Unlocking the Emotional Power of Chords

Produce more compelling music by harnessing the underlying emotional power of chords and harmony.

Gifting options available at checkout.

Starts Apr 19

2 Hours A Week

6 Weeks

44 Lessons

Why do some songs tug on our heartstrings while others fall flat? Conveying moods and emotions is a key element of making great music, and doing it well requires a deep understanding of chords and harmony. It's what allows Gnarls Barkley to convey a sense of danger, Adele to triumph over a break up, or Chance the Rapper to celebrate overcoming adversity. 

This six-week course is all about how to craft compelling harmonies in your music. We'll look at a host of songs from across the contemporary music landscape to see how they use harmony to convey emotion, and explain important music theory concepts in the process. You'll be challenged to write your own mood-setting music by creating tracks for topliners, TV ads, film trailers, and more, and get personalized weekly feedback on your work from an expert. By the end you'll feel comfortable deploying an array of different chords and progressions to create the emotional pull you're looking for. 

Ethan 04

Ethan Hein

Music Technologist & Theory Nerd

Ethan Hein is an adjunct professor of music technology at NYU and Montclair State University, and a founding member of the NYU Music Experience Design Lab, under the leadership of Alex Ruthmann. You can follow all his explorations of music theory, music education, and pop music at

More About Ethan
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theory for producers
music theory

It's Not Too Late to Join the Apr 19 Session

  • Unlimited access to interactive and video content
  • Weekly feedback and support from an expert Course Advisor
  • Downloadable course pack with extra resources

Price $249

Course Outline

  1. Start
    Section 1


  2. Start
    Section 2

    Smells Like Power Chords

  3. Start
    Section 3

    Triumphant Triads

  4. Start
    Section 4

    Scaling Up the Emotion

  5. Start
    Section 5

    Sussing Out Regret

  6. Start
    Section 6

    Seventh Heaven

  7. Start
    Section 7

    Mixing Moods & Modes

  8. Start
    Section 8

    Secondary Struggles

  9. Start
    Section 9

    Structured Chaos

  10. Start
    Section 10

    Ending on a High Note


What will I learn in this course? 

You'll learn how to create emotionally powerful chord progressions to convey different feelings in your music. You'll also learn a ton of music theory concepts, including intervals, major and minor chords, diatonic harmonies, seventh chords, modal interchange, and much more, and use them right away in a series of real-life challenges. 

Are there any pre-reqs?

This course is a continuation of our free series, Theory for Producers, about scales and modes. As such, while not required, it will definitely help to have a working knowledge of scales and notes. Additionally, you'll want a working knowledge of a digital audio workstation (DAW), such as Ableton Live, Logic, FL Studio, or something else. 

What do I get at the Basic level? 

At the Basic level, you get immediate, unlimited access to course materials.

What do I get at the Pro level? 

The Pro level is for students who are ready to take their music to the next level through more sophisticated chord progressions and harmonic choices. You'll receive the same immediate, unlimited access, a downloadable Course Pack, and in-depth personalized weekly feedback from a Course Advisor. This Course Advisor will help you stay accountable to your goals, answer your music theory questions, and offer guidance along the way.

Can I upgrade after I've purchased the course?

Of course! If you've started the course at the Basic level but decide you'd like the extra support from classmates or expert advisors, just send us an email to [email protected], and we'll help you make the upgrade. You'll be placed in either a current or a future session.  

What does it mean that the course starts on April 19?

As soon as you purchase a course at any level, you can start exploring the course material immediately. On April 19, the session begins, which means that if you're in the Pro level, you'll receive your Course Pack and begin the guided experience that includes weekly activities, feedback from Course Advisors, and much more. This is intended to help you stay accountable and get the feedback you need to succeed. 

Will there be future sessions of the course?

Yes! We plan to run new sessions roughly every two months. Check back shortly for firm dates, or sign up for a Soundfly account to receive email updates about course dates and new course launches.

How do I give the course as a gift?

Soundfly courses make great gifts for the music lover in your life. To purchase a course as a gift, first sign into your Soundfly account, or create a new account for you (the purchaser). Pick the price level you'd like to give, click to purchase, fill in your information, check the box below the credit card form saying you're buying the course as a gift, and click to pay. You'll shortly receive an email gift certificate that you can give to a friend.

How do I sign up for a course using a gift certificate?

Create your own Soundfly account, navigate to the course you've been gifted, and click to "buy now." On the check out page at the bottom of the form, you'll see a field where you can enter the code on your gift certificate. Enter the code, no credit card info needed, click "Apply," and enjoy the course!