 3 in their entirety. 

Included in this course: 

  • 151 Video lectures, following my college Music Theory Curriculum. 

  • 28 Downloadable worksheets for practice (with answers!)

  • Access through discounts to my entire network for music classes

  • Membership to the class theory-learner community

Because this is three class combined into one, going through every topic we cover in this class would make for a very, very long list. Here is just a hint of all the topics we cover:

  • My approach to Music Theory

  • Tools you will need to learn Music Theory quickly and efficiently

  • Music software: Notation programs

  • The elements of the Score

  • Pitch Names

  • Pitch Classes

  • Octaves

  • The White Keys

  • The Black Keys (not the band!)

  • Half-Steps and Whole-Steps

  • Clefs

  • Intervals

  • Naming Octaves

  • Identifying Notes on the Staff

  • Identifying Notes on the Keyboard

  • Beat and Beat Divisions

  • Tempo

  • Downbeats and Upbeats

  • Dotted Rhythms

  • Time Signatures

  • Ties

  • Accidentals

  • Form in Music Notation

  • 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

  • Tendency Chords

  • Using the Circle of Fifths for Songwriting and Composition

  • Borrowing from Closely Related Keys

  • Scale Degree Names

  • Tendency Tones

  • Compound Meters

  • Compound Meter Signatures

  • Reading and Writing Compound Meters

  • Triplets, dubplets, and Quadruplets

  • Finding Minor keys by alternations to Major

  • Patterns in Minor keys

  • Relative Minor keys

  • Parallel Minor keys

  • Minor keys in the Circle of Fifths

  • Using Minor Keys for Songwriting and Composition

  • Diatonic Chord Progressions in Minor

  • The V Chord and Minor and the Leading Tone Problem

  • Harmonic Minor Scales

  • Melodic Minor Scales

  • …and much, much more!

And of course, once you sign up for this class, 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. 

All the tools you need to successfully learn Music Theory are included in this course and the entire course is based on real-life experiences – not just academic theory.

Please click the “Take This Course” button so you can launch your music career today.

Test Prep: 

This course is perfect for prep for the Praxis II Test (ETS Praxis Music), The ABRSM Music Theory Exam (up to Grade 8), AP Music Theory Exam, College Placement Exams (Music Theory), and other common secondary and post-secondary placement exams.

** I guarantee that this course is the most thorough music theory course available ANYWHERE on the market – or your money back (30 day money back guarantee) **

Closed captions have been added to all lessons in this course.
Captions are also included in Spanish, Portuguese, and Chinese.

———————————————————————

Praise for Courses by Jason Allen:

⇢  “It seems like every little detail is being covered in an extremely simple fashion. The learning process becomes relaxed and allows the complex concepts to get obsorbed easily. My only regret is not taking this course earlier.” – M. Shah

⇢  “Great for everyone without any knowledge so far. I bought all three parts… It’s the best investment in leveling up my skills so far..” – Z. Palce

⇢  “Excellent explanations! No more or less than what is needed.” – A. Tóth

⇢  “VERY COOL. I’ve waiting for years to see a good video course, now I don’t have to wait anymore. Thank You!” – Jeffrey Koury

  “I am learning LOTS! And I really like having the worksheets!” – A. Deichsel

⇢  “The basics explained very clearly – loads of really useful tips!” – J. Pook

⇢  “Jason is really quick and great with questions, always a great resource for an online class!” M. Smith

—————————————————————————-

Students who register for this course will receive ongoing exclusive content and discounts to all future classes in the series. 

Getting Started

1
Welcome & Overview

Welcome to the class! In this lecture we will do a quick overview of the course.

2
My Approach To Music Theory

I approach music theory from a composer and songwriters perspective. In this lecture I'll walk you through how I think about Music Theory and how I approach teaching (and learning) it.

3
Tools You Will Need For This Course

I'm going to teach this class using a really cool (and FREE) software program. You don't need to get it, but I think it will help you learn more, and learn faster.

4
Update! MuseScore 3.0
5
Download: Staff Paper

Here is the download I talked about in the previous lecture. Some nice clean staff paper. Print out a few sheets for taking notes!

6
About Notation Software Programs

There are a lot of music notation software programs (well, only 3, actually). And they can be quite expensive. I'm recommending a free one, but the others are worth talking about quickly before we dive in to the real guts of the class.

7
Asking Questions

All The Little Dots

1
The Elements of the Score

To get started, I want to just walk through a score and point out the different elements that we are seeing. We will learn what all of these mean soon.

2
Pitch Names

Here we go: The names of the pitches.

3
Pitch Classes

We have pitch names, which we just learned. We also have pitch classes - slightly different (but important) than pitch names.

4
Octaves

A lot of music theory comes down to intervals - the distance between notes. Our first interval that we will learn is the Octave.

5
Worksheet No. 1 (DOWNLOAD)

Here is a downloadable PDF worksheet for you to practice on. Page 2 of this worksheet has the answers on it so you can check your work. Practice, practice, practice!

The Keyboard Layout

1
Why We Use a Keyboard

We won't be learning how to play the piano in this class. But the piano is useful to us because it gives us a really nice visual of the notes.

2
The White Keys

We've learned the names of the notes, so next lets learn how to find them on the keyboard.

3
The Black Keys (Not the band...)

The black keys present a little bit of a problem. They have 2 different names, and this can be confusing. But hold tight - it will all make sense after this video.

4
Half-Steps and Whole-Steps

We've learned about Octaves - our first interval. Now we need to learn 2 more intervals, and these are much smaller than an octave.

5
A Little Review of What We've Learned So Far

Up next: A little recap. We need to connect a few dots to make sense of how this all works together.

6
Worksheet No. 2 (DOWNLOAD)

Here is a downloadable PDF worksheet for you to practice on. Page 2 of this worksheet has the answers on it so you can check your work. Practice, practice, practice!

Pitch Notation on the Staff

1
Staff Overview

Lets go a little deeper on how the staff works, and how we read notes from it.

2
Clefs

A new wrinkle! The Clef can show us what range of notes we are talking about. There are many clefs, and everything changes if we are on a different clef.

3
Treble Clef Refresher

Lets focus just on the treble clef for now, and get back to what we already know.

4
Naming Notes and Intervals

Now that we can see notes on the staff, we should try to get comfortable naming the notes and the intervals.

5
Octave Names

Sometimes we use numbers to indicate the octave, like C3, C4, C5, etc. You might see these numbers so I want you to know what they mean.

6
UPDATE: Naturals

Before we go into the next worksheet, let's talk about the Natural symbol.

7
Worksheet No. 3 (DOWNLOAD)

Here is a downloadable PDF worksheet for you to practice on. Page 2 of this worksheet has the answers on it so you can check your work. Practice, practice, practice!

Notating time on a Musical Staff

1
Rhythmic Subdivisions

In order to notate rhythms, we need to be able to quantify them by their relationship to each other.

2
Download: A helpful PDF
3
Dots

We can add a dot to any rhythm (or rest) to elongate it.

4
Rests

What about a rhythm that indicates a certain amount of silence? That is called a rest, and there is one for every rhythmic symbol.

5
Time Signatures

So far we have looked mostly only at the time signature of 4/4. But there are many others, and things work a little differently in each one.

6
Ties

So far we have a whole note (4 beats long) as the longest possible rhythmic symbol. But we can make longer symbols by connecting a few together using ties.

7
Languages

A brief side note: I've been giving you a lot of terms in this class that are specific to the way we talk about music in the United States. In this lecture I'll talk a bit about some things you should know if you are outside of the U.S.

8
Worksheet No. 5 (DOWNLOAD)

Here is a downloadable PDF worksheet for you to practice on. Page 2 of this worksheet has the answers on it so you can check your work. Practice, practice, practice!

Score Symbols and Conventions

1
Dynamics and Repeats

So far we have talked about notes on the score, and rhythms on the score. What about volume? We call volume "Dynamics" and this is how we notate them.

2
Accidental Behavior and Naturals

There is a little more to accidentals that we haven't learned yet. Lets tie up some loose ends about accidentals in this video.

3
Form

Form is the order of events in music. It is also notated on the score using repeats, DS sections, and other tricks.

4
Worksheet No. 6 (DOWNLOAD)

Here is a downloadable PDF worksheet for you to practice on. Page 2 of this worksheet has the answers on it so you can check your work. Practice, practice, practice!

Putting it All Together

1
Places to Find Scores Online

There is a secret website that publishes thousands and thousands of scores that we can download and practice with. 

2
Update: Key Signatures
3
Tips for Practicing Notes and Rhythms

Here are my tips for practicing!

4
A Bunch of Practice Music! (DOWNLOAD)

Here are a bunch of files for you to practice with. This is actually a complete book of (fairly) simple music compositions to practice with.

Part 1: Wrap Up

1
Thanks & Bye! (For now!)

Thats it for part 1! We've only scratched the surface!

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

1
Welcome & Overview

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

2
Tools we will use in this course

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.

3
DOWNLOAD: Staff Paper

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

Chromatic & Diatonic Scales

1
What are scales, and why do we care?

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

2
Definitions: Chromatic and Diatonic

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

3
Ordered Pitch Class Collections

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

4
Chromatic Scales

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

The Major Scale

1
The Whole-Half Pattern

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

2
Scale degrees and Tonic

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."

3
Scale Degrees and Solfege

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.

4
How to Practice

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.

5
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 1

Your first worksheet!

Scales and Keys

1
Using major scales (writing a melody)

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.

2
Melody Analysis

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

3
What does it mean to be "in key"?

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

4
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 2

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!

Major Keys

1
Major Key overview

Time to talk about keys!

2
What is a key signature?

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

3
Identifying key signatures

There are 2 important tricks to identifying a key signature.

4
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 3

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!

Chords!

1
What are chords?

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

2
Song analysis

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

3
Triads

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.

4
Building Triads

Finding the pattern!

5
The Diatonic Chord Progression

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

6
Inversions

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

7
Roman Numerals

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

8
Song analysis, version 2

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

9
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 4

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

Dissecting Triads

1
The inside of a triad

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

2
The third holds the power

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

3
Finding chords by half-step

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

4
Finding fifths by thirds

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

5
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 5

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!

More with Triads

1
Diminished Triads

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

2
Augmented Triads

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

3
Adding more octaves to triads

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

4
Chords on the Guitar

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

5
DOWNLOAD: Worksheet No. 6

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!

Pieces for Analysis

1
Analysis Overview

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

2
Analysis: Canon in D (Pachabel)

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

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