Welcome to Music Composition 101: Fundamentals, Principals, and Myths. The complete guide to getting started in music composition.

This is a class designed for the average person who is ready to take their music career (or music interest) and develop it into something more. Whether you are an active musician or an aspiring musician, this class is perfect for you.

When most people think of a composer, they imagine someone sitting in a dusty attic with a grand piano, a big white wig, and the year is 1800. That might have been accurate back then, but the modern composer is just like you and me. In fact, I am one. 

In this course, I’ll show you the techniques I use for writing music in a variety of styles and situations. I’ve worked with major American orchestras, film studios, and video game designers, so I’ve got more than a little experience. I’m also a PhD in music composition and a university professor (of music composition). 

Recently I was named as a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year award because of my in-person university classes. Now I’m taking those classes to Udemy in an online format in order to reach more students and give them the joy of Music Theory.

This course starts with common misconceptions about the art of writing music. I’ll give you the first one right now: You don’t have to be a genius. Music Composition is a skill that can be learned, with practice.

100% Answer Rate! Every single question posted to this class is answered within 24 hours by the instructor.

Some of the topics we will cover in this class are: 

  • My background, and listen to some of my music
  • What you need to know
  • Myths of the composer
  • Tools of the trade: Software
  • Tools of the trade: Pencils and fine paper
  • How do you start?
  • The process
  • Program music and metaphors
  • Character sketches
  • Writing through canon
  • Form
  • Starting with a plan
  • Graphic form representations
  • Film Music and Tension Cues
  • Composing for Films and Games
  • Any much, much, more! 

About the Instructor

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 is a professor of music at Augsburg University, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for classes by J. Anthony Allen

“Without a doubt the best explanation and east of use that one can get. It leaves you enough room to go explore. The classes go by quick, so you can be on your way at being proficient. What are you wait for!”

“Amazing – Seriously Loved It! I took all his courses and have to say I’m so happy! Learnt loads! Jason is an awesome teacher!”

“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 through this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me.”

“I like these courses because you can get up and running quickly without having to spend hours of time wading through TMI (too much information!). Jason hits the high points but shows you what you need to know. Thanks!”

“I’ve watched many other videos on scales and chords before, however, this one has been the best. I now understand minor scales and chords and even how to analyze songs. It really gave me the confidence to start producing music because I feel like I have some structure and guidelines to follow. AWESOME!”

“Clear and Informative – Jason has a clear uncluttered style (with the important dashes of humor) of presentation that is focused on the important key aspects of this course. Recommended for those starting out!”

“Dr. Allen does it again with his music theory series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section, and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn’t aware of.”

“The Best Teacher Ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all means without giving what you don’t want to know.”

Course Information

Estimated Time: 2.5 Hours

Course Instructor

Jay Allen Author

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 is an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, and is the CEO and co-founder of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

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