12 Lessons

Action-Music Harmony in Classic Blockbuster Films

Learn harmonic techniques of well-known scores from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

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$129.00 USD $119.00 USD
Duration: 6 Hrs 34 Min

The octatonic scale is one of the most commonly-used resources in classic action music. Learn the power of its versatility in these three lessons. Lesson 1 builds a vocabulary of common octatonic chords in action music from the 70s, 80s and 90s, many of which are connected by the “Alpha chord”, a key concept which has never before been applied to film music. Lesson 2 explores techniques for writing octatonic melodies and for stretching chords out into short passages. And Lesson 3 shows how to write longer and more complex passages.

  1. Octatonic Scales
    • Overview
    • Possible Chords
  2. Traditional Chords from Octatonic Scales
    • Major Chords
    • Minor Chords
  3. The Alpha Chord and Its Dissonant Subsets
    • Overview
    • Large Subset Chords – 5 or 6 notes
    • Major and Minor Subset Chords – with one dissonance
    • Atonal Subset Chords – 3 notes

  1. Octatonic Melodies
    • The Whole-Tone Octatonic Mode
    • The (0134) Chord
    • Connective Scale Runs
    • Dyads Composed of 3rds
  2. Drawing Out Octatonic Harmony
    • Repeated Chord with Octatonic Melody
    • Transposed Chord with Octatonic Melody
  3. Multiple Octatonic Scales
    • Successive Scales
    • Simultaneous Scales
  1. Combining Octatonic Elements
    • Melody/Bass Intervals
      1. Unmoving Bass
      2. Moving Bass
      3. Melodic Bass
    • Melody and Accompaniment
      1. Freely-Written Chords
      2. Multiple-Strand Accompaniments
  2. Varying Octatonic Harmonies
    • Through Motives
    • Through a Common Subset
  3. Octatonic Elements at Larger Scales
    • Through Returning Music
    • Through Returning Intervals

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