Learn How to Write Music
Let's put things into action and focus on applied Interval Theory. Below, we offer a lot of guides that show you easy steps you should put into your musical toolbox. We hope you'll love our free music lessons.
There's too much talking about what you should do to become a more successful composer. Let's focus on best practices and the important things. In the articles below, we create, show, and explain real musical examples so that you can develop better composition skills in the best way. It's actually simple if you follow our methodology.
Everybody wants to sound unique, but honestly, most composers don't. If you know what everybody else knows, you must be a musical genius to sound fundamentally different. That's why we offer a different approach to solving a major problem: We use intervals as our base of thinking, and we do it in different ways. We often start with the easiest beginner chords and add little things later.
We've helped hundreds of composers come up with great song ideas and create professional sheet music. And the best proof of that comes directly from our Academy members. Your musical taste, combined with the proper techniques, will unlock the door to writing outstanding music! Inside the Academy, we've put together the best lessons and pro tips to help you master music composition and the art of songwriting. Listen to the members' words in their success stories.
The Circle of Fifths - Recommended Articles
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
From simple Diatonic starting points to advanced Interval Theory, you will learn how to compose original music using the Circle of Fifths as our point of reference. You will discover clear and easy-to-use concepts that lead to quick results, lots of inspiration, and destroy writer's block once and for all!
Cadences are essential in music. In this article, you'll learn how to turn a basic authentic cadence into a beautiful orchestral piece.
Tonal centers work similarly to the chapters in a book. They can help you change the setting and emotion. Learn how to use them most effectively.
Mediants are very versatile and can be used to either reinforce a current tonal center or modulate into new ones. Learn more about that right here!
Learn more about the dominant intervals and how they work most efficiently in composition, not only as Secondary Dominants.
You know the Circle of Fifths but do you know how it relates to all the other intervals? Find out more about those secrets in this article!
Learn how the Harmonic Series and the Circle of Fifths work together in music! Essential guidelines that'll help you write better music.
The tritone substitution provides great musical secrets that become apparent when we use Interval Theory as our base of thinking!
Modes and Scales - Recommended Articles
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
Scales create a grid that we can follow horizontally and vertically - that is, melody and chords. You will learn how Interval Theory embraces this concept but also pushes and twists the limitations of musical keys so that you discover how to move fluently and effortlessly through various tonal centers, keys, and scales in your compositions.
Learn how to use the Church Modes emotionally in composition and unlock their power for musical storytelling!
Learn how the Lydian scale connects to so many musical places, such as the Harmonic series, the Circle of Fifths, and many more!
For most composers, it's very hard to use the Locrian mode. After you've gone through this article, you'll love the Locrian mode!
Faux Scales are not discussed in the Diatonic System. In this article, we explain what they are and how you can use them effortlessly!
Learn more about the reflection of the major pentatonic scale and why it embraces the circle of major thirds (the RC4)!
Everybody loves the world of Pentatonic, but not many understand how to use them most creatively. Read this article to learn more!
Learn the best practices for harmonization - from the Diatonic approach to Interval Theory! Harmonizing the line can be fun and straightforward!
Learn How to Write Music that Matters! Join the Academy!
Spend your most precious resource wisely; that is your time! If music creation is a deep passion of yours, you should pay attention to the Music Interval Theory Academy. There's only so much theory you need to know to develop new chord progressions and great phrases and succeed in writing fantastic arrangements for the different sections of the orchestra or bands.
You'll learn a clear and transparent methodology and many pro tips that will shape your musical voice and help you gain confidence. You'll be able to combine proven composition techniques with your unique taste so that you can stand and create music that matters! And if you are a musician, you should know that we offer a lot of applications for musical instruments, like guitar courses, ukulele courses, or piano exercises, all based on Interval Theory!
A Personal Message
Why do I care about this journey with you?
Hi, my name is Frank, and I co-founded the Music Interval Theory Academy. Let me confess that it was never my initial plan to create an online academy for composition based on Interval Theory. I'm a pro composer and have spent most of my professional life composing music to picture, writing songs, creating background music, or scoring any other type of storyline. I never cared so much about song lyrics or writing lyrics in general. My focus always has been on the music.
Over the last few years, I discovered some significant problems along the way that I had to face, and I want to share my top three takeaways with you right here!
1) There's a smart way of composing ... and there's the rest!
For many years, I've analyzed classical works and scores. Everybody around me kept telling me that this was a good thing and the only way how you learn and become a better composer. Well, I've put in the hard work ...
Years later, I realized you don't become a great racing-car driver by watching hundreds of races on TV, right? And you don't become a great chef by watching millions of cooking shows. I mean, that is pretty obvious. To develop a skill, you have to practice that specific skill over and over again. If you focus on the analysis, you'll become good at analysis, not composition!
Now, the composition also has another component to it, and that is the artistic quality. Indeed, you can't really practice artistry, but what I've experienced as a working composer in the industry is that 80% of what gets the job done is pure technique! This might sound shocking when you think about it. You don't have to be a born prodigy to make a solid living as a composer. In fact, the biggest portion of a composition is the technique that everybody can learn, no matter how gifted you are. I'd say that only around 20% is pure artistic quality, even call it magic or "fairy dust on top of the raw material" :D ...
Nowadays, I know that there can be a clear methodology to the process of writing music. Over many years, all of my composition and orchestration mentors taught me that there is an infinite number of options and combinations, and they were right. However, that's not helpful when you are facing tight deadlines. Usually, you don't have the time to record hundreds of variations in Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools, or whatever software you use.
So, what should you focus on instead? Should you write another chord progression or even create a musicality checklist? Or should you rewrite the melody of the previous section? Should you use the C major scale or some more exotic scales? And for the orchestration, is there any good reason you should double any part with another instrument?
If these questions sound familiar to you, then you probably don't have an easy-to-follow process, right? You probably hunt for ideas most of the time, feel overwhelmed, and have a hard time coming up with good musical material. I also went through all of this, and you don't have to experience the same problems.
Furthermore, I offer concrete solutions to those questions/problems, which led to the founding of the Music Interval Theory Academy, where you will find the biggest tips and best practices to help you create fantastic music out of a major chord! (No joke!)
2) Simplify to Amplify
Writing music is not hard. In fact, it's fun, or at least, it should be. You want to keep things as simple as possible so you don't confuse yourself. That's where Interval Theory comes in very handy because it focuses on the nature of the intervals (yes, intervals have a nature to them). There are no hard rules or restrictions with the intervals, and it's more like following a guide or mental notes.
Combining the methodology with the knowledge about the nature of the intervals will let you compose unique music fast and organically. That's a great way to speed up your workflow and become more efficient. But I'm not only talking about quantity here. By listening to some of the options you created (based on technique), you give yourself input that will train you to develop your unique musical taste. This step is crucial for creating your artistic voice to separate your work from everybody else. You want to create a category of one!
This is the most efficient way to quality as well! Keep in mind that it's tough to amplify complex processes. That's why we want to keep it simple and focus on those things that actually matter! So many composers ask for sound advice, like what sample libraries to use in their home recording studios, but actually, most often, their results would be way better if they focused on developing proper composition skills first.
3) Grow Musical Confidence
Ok, this one was an essential eye-opener for you. Insecurity and the lack of trust in your composition skills can and will finally destroy the art you want to create, slowly but surely. How can you feel good about the music you wrote if you don't know whether or not it's good? In fact, how do you value your work at all?
The short answer is you can't. And there's no recipe for "good" decision-making.
What you can do, however, is grow musical confidence and prevent yourself from stepping into two dangerous traps! I want to list them right here because you might find that you actually got trapped in one of them or even both.
- You work on a piece for way too long!
- You connect your personal well-being to your success! (This one goes deep!)
Building confidence is a self-feeding mechanism. Once you understand how it works, it gets stronger and stronger, like a muscle. And it helps you to overcome fears, make decisions quicker, and even attract better clients! It's the law of attraction.
Clients will feel your confidence and see that you're not a risk factor for the project. In fact, you can become the solution to success even! It's quite apparent that you'd rather want to work with somebody very confident than somebody who is not sure about what he does and if he can get the job finished at all.
And please don't confuse confidence with ego! Ego is quite the opposite of what I mean. At this point, we are knee-deep in the subject of personal development right now, and to some degree, this step is mandatory to cover the artistic side of a composition. Inside the Academy, we share some great concepts and models you can use to develop a healthy relationship with your work, creativity, and even your successes, like the "Creative Pool".
If you feel you'd benefit from what I'm talking about, please look at the Academy. I'm convinced that it will help you move forward and make quicker progress in your musical life. We want to help you focus on what you love doing, and that is creating beautiful music! And even if you don't feel ready to start building your musical dream life, I hope that all the free materials on our website help you become a better composer!
If you're intrigued by Interval Theory, please stay connected and hop on the email list where we share a ton of exclusive content only with the inner circle.
I hope that we'll meet soon.
Best always and good luck,