Spotlight Courses & Classes

Let's make ourselves familiar with the most practical techniques in composition and get a clear understanding of their application.

Table of Contents (excerpt)

The Interval Theory Basic Course: Essentials

Before jumping into unknown water, we want to make sure you are familiar with the essentials of Interval Theory.

We designed the Interval Theory Basic Course to help music creators have the smoothest entry into intervallic thinking possible. So, let's start with what you (probably) know best, the Diatonic system. From there, let's spot the opportunities where and how to spice up the conventional Diatonic concepts.

Once you start widening your perspective, new musical doors open up everywhere! So, let's find out together what gems will appear behind those doors!

The lessons will also make you familiar with the Interval Theory terminology that we consistently use throughout all the materials inside the Academy, including the Interval Theory Composition Course.

The "Matrix of Ear Training" from Lesson 9 is a complete list of all the 4-part structures based on the various interval combinations (ICs). This exact matrix will turn into a fantastic resource of inspiration and creativity in the composition and also orchestration as you proceed with your studies.

Excerpt from Lesson 1

  • Lesson 1: The Intervals
  • Lesson 2: The Church Modes
  • Lesson 3: Basic Cadences
  • Lesson 4: Voice-Leading (VL)
  • Lesson 5: Scale-Step Theory
  • Lesson 6: Introduction to Scales
  • Lesson 7: Introduction to Root Cycles (RCs)
  • Lesson 8: Introduction to Position Change (PC)
  • Lesson 9: The "Matrix of Ear Training"
  • 9 Lessons
  • 2h 40min.

Negative Harmony I: The Basics and Essentials

Negative Harmony has undoubtedly become a trendy topic these days, and using Diatonic theory to explain the connections is cumbersome and somewhat complicated.

By switching our perspective to Interval Theory, we reveal clear concepts that are straightforward and easier to apply, meaning you'll get results quicker. Interval reflections, plagal harmony, and counting half-steps in the opposite direction is all part of Negative Harmony.

This spotlight course offers an excellent entry into that subject. Finally, it shows a structured methodology that will let you translate any conventional melody and/or progressions into the Negative world using Interval Theory.

By sticking to the intervals and knowing how they behave, the whole subject becomes more understandable and easier to apply.

Excerpt from Lesson 8

  • Lesson 1-3: Root Tones (Harmonic Weight & Negative Progressions)
  • Lesson 4-5: Melody (over any Root Progression)
  • Lesson 6-9: Harmony (Negative Cadences & Mediants)
  • 9 Lessons
  • 1h 12min.

Smart Line Writing Concepts: The Interval Theory Application of Counterpoint

Line writing is one of the most crucial parts of the composition process. And this not only refers to the main motive (or lead line) but all the side-lines as well.

Things can get quite complex as each line is supposed to move smoothly in the horizontal direction and also becomes part of harmony when it weaves into everything else. Therefore, it's essential to stay on top of things and not get overwhelmed.

Smart line writing concepts come out of the Overtone Series (OTS) and provide a natural approach to combining lines horizontally and vertically. Our ears got used to hearing the structures of the OTS in nature, and it became a fundamental part of music and Western culture.

This spotlight course breaks down all the concepts you need to know to write more fluent lines and take full control over the amount of dissonance when combing those vertically.

The first section of the Composition Course also focuses on line writing and how to use it best in compositions.

Excerpt from the Session

  • why the Overtone Series (OTS) is essential
  • how to enhance the Diatonic system with Interval Theory
  • how to write more fluently (for instruments and within a section)
  • how to boost your creativity and destroy writer's block
  • Spotlight Class
  • 60min.

The OTS Modes I: Theory & The Application

The Lydian Dominant scale is the most natural scale found in nature! It appears in the Overtone Series' (OTS) fourth octave and even opens up a parallel musical universe to the seven Church Modes.

There are many similarities between those two worlds, and it's fascinating how easily you can make fluent musical transitions between them. This approach covers a significant portion of conventional Jazz theory, but all based on simple concepts using Interval Theory.

We cover the concepts of scale pairs and changes in the Composition Course, and they perfectly apply to the OTS Modes. Once you understand a fundamental technique, it's effortless to change the variables within that technique to get to another emotional outcome.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn more about how the Circle of Fifths connects to the OTS
  • learn more about scale pairs derived from the OTS
  • orchestral example (composition & orchestration)
  • Spotlight Class
  • 2h 7min.

The OTS Modes II: Polytonality & Pivot Points

The OTS Modes bridge effortlessly to Polytonality. In particular, the Lydian Dominant scale is an essential part that explains some of the fundamental polytonal structures. Now that we know the theory behind the OTS Modes, let's dive deeper into the application and explore how they connect to other parts of music theory.

In the end, the elegance of your musical storytelling depends on your ability to connect your favorite techniques seamlessly. This spotlight class focuses on the transition into and out of the polytonal system using the OTS Modes.

We want you, the music creator, to have an excellent understanding of how to connect the various elements of music theory most fluently. First, we'll focus on the component and its functions and then look for compatible ways to link to other areas. That's also where the Pivot Points come into play. They'll help you change scales and emotions while maintaining enough glue, so you don't lose your audience.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn more about the basics of Polytonality and its structures
  • learn how to connect the OTS Modes to Polytonality
  • orchestral example (composition & orchestration)
  • Spotlight Class
  • 2h 6min.

String Theory I: Horizontal Application & Harmony

A 'String' is a succession of notes, including lead lines, side-lines, motives, motors, and runs. Every part that moves horizontally can be considered a 'String'.

We usually start by analyzing the horizontal formula (HF). This information tells you exactly how this string moves and behaves. It's like getting down to the DNA of us humans to understand the genetic code.

Once we have that information in place, many opportunities open up, and we can start creating a ton of related material around the initial string. Everything will sound connected as we base our musical choices on the intervals and their nature.

Even harmony suggests a lot of strings within the parts that make up the chords. String theory connects the horizontal and vertical forces. It almost becomes the interface, and you are in total control over how to use it.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn how String Theory connects to melodic writing
  • learn how to start with a string to create harmony
  • orchestral example (composition & orchestration)
  • Spotlight Class
  • 3h 1min.

String Theory II: Applied to the OTS Modes

Welcome to a more advanced piece of content. At this point, we already discussed the OTS Modes and their application in composition. Additionally, you know about String Theory and how it multiplies your musical options.

Let's apply the concepts of String Theory to the OTS Modes to understand how a string can become part of scales. So, although we use Interval Theory as our thinking base, we can make a string look like it was part of the Diatonic system.

'Diatonic' translates to 'sticking to a scale'! Now you gain complete power over the amount of spice you want to add to conventional Diatonic concepts by using strings as your point of reference instead of a scale.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn how equivalents connect to String Theory
  • combine several techniques such as Polytonality and scales
  • orchestral example (composition & orchestration)
  • Spotlight Class
  • 1h 8min.

Portals Workshop: Chord Progression Booster

Chord progressions can be a very efficient starting point for a composition. The problem, however, is that many composers sound the same due to their Diatonic thinking. It's rather hard to modulate to new tonal centers using conventional music theory.

That's where the 'Portals' come into play and help you spice up common chord progressions. One of the most practical things is that you can apply the Portals technique after you've written out the chord progression you want to start with.

This is also a fantastic way to expand your existing idea and turn 4 bars into 12 quickly. Because the Portals work on the harmonic side of your composition, they complement String Theory and all melodic content generally.

As you'll find out in this workshop, the Portal also connects to the world of equivalents. These are vertical structures of three or more parts, and all those parts are in equal spacing to each other.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn how to use the portal in any chord progression
  • learn why the portal is so versatile in music composition
  • learn how to translate blocky chord structures into fluent lines
  • orchestral example (from the sketch to the finished result)
  • 5-Day Workshop
  • 3h 33min.

Composition From Scratch Workshop: Creativity Booster

Interval Theory opens so many doors to a ton of exciting musical connections that are (sometimes) difficult to discover otherwise.

Is it better to start with melody, harmony, or even something else? This question pops up pretty often in public forums and on social media. And while probably all the answers are correct, they are still not helpful to fill the blank page.

In the 'Portals workshop', we focused on starting with a chord progression. In this workshop, we want to start with a melody, a string. Step by step, we explain concrete techniques based on Interval Theory that will lead you to sophisticated and elegant musical results.

All the concepts explained in the materials serve as sources of inspiration and can indeed be altered or modified to fit your individual needs.

Excerpt from the Session

  • learn how to extend a melody using Interval Theory
  • learn how to substitute regular triads with pentatonic chord structures
  • learn how to write a solid sketch to simplify the orchestration
  • orchestral example (all steps explained)
  • 5-Day Workshop
  • 3h 4min.

The content inside the Music Interval Theory Academy grows quickly and continuously. Therefore, on this page, we only list an excerpt of what is available to Academy members.

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The content inside the Academy is ever-growing (currently over 90+ hours of video content based on Interval Theory), and all the Spotlight Courses and Classes are directly available to the members.

Please understand that the content listed on this page is just an excerpt of what is available to give you a clear and transparent picture beforehand.

If you are interested in tapping into Interval Theory to spice up your writing skills, get your Access Pass today!