The ScoreClub courses are much more than just theory but actual composer training for the serious student aiming to reach golden-age level skill with a modern voice.
Clocking in at over 50 hours, this ever-growing collection of courses can be taken in the order and manner that best fits your needs and learning style thanks to their modular approach.
NEW COURSE! INTRO to IMITATIVE COUNTERPOINT
Imitation is an important tool in the composer’s tool belt, one that all great composers have made use of.
“Intro to Imitative Counterpoint” provides a solid foundation in imitative counterpoint, presented in a gradual and easy to digest progression. You also get clear steps to both generate your own ideas suited for imitation as well as how to recognize opportunities for imitation in your everyday writing, using the great Bach as our main model, along with some John Williams and on-screen writing demos by Alain Mayrand.
This course builds on previous counterpoint courses from ScoreClub, and provides practice steps, goals and projects to really integrate the techniques of imitation into your writing.
Duration: 1h 38m
ESSENTIAL COMPOSER TRAINING: FOUNDATION
The core techniques of composition that can apply to everything from small groups to full orchestra
Build a rock-solid foundation of skill and methodology. This course combines in a synergistic way the essential skills of diatonic harmony, voice-leading, harmonizing, arranging and much more into a uniquely powerful course designed for the modern composer. You will be writing music from the get-go, rather than just doing boring exercises! Focused on real-world results, this course has benefited everyone from beginner students to University-trained composers.
Duration: 6h 06m
You definitely have a gift, and are doing valuable work. For myself, going through “ECT:F”, there were at least 3 moments where you managed to frame things in such a way that I was able to remove mountains that blocked my view, and clear years of confusion and apprehension […] it has transformed my writing and understanding of music, and brought me a deeper joy in the process. Thank you, Sensei!”
ADVANCED TONAL HARMONY
Begins with extended diatonic harmony and takes a deep dive into chromatic tonal harmony.
This massive 13+ hour course is the continuation of “Essential Composer Training: Foundation”. The course is carefully paced and organized, with every lesson being a thorough view at the material from various perspectives and writing approaches, from harmony-first to melody-first, and step-by-step exercises so that you end each lesson with a clear road-map allowing you to ingrain the materials into your writing. Take a look at the table of contents to get a sense of the scope of this course.
Duration: 13h 25m
I can’t say enough about this course. I’ve been composing for well over 10 years with a self-taught sense of theory. On top of everything new that I learned, this course solidified many topics that were a little scatterbrained for me. I think every composer with or without formal training should take this course. Alain is clear about what he’s teaching and regularly emphasizes that breaking the rules can have nice results.
Taking a class from a working musician is invaluable.
I have scoured the web, YouTube, etc, and never found anything that so perfectly went straight to what I didn’t understand and presented it to me so incredibly well. I was worried about my reading skills which are weak, but still existent. So far, no problem following along at all.
Thank you so VERY much for this material. After composing for 15 years, semi-professionally, and literally investing 10’s of 1000s of dollars into equipment and software, I have no doubt that this will be my best investment yet! Thank you!
The methodology you teach, and the thought process you repeat, teaches me what to think about constantly and what is really important during composition. Your real-world experience shows through the videos and inspires me.
COMPOSER EAR TRAINING: DIATONIC
Develop the ability to write what is in your head
As a composer your ear is your instrument, it is the direct line to your musical ideas. In this course, you will build your connection to your inner ear through composition, proper thinking and developing a sense of harmony. This course is designed to work hand-in-hand with other courses at ScoreClub with the goal of developing your ear alongside your writing skills instead of separately.
Duration: 3h 55m
“Incredibly thorough and infinitely helpful!”
– Simon Hanna
Counterpoint for the 21st Century and gateway to developing the intuition of a composer.
When John Williams was asked how to be a good film composer, he said learn counterpoint. Practical Counterpoint teaches your real-world counterpoint that you can use in your music right away. This is not a bunch of dry, outdated rules but usable, creative steps to mastery of both counterpoint and the creative process for any style of music. This course answers many questions for students beyond just counterpoint and digs into the inner-workings of a composer!
Duration: 4h 47m
…this is the way to go. Down to basics again and working with the lines to start with and get those things under my fingers is what is needed for me! I’ve been studying some counterpoint in College and by myself, but not in the way you are teaching it. It’s so much music in what you do and it’s just a great joy for me following this than it has ever been before!
PRACTICAL COUNTERPOINT 2
Learn principles to compose well-crafted pieces in two voices like the masters
The next step after “Practical Counterpoint”, this course provides an in-depth look at musical texture, direction and form, and then using masterpieces as models, ends with you writing a collection of short pieces in two-voices. I explain the motivation behind every compositional decision we see. This is not about the quality of the writing, it’s about the motivation behind writing a line, what it does, how it interacts and why it’s there.
Duration: 3h 07m
I absolutely LOVE this course! It has really helped me to become ‘unstuck’ when writing. Before, I always had to wait for inspiration to write any little thing. After the course, I am able to focus on the smaller details and relationships which then evolve into a larger idea almost on auto-pilot. Even if you have no idea what counterpoint is I would highly recommend this course as a very fun and practical method for writing music.
VIDEO LESSON EXAMPLES
MEMORABLE MELODIES THROUGH MOTIVIC MASTERY
What the greats knew to dependably write memorable tunes
Any good composer will tell you that writing a good, memorable melody is one of the hardest things to do. Did the masters of melody have a method or was it all just luck? Do some people just have a gift for melody? This course breaks down in clear, usable steps what the masters knew about melody writing, the psychology of listening and how motives work in order to write memorable tunes with control and predictability.
Duration: 3h 03m
..an excellent course. His analysis of memorable melodies and the elements that make them more memorable can easily be transferred to your own writing.
It’s these types of classes that are going to allow us to take our writing to the next level.
Thanks to A.M. for creating this excellent course, I’m writing something every day and have plenty of tools to analyze any melody.
I would recommend this course to anyone who’s serious about music.
The most thorough course on modes, and learn to tell a story through music
Modes are one of the most important and useful tools in the composer’s arsenal, especially for film music! Modal Mastery covers them in thorough detail not only technically but in musical application, viewing each mode as sound and colour. You will end this course able to write modes with four different approaches, modulate between them and, more importantly, use them like an artist uses paint. With modes you can really tell a story, and I demonstrate how in this course.
Duration: 2h 50m
I started Modal mastery like two days ago and let me tell you something…. It’s just awesome. I’m working two modes at a time but just with two I can see the whole point of your approach and it actually works… Don’t even have to have a piece of paper to find out the modes in any key! My brain is free from a terrible frustration now, thanks for this!
I’m so excited I’m starting to really understand them [the modes]. I feel it has opened up the spectrum for me
…thank you, Alain, for this excellent course: what you present is fresh, immediately usable and inspiring – a winner teaching perspective! I already feel the improvements in the way I compose and try to shape ideas, even if I had already studied modes 20 years ago.
ORCHESTRATING the LINE
Create detailed, organic and fluid orchestration like Ravel, Tchaikovsky and John Williams
Have you studied the orchestration textbooks but still can’t get your orchestral music to sound like the organic, fluid music of the greats listed above? This course covers the techniques of the great composers that is present in their writing but not in the books. This course takes the knowledge of instrumentation, orchestral voicings and melodic doublings and gives you a roadmap to understanding what the greats did with that! Based on my own study and research, learn the techniques used, the logic behind them and the compositional thinking. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to take a line and orchestrate it like the greats.
Duration: 3h 59m
Even after working as a professional composer for over a decade, I took away insights form this course that have added an entirely new layer of subtlety and depth to my music
As with all of Alain’s courses, I had to pause every 30 seconds to take notes and absorb everything being said. Every minute is packed with eye opening, actionable content. Definitely recommended.
Changed my whole perspective about orchestration. Never has any course improved my perspective and affected my work as quick as your courses!
This is not an orchestration course, it is much more of that! Music is everywhere in this course, I mean Real Music far away from “tips and tricks”!
I would buy this for just the very first video. Absolute gold! If you’re serious about your craft, get this.
Just the sort of information that books on orchestration DON’T have...this course is really much more about turning an idea into a fully fleshed out orchestral section. I really think it’s vital.
ORCHESTRATING THE LINE 2
Understand how all the pieces of the orchestral puzzle fit together
Building on the techniques learned in OTL, this course covers the remaining layers of an orchestration, giving a thorough look at the building blocks of orchestral accompaniments. If you’ve learned harmony and voice-leading, counterpoint and instrument ranges but can’t put the pieces together in your writing, this course will help you learn how the masters used the simplest to most advanced techniques, so you can write your own colourful and balanced orchestrations with control and confidence.
Duration: 6h 42m
Alain, just when I thought it could not get any better, you continue to impress me. Your knowledge and approach take complex ideas and simplifies them making the complex ideas, accessible. There is so much content in all your videos and even more OTLII that I have a lot to work on. I look forward to your next course. I can not thank you enough
I’ve been delving a little deeper into OTL II and I think it’s unparalleled. It’s like the bench press, deadlift and squats in the composition world – exercises that gives results!
It is an absolute goldmine of information and clarity. In one sentence you can answer so many questions that continuously plague my mind (some of which I could never quite articulate) and I am forever grateful for your fantastic teachings.
I have Orchestrating the Line 1&2 and they’re absolutely brilliant. Very well thought out courses, well structured, no fluff, no chit-chat, just solid teaching with tons of examples. Certainly, among the best online courses I’ve taken.
ORCHESTRATING THE LINE 3
Write the texture and coloristic writing that you find in the impressionist and modern composers
The final chapter of the OTL series and the last piece of the orchestral soundscape, this is an in-depth course on how to think and write for orchestra as colour and movement as seen in great composers like Respighi and Debussy. The elements of textural writing are presented first with basic concepts and methods, and then broken down into their individual components before being put back. From small to large textures. By the end of this course you will have mastered all the tools to fully understand this approach to writing and you will have learned to apply them in context as well, on their own and in combination with the techniques learned in the first two OTL courses.
Duration: 6h 27m
Teaching orchestration for many seems not much more than assigning roles to individual or collective instruments. Thankfully Alain thinks differently and the third chapter in his wonderful series adds a wealth of tricks and techniques. From Respighi to Debussy, Alain’s grasp of the details is thoroughly expounded in this course. As before his wonderful teaching style clearly lays out the idea, the execution, and examples. This is really an essential course for anybody with a desire to emulate classic orchestration.
I love the OTL courses they really opened up my mind and have given me an understanding of orchestration like a music degree and dozens of orchestration books never did!
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