Produce more compelling music by harnessing the underlying emotional power of chords and harmony.
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 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 ethanhein.com.
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.
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.
At the Basic level, you get immediate, unlimited access to course materials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!