All the Right Information in One Spot, From Basic Theory to Advanced Elements of Composition Not Taught Anywhere Else

• Refresh your music theory and fill in the gaps with all the right information in one spot.

• Learn to write down the music you hear in your head and turn those ideas into finished compositions.

• Take control of your time with in-depth video lessons and a start-to-finish workbook to apply what you learn away from the computer.

• Avoid writer’s block by learning how to add your unique creative voice to your music, regardless of your genre or style. 

• Once you purchase, you own it for life. 

• It's self-paced, and designed for in-depth study.

Reviews

  • Great course!

    Shon Meckfessel

    So many courses that claim to cover musical composition are really just an introduction to some basic theory, without a thorough explanation to how pieces ar...

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    So many courses that claim to cover musical composition are really just an introduction to some basic theory, without a thorough explanation to how pieces are constructed as wholes. The AOC course is different - it really covers the way that larger pieces are put together and given coherence, while not neglecting the elements (like melody and harmony) that make those pieces up. Highly recommended!

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  • Oustanding Teaching and Course!

    Matthew Plaski

    I very much enjoyed this course, and I will definitely be taking more of Jon's composing courses in the future. He explains difficult concepts well and makes...

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    I very much enjoyed this course, and I will definitely be taking more of Jon's composing courses in the future. He explains difficult concepts well and makes them easier to understand. I especially liked the applied examples from Beethoven, Mozart, and Mahler. Also, the workbook exercises help solidify the concepts without becoming tedious or boring. Overall, it was a fantastic course, and I learned a great deal about melody, harmony, and form.

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  • Good information

    Christopher Wheeler

    There are very few people that present theory in this way online. Most people probably think theory is just knowing scales and circle of fifths and a lot o...

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    There are very few people that present theory in this way online. Most people probably think theory is just knowing scales and circle of fifths and a lot of places online present it like that. This course presents the theory of what the musical system is and how to use it and the functions it has. People disregard theory because they think it is a bunch of rules and it will limit their creativity while this couldn't be further from the truth. The musical system which we use was designed and created by people and is a system with some technicalities and must be properly understood.

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  • Fundamentals of Musical Composition

    Chris Carter

    I'm really enjoying the Art Of Composing online courses! My composing is has improved so much since I started a month ago. All the lessons are presented cl...

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    I'm really enjoying the Art Of Composing online courses! My composing is has improved so much since I started a month ago. All the lessons are presented clearly with nice musical examples! I can't wait to dive into another lesson today! Thanks Jon!

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  • Such a great course ...

    Michael Thom

    Precise exposition of 'musical expectations' and how to apply them. The Fundamentals of Musical Composition has opened a world of understanding and possibili...

    Read More

    Precise exposition of 'musical expectations' and how to apply them. The Fundamentals of Musical Composition has opened a world of understanding and possibility for me. Thank you Jon.

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  • The Fundamentals of Musical Composition

    Jeremy Penalosa

    The whole course is very informative. I personally enjoyed it and learned something new.

    The whole course is very informative. I personally enjoyed it and learned something new.

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Watch an Example Lesson from the Course

Don't worry if you don't know all the terms, you will by the this point in the course.

Lessons that Make the Theory Intuitive

Theory is just one aspect of understanding composition. You need to know how to use it.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Create a Basic Melody
    • What Makes a Decent Melody?
    • Help me make a better course by answering a few questions...
    • Fundamental Concepts
    • How We Got To Tonality
    • The Major-Minor System
    • Composing a Basic Melody
    • Download the Course Workbook
    • Worksheets: Simple Chord Tone Melody
    • Guided Exercise 1-2-1: Simple Chord Tone Melody 1
    • Guided Exercise 1-2-2: Simple Chord Tone Melody 2
    • Q&A on Creating Basic Melodies
  • 2
    Make More of Your Melody
    • Limitations and Creativity
    • Connecting the Chord Tones
    • Worksheets: Connecting Chord Tones
    • Exercise 1-3-1: Adding Non-Chord Tones 1
    • Exercise 1-3-2: Adding Non-Chord Tones 2
    • Q&A on Connecting the Chord Tones
  • 3
    Master the Essentials of Harmony
    • Intervals
    • Making Intervals Intuitive
    • Chromatic Intervals
    • Exercise 2-2-1: Interval Workout
    • Triads and Inversions
    • Making Triads Intuitive
    • Seventh Chords
    • Making Seventh Chords Intuitive
    • Basic Chord Progression No. 1
    • Q&A on the Essentials of Harmony
  • 4
    C Major and Fundamental Chord Progressions
    • Understanding C Major
    • C Major Worksheet
    • Learning Chord Progressions for Composers
  • 5
    How Harmony Works
    • Intro to Harmonic Functions
    • Tonic Function
    • Dominant Function
    • Pre-Dominant Function
    • Intro to Harmonic Progressions
    • Prolongation Progressions
    • Cadential Progressions
    • Sequential Progressions
    • Q&A on Functional Harmony
  • 6
    Harmony and the Real Power of Limitations
    • Applying Harmonic Theory to Your Vocabulary
    • Download: Beginning, Middle, and Ending Progressions Worksheet
    • Combining Beginnings, Middles, and Endings
    • Connecting Progressions with Emotions
    • Improvising with Progressions
    • Improvising a Beginning Idea
  • 7
    Understanding Form
    • Introduction: An Overview of Classical Form
    • Discuss Understanding Form
  • 8
    Compose a Sentence
    • The Sentence and the Basic Idea
    • Ex. 3-2-1: Composing the Basic Idea
    • Ex. 3-3-1: Repetition
    • The Continuation Phrase
    • AOC Podcast Interview with William Caplin, author of Classical Form
    • Ex. 3-4-1: The Continuation Phrase
    • Repetition of the Basic Idea
    • Q&A on Composing a Sentence
  • 9
    Generating and Refining Basic Ideas
    • Sketching a Basic Idea, Part 1
    • Sketching a Basic Idea, Part 2
    • Generating Basic Ideas (Live Masterclass 2018)
    • Analyzing and Developing Your Basic Idea (Live Masterclass 2018)
  • 10
    Chord Progressions, Minor Keys, and Simple Modulation
    • Functional Harmony Continued
    • Exercise: Creating a Functional Chord Progression
    • Minor Harmony
    • Ex. 4-2-1: Minor Functional Harmony
    • Making Minor Harmony Intuitive (Live Masterclass 2018)
    • Simple Modulation
    • Ex. 4-3-1: Simple Modulation
    • Making Modulations Intuitive (Live Masterclass 2018)
    • Q&A on Creating Chord Progressions
  • 11
    Master Melodic Composition
    • Introduction to Melodic Techniques
    • Melodic Traps
    • The Ingredients of a Melody and Scale Lines
    • Chord Line Melodies
    • Rhythm
    • Q&A on Melodic Composition
  • 12
    Understand Voice Leading and Harmonization
    • Intro to Voice Leading
    • Range
    • Doubling
    • Completeness
    • Spacing
    • Melodic Motion
    • How to Harmonize a Melody
    • Q&A on Voice Leading
  • 13
    Compose a Period
    • The Period
    • Q&A on The Period
  • 14
    Embellish Your Melody
    • Intro to Embellishment
    • Start with a Simple Melody
    • Identify Your Essential Tones
    • Add Neighbor Tones
    • Add Suspensions and Anticipations
    • Add Turns and Use Rubato
    • Transpose and Add Appoggiaturas
    • Q&A on Melodic Embellishment
  • 15
    Composing a Beginning, Middle, and End - Small Ternary Form
    • Intro to Small Ternary Form
    • Exposition
    • Contrasting Middle
    • Recapitulation
    • Creating Contrast
    • Compose Your Contrasting Middle and Recapitulation
    • Q&A on Small Ternary Form
  • 16
    Add Accompaniment
    • Accompaniment 1: Principles of Clarity
    • Accompaniment 2: Patterns for Composing
    • Q&A on Accompaniment
  • 17
    Capstone Project: A Few Bagatelles
    • Bagatelle No. 1
    • Bagatelle No. 2
    • Q&A on the Capstone Projects

Instructor

Film Composer

  • Jon Brantingham

    Creator of Art of Composing

    Jon Brantingham

    I've composed for over twenty years, and I am passionate about teaching and learning composition. I am currently a working composer living in Los Angeles, CA.

FAQ

  • Do I need prior composition experience?

    No. You must be able to read music notation in treble and bass clef. Everything else is explained in the course.

  • Will it work for my style or genre of music?

    Yes. When you learn the technique, we focus on classical style, but almost every concept taught in the course can be, with a little imagination, used in just about any genre.

  • Does it work on mobile?

    Yes. At least it should be... if something isn't working let me know.

  • Is there a certificate at the end?

    Yes. The certification is hosted through Accredible and can be shared.

Your Music Is Waiting to Be Unleashed

Stop getting frustrated with your progress, and start composing today.

Lifetime Access for $100

Pricing options

You can purchase the course for $100, or if you'd like, you can split the payment up into 3 payments of $34.

More Student Reviews

  • The title is appropriate to the subject matter

    Skevos Alachouzos

    I particularly like the stress upon the importance of self-imposed limitations; and I suspect that the same principle holds true in all forms of creative wor...

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    I particularly like the stress upon the importance of self-imposed limitations; and I suspect that the same principle holds true in all forms of creative work including poetry, prose writing etc and even (e.g.) painting (as in, for instance, limiting onself to a particular, restricted palette of colours).

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  • totally diggin' it !

    MR Mark

    Hey Jon, I am really loving the fun way you have gone about constructing a course that is based on some fundamental building blocks, and incorporates useful...

    Read More

    Hey Jon, I am really loving the fun way you have gone about constructing a course that is based on some fundamental building blocks, and incorporates useful limitations that enable anyone to start composing.

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  • Excellent

    chris maxwell

    The course is very logical and well thought out. It begins at the beginning, so to speak, and is thorough and comprehensive. Most excellent for learning to c...

    Read More

    The course is very logical and well thought out. It begins at the beginning, so to speak, and is thorough and comprehensive. Most excellent for learning to compose in the classical style, which would be a good beginning point for any composing style. The course is a very useful learning tool.

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  • Such a great course ...

    Michael Thom

    Precise exposition of 'musical expectations' and how to apply them. The Fundamentals of Musical Composition has opened a world of understanding and possibili...

    Read More

    Precise exposition of 'musical expectations' and how to apply them. The Fundamentals of Musical Composition has opened a world of understanding and possibility for me. Thank you Jon.

    Read Less