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Fundamental: Music Theory, Harmony


In this edition of the Fundamental series, we continue to discuss the music theory and practice that form an integral part of any dance musicians production skills – this time we concentrate on chords and harmony – more specifically the design of harmony, the composition and construction of chords, chord structures and flow, progressions, and the use of pads and strings. .

For this edition close to 4 hours of video tutorial focuses on the musical theory and practical applications for the composition, programming, production and engineering of harmony and pads/strings for dance records. Although it could be argued that some dance records do not employ harmony, many do, and those that don't (such as Tech House or Techno) do benefit from an understanding of chord design as many producers will compose and then sample a chord to create their stabs.

In this tutorial, we begin with an in-depth discussion on the music theory for chords. We introduce the viewer to the theory behind how both chords and chordal structures (harmony) are composed. This includes a look at how chord progressions typically evolve and how this theory applies to every chord progression. The sessions then move on to cover the principles behind chord composition, structure, programming, synthesis, editing and processing of pads and strings in order to add the all important harmony that can be central to many dance records.

Note: for this tutorial, you should already have a basic understanding of musical scales, as discussed in Fundamental: Music Theory, Bass.

Runtime: 3hr 48 minutes

An introduction to the DVD

Session 01: Building Chords: 10 minutes
For this session, we examine the basic theory behind how different chords are constructed

Session 02: Major and Minor Chords: 20 minutes
Here, we examine the differences between Major and Minor chords and how they are built from the root note

Session 03: Extended Chords: 10 minutes
Here, using more examples, we discuss how extended chords such as seventh and ninths are created from the standard triads.

Session 04: Basic Progressions: 22 minutes
In this session we examine the theory of joining different chords together, and how their harmonic and scale relationships produce chord progressions that harmonise.

Session 05: Advanced Progressions: 25 minutes
Moving on from the previous session, we now examine how we can use the theory discussed so far to create more complex and advanced sounding progressions that hold a listeners interest.

Session 06: Minor Progressions: 30 minutes
Having examined the creation of chords and progressions in a major key, we now move on to look at how a progression is formed in a minor key – a key more suitable for most forms of dance music.

Session 07:Creative Progressions: 30 minutes
For this session, we tie all the theory covered so far together to look at how we can become more creative with chord progressions and harmony.

Session 08: Harmonic Rhythm: 15 minutes
Chord progressions that do not utilise any harmonic rhythm won’t hold a record together so for this session, we examine what harmonic rhythm is and how we can employ it in progressions.

Session 09: Strings and Synthesis: 30 minutes
A look at the basic theory of how we can synthesize string type timbres on a synthesizer

Session 10: Pads and Synthesis: 30 minutes
A final session discussing the basic theory behind how we can synthesize pad timbres on a synthesizer

Coming soon...

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