The action music of John Williams is some of the most harmonically complex in all of film music. Its fast chord changes, busy textures, and dissonant harmonies make it notoriously difficult to analyze. This course breaks down Williams’ action music into a network of easy-to-understand concepts that reveal the harmonic systems behind his action writing.
Other film music harmony courses are structured by the practices of classical music, even though film music differs widely from classical music. This introductory course will teach fundamentals of harmony, counterpoint, and voice leading drawn from Hollywood film music itself – as it should be!
I worked as a Professor of Music Theory for several years in universities, specializing in film music, Beethoven, and rock music in my teaching and research. For more than two decades, I have taught music theory and analysis to all ages and at all levels from the community music school to the large university. I have published articles on film music and have a new chapter on John Williams’ Star Wars themes forthcoming in 2021.