For years I've been teaching Music Theory in the college classroom. These classes I'm making for Slam Academy 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.
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.
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.
This class is a Comprehensive class - it will have many parts, going through my entire annual curriculum.
This class is Part 2: Chords, Scales, and Keys.
Throughout this class, I'll be providing you with 8 worksheets for you to practice the concepts on. If you get stuck, you can review the videos or post a question, and I'll back to it as fast as possible. Also in this class I have several complete analysis projects that we will complete together - just like in my college classes.

What will I learn in this Course?

  • My approach to Music Theory
  • Tools you will need to learn Music Theory quickly and efficiently
  • 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
  • ...and much, much more!

Course Outline

  • Introduction
    • Tools We Will Use in this Course
    • [Download] Staff Paper
  • Chromatic & Diatonic Scales
    • Definitions: Chromatic and Diatonic
    • Ordered Pitch Class Collections
    • Chromatic Scales
  • The Major Scale
    • Scale Degrees and Tonic
    • Scale Degrees and Solfege
    • How to Practice
    • Worksheet No. 1
  • Scales and Keys
    • Melody Analysis
    • What Does it Mean to be “In Key”?
    • Worksheet No. 2
  • Major Keys
    • Major Key Overview
    • What is a Key Signature
    • Identifying Key Signatures
    • Worksheet No. 3
  • Chords!
    • Song Analysis
    • Triads
    • Building Triads
    • The Diatonic Chord Progression
    • Inversions
    • Roman Numerals
    • Song Analysis, Version 2
    • Worksheet No. 4
  • Dissecting Triads
    • The Inside of a Triad
    • The Third Holds the Power!
    • Finding Chords by Half-Steps
    • Finding Fifths by Thirds
    • Worksheet No. 5
  • More with Triads
    • Diminished Triads
    • Augmented Triads
    • Adding More Octaves to Triads
    • Chords on the Guitar
    • Worksheet No. 6
  • Pieces for Analysis
    • Analysis Overview
    • Analysis: Canon in D (Pachabel)
    • Non-Chord Tones
    • Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) – Part 1
    • Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) – Part 2
    • Analysis: Minuet in G (Bach) – Part 3
    • Download: PDF of Full Analysis
    • Worksheet No. 7
  • 7th Chords
    • What are 7th Chords?
    • The 4 Types of 7th Chords
    • Major 7th Chords
    • Minor 7th Chords
    • Dominant 7th Chords
    • Download: PDF of Minuet in G including 7th Chords
    • Blues and the Dominant 7th Chord
    • Worksheet No. 8
  • Wrap Up
    • What Comes Next?
    • Thanks and Bye! (For now…)

Course Information

Estimated Time: 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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Chromatic & Diatonic Scales

The Major Scale

Scales and Keys

Major Keys


Dissecting Triads

More with Triads

Pieces for Analysis

7th Chords

Wrap Up

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