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Arranging/Formal Structure

Learn how to Arrange.

The theory, practice and tricks of the trade when it comes to cleverly arranging dance music.

Sample Video

Course Details

Continuing our best selling series on the Fundamental production techniques for dance producers comes Fundamental: Arranging.
We’ve all been there. You have a killer 8 or 16 bars running in your DAW but when it comes to building an entire track from them it isn’t as easy as it first appears. Simply repeating the loop throughout the length of the track and dropping audio channels in and out doesn’t make for an interesting or exciting track and is more likely to send your listeners to sleep.

For Fundamental 6 we spend over 7 hours examining the theory, practice and tricks of the trade when it comes to cleverly arranging dance music. Beginning with an examination of some basic music theory including the all-important phrasing and response, we move on to examine the theory and practice of sonata form, energy, development, recapitulation, motion, contour, and anticipation.

Using an example track constructed from nothing more than 16 bars, we use the previously discussed theory to produce an entire arrangement. Over numerous sessions walk through and examine how to create a complete, interesting club arrangement using these techniques whilst also discussing further production techniques such as syncopation, meter, poly-meter, hyperbeats, hypermeter, and hemiola. All of these are used by artists to create interesting patterns and loops from a limited number of instruments.

Finally, we examine the principle of builds and drops, discussing the theory and practice of synthesis programming for the creation of risers, sweeps and falls before examining how to cut down an 8-minute club mix to create an arrangement for radio play.
Note: for this tutorial, you should already have a basic understanding of musical scales, as discussed in Fundamental: Music Theory, Bass.

Course Contents

Session 01: 5 Mins.
Introduction: An introduction.

Session 02: 20 Mins.

Phrasing and Coherence: The starting point of any arrangement.

Session 03: 25 Mins.
Exposition, Development and Recapitulation: The theory behind formal structure.

Session 04: 28 Mins.
Development/Anticipation: Create anticipation and development within club music.

Session 05: 32 Mins.

Rhythmic Meter and Ambiguity: Theory and the principles.

Session 06: 36 Mins.
Development Part 1: We continue working on the example track.

Session 07: 55 Mins.
Recapitulation 1: Recapitulation in music.

Session 08: 37 Mins.
Recapitulation 2: Different genres of EDM will employ different recapitulation.

Session 09: 52 Mins.

Second Approach.

Session 10: 51 Mins.
Development Part 2: Adding further development.

Session 11: 50 Mins.
Transition Effects: How to synthesize the infamous sweeps.

Session 12: 28 Mins.
Radio Edits: how to create a typical radio arrangement.

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