Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

A class designed for the electronic musician that want to take their tracks to the next level.



    Course Description:

    A class designed for the electronic musician that wants to take their tracks to the next level. In this class we will focus on learning how to organize pitches and rhythms to make dynamic and interesting melodies and harmonies. No experience with music theory is necessary. Playing an instrument and reading music is also not necessary. We will be focusing on how to use your DAW as your instrument to create with.

    For years I’ve been teaching Ableton Live in the college classroom. As a University Professor, my classes are sought after, and, frankly, expensive. I believe Music Theory can be learned by anyone, and cost shouldn’t be a barrier.


    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!!!


    J. Anthony 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.

    He currently as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.


    Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

    “I’ve had Live Lite for a while but never quite understood how to use it because of the different options in how to arrange audio. This course explains exactly how to do that and get the most out of Live.”
    “Great overview – I would start here for sure if you are just getting your feet wet with live. clear and to the point. session walkthroughs are great. looking forward to more”
    “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 thru this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”



    Access to a DAW: any program will do. (GarageBand, logic, pro tools, ardour, ableton live, etc.)


    What Will You Get From This Course:

    • Over 31 lectures and 3 hours of content!
    • By the end of this course, you will have improved your tracks by understanding how to build chords and melodies that work together.


    Target Audience:

    • Any level of musician
    • No experience reading notes required.

    Course Curriculum

    Class Overview FREE 00:01:45
    Section 1: Understanding Music Theory from an Electronic Music perspective
    The Piano Roll Editor FREE 00:05:54
    Octaves FREE 00:09:39
    Using Octaves FREE 00:05:51
    The Black Keys (not the band) 00:07:40
    Finding C and Middle C FREE 00:05:46
    Section 1 Summary 00:03:19
    Section 2: The Perfect 5th, and Being "In Key"
    The Perfect Fifth FREE 00:05:43
    Finding Fifths 00:05:03
    Being “In Key” 00:04:36
    The Pattern of a Key 00:06:31
    Fifth Examples 00:08:30
    Section 3: More With Keys, The Third, and The Basic Triad
    Moveable Patterns FREE 00:04:58
    The Major and Minor Third 00:04:05
    Building Triads 00:12:09
    Chord Progressions 00:05:25
    Section 4: Diatonic Chord Progressions
    What is Diatonic? 00:03:52
    Finding All The Chords 00:08:46
    Roman Numerals 00:04:41
    Example Song Analysis No. 1 00:09:36
    Inversions 00:08:00
    Section 5: 7th Chords
    7th Chords Overview 00:04:00
    Diatonic 7th Chords 00:08:03
    Maj7 (Major 7) Example 00:01:37
    Dominant 7th Chords 00:05:48
    Blues and the 7th Chord 00:01:57
    Section 6: The Other Intervals
    The Fourth 00:06:22
    The Second 00:04:13
    The Sixth 00:01:35
    Song Analysis No. 2 00:15:33
    Section 7: Wrap Up
    Wrap Up 00:02:10

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    • SGD 69 SGD 30
    • 31 Units
    • 183 Minutes
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    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.)
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