Online music composition courses have become increasingly popular in recent years, offering aspiring composers the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and develop their skills from the comfort of their own home. With so many options available, it can be challenging to determine which courses are the best fit for individual needs and goals. In this article, we will explore some of the top-rated music composition courses available online and provide insight into what they offer.
Here’s a look at the Best Music Composition Courses and Certifications Online and what they have to offer for you!
10 Best Music Composition Courses and Certifications Online
- 10 Best Music Composition Courses and Certifications Online
- 1. Music Composition 101: Fundamentals, Principles, and Myths by Jason Allen (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)
- 2. Music Composition 1 by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
- 3. Film, TV, & Video Game Music Composition + Production Basics by Steven Melin (Udemy)
- 4. Music Composition 2 by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
- 5. Orchestration 1: Compose Orchestral Music for Strings by Karleen Heong (Udemy)
- 6. Music Composition with the Piano: Ultimate Keyboard Theory by Jack Vaughan (Udemy)
- 7. Orchestration by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
- 8. Music Composition : Write Powerful Melodies by Jonathan Armandary (Udemy)
- 9. Film Scoring – Part 1 – Techniques For The Modern Composer by Jason Allen (Udemy)
- 10. Soundtrack Composer Masterclass: Score Films and Video Games by Chester Sky (Udemy)
1. Music Composition 101: Fundamentals, Principles, and Myths by Jason Allen (Udemy) (Our Best Pick)
Music Composition 101: Fundamentals, Principles, and Myths is a course designed to provide a complete guide to getting started in music composition. The course is suitable for anyone interested in developing their music interest or career. The instructor, Jason Allen, is an experienced composer who has worked with major American orchestras, film studios, and video game designers. The course begins by demystifying common misconceptions about the art of writing music and emphasizes that music composition is a skill that can be learned with practice.
The course covers a variety of topics, including the instructor’s background, myths of the composer, tools of the trade, starting with a plan, composing for films and games, principals of orchestration, and music theory. Other topics include program music and metaphors, character sketches, writing through canon, graphic form representations, film scoring and tension cues, and whether or not to use a keyboard. The course also includes real-life experiences and is not based solely on academic theory.
The course provides a roadmap to launching a career as a composer and includes tools to prepare, organize, and start a career. The course also offers steep discounts on other courses taught by the instructor after signing up. Closed captions are available for all lessons, and the course includes a 30-day money-back guarantee, as per Udemy policy.
Praise for the instructor’s courses indicates that the course is excellent for beginners and covers complex concepts in a relaxed and easily absorbable manner. The course is well-rounded and includes detailed explanations and useful tips. The course content is broken down into sections that include an introduction, what you need to know, misconceptions, what comes first, form, the business of composing, and a wrap-up.
2. Music Composition 1 by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
Music Composition 1 is a two-part course that teaches the basics of music composition, including how to create well-written rhythms and melodies. The course is split into two parts, with the first part focusing on rhythmic composition and the second part focusing on melodic composition. The course includes lectures in video and text format, along with real musical examples in the form of pictures and audio samples.
Each section of the course includes memory questions, quizzes, listening assignments, and composition assignments. Memory questions reinforce the key concepts learned, while quizzes test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the material. The listening assignments help students develop their ability to transcribe music, while the composition assignments provide an opportunity for real-life practice in creating their own rhythms and melodies.
The course is suitable for all students of music who want to deepen their understanding of the subject and learn to write music. The course includes 190 diagrams and audio samples, 125 memory questions, 90 transcription and composition assignments, 76 listening assignments, and 21 quizzes.
The course content is divided into two sections: rhythmic transcription and melodic transcription. The rhythmic transcription section covers topics such as the rhythmic motif, rhythmic phrase, types of rhythmic phrases, rhythmic periods and phrase groups, and conveying mood through rhythm. The melodic transcription section covers topics such as the melodic motif, melodic development, melodic phrase, melodic period, chord tones and non-chord tones, passing tones and neighbor tones, chromatic tones and incomplete neighbor tones, anticipation tones and suspension tones, and tension and resolution.
Overall, Music Composition 1 is a comprehensive course that provides an excellent introduction to the fundamentals of music composition, covering both rhythmic and melodic composition. The course includes a range of assignments and quizzes to help students develop their skills and reinforce key concepts.
3. Film, TV, & Video Game Music Composition + Production Basics by Steven Melin (Udemy)
The Film, TV, & Video Game Music Composition + Production Basics course on Udemy is a comprehensive music composition and production course taught by Steven Melin, an award-winning composer with years of experience in the industry. The course is designed for individuals who wish to pursue a career in composing music for various media, such as movies, TV shows, video games, and more. The course includes a mix of core content and bonus materials, covering topics such as writing and recording music, notating music, writing effective melodies and harmonies, advanced chords, electronic music, orchestration, music production, and writing for film, TV, and video games.
The course is updated for 2022, with irrelevant content removed and new bonus materials added, such as training for professional composing speed, building DAW templates, creating a realistic sampled orchestra, earning first dollars and growing a music business, composer lifestyle, interviews with industry pros, public interviews with Steven about his music career, selected live composing show streams, student coaching calls with Steven, level up live coaching, composing in the style of famous composers, nerdy music technology, case studies on composing for projects, and the Music Composer’s Guide to Finding Work Online.
The course assumes that students have access to a Mac or PC and uses notation software and a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) to write music on a computer. However, the course covers multiple free options available for those who do not have music software yet. The course has received positive reviews and has a Best-Selling tag on Udemy.
Overall, the Film, TV, & Video Game Music Composition + Production Basics course provides students with the necessary fundamentals and advanced techniques needed to compose and produce music for various media effectively. The course is suitable for individuals who are serious about pursuing a career in music composition and production.
4. Music Composition 2 by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
Music Composition 2 is a course that focuses on teaching students how to write their own music by studying the fundamentals of musical composition. It is the second course in a series of two, with the first course covering rhythmic and melodic composition. The course is divided into two parts, with the first part covering harmonic composition and the second part covering compositional form. It is recommended that students take Music Composition 1 before taking this course.
The course consists of both video and text lectures where each section covers a particular concept or related concepts. Real musical examples are used to demonstrate the concepts and compositional techniques. Memory questions, section quizzes, listening assignments, and composition assignments are also included in each section of the course. The memory questions summarize and reinforce key concepts learned, while quizzes test the students’ knowledge and understanding of the material. In the composition assignments, students have the opportunity to use the information and techniques learned in each section to write and develop their own harmonic progressions.
Students of music who wish to deepen their understanding of music and learn to write it should take this course. The course content and sections cover tonal function, diatonic chord substitution, developing harmonic progressions, the harmonic phrase and period, chromatic chord substitution, modulation, harmonic rhythm, musical texture, binary form, ternary form, rondo and arch forms, strophic and variation forms, and sonata form.
By the end of the course, students will have composed a number of entire pieces in various compositional forms. They will also have had practice notating music with music notation software.
5. Orchestration 1: Compose Orchestral Music for Strings by Karleen Heong (Udemy)
The course “Orchestration 1: Compose Orchestral Music for Strings” is designed to teach the proper way to write for orchestral instruments in order to unleash the full power of the orchestra. It aims to provide the knowledge needed to create a big and full orchestral sound in compositions.
The course covers various topics within orchestration, including the selection of instruments, techniques for chords and harmony, and how to blend different instruments together. Through a step-by-step approach, students will learn orchestration and instrumentation, including every string articulation and technique available, and will also study real orchestral scores from great composers.
In the practical section of the course, students will compose and orchestrate their own full composition for strings. By the end of the course, students will be able to use any string articulation and technique in their compositions, analyze string works, and know how to orchestrate properly for strings, all while composing through an orchestrator’s perspective.
The course is divided into 8 sections, including an introduction to orchestration, the strings and the orchestra, string articulations and techniques, string articulations in real music scores, individual stringed instruments, orchestration techniques revealed, orchestration analysis of real music scores, and a course project where students will compose and orchestrate their own composition for strings.
Overall, this course is designed to help students become proficient orchestrators and orchestral music composers in no time, using the orchestra as an essential tool in their arsenal.
6. Music Composition with the Piano: Ultimate Keyboard Theory by Jack Vaughan (Udemy)
The Music Composition with the Piano: Ultimate Keyboard Theory Course is a comprehensive course taught by Jack Vaughan that aims to provide learners with a thorough understanding of music theory and composition through practical experience at the piano. The course is structured around four core elements: an introduction to piano technique, theory, and arrangement; fundamental and advanced harmony and music theory taught through practical methods; compositional techniques and strategies to generate material and overcome obstacles; and conventions and structures of piano chords, progressions, and songwriting. The course is designed for beginners, intermediate composers, producers, and songwriters, and even semi-professionals who want to improve their piano technique, voicings, and harmonic knowledge.
The course covers a wide range of topics, including how to write a song, compose music, and improvise; common piano chords and how to create them; jazz chords on the piano; chord progressions and how to manipulate them; composing music compositions for film or games; composing piano music; keyboard scales; how to modulate between different keys; and creating different feelings with hundreds of different scales. The course also covers how to analyze music, read chord symbols, find the key of a song, write effective melodies, structure compositions well, voice and arrange chords, write bass lines, create pretty much any chord from scratch, and reharmonize and make progressions rhythmically interesting.
The goal of the course is to provide learners with fluency and options so they can choose their own unique expression and writing style. The course is condensed and to the point, with no wasted space or filler, and teaches learners how to think and learn music effectively. The course contains many piano tutorials on scales, chords, exercises, and is the perfect way to learn piano online.
7. Orchestration by Jonathan Peters (Udemy)
The Orchestration Course, taught by Jonathan Peters, is a comprehensive course covering both instrumentation and orchestration. The course is divided into two main parts: Instrumentation and Orchestration. The Instrumentation section covers how each instrument is constructed, how they produce sound, notation, and playing techniques. The Orchestration section covers basic concepts for writing for an orchestra, including timbres, textures, chords, and properly preparing a score and parts. There are also helpful tips and techniques included in the course, as well as useful reference charts in the appendix.
Throughout the course, students will be given score reading assignments, listening assignments, composing assignments, and quizzes. Score reading is a vital component of the course as it is the only way to become truly knowledgeable and skilled in writing for an orchestra. However, the course is not a music theory or music composition course and requires a basic foundation in those areas. If a student needs or would like to develop their knowledge in those areas, the instructor offers courses in Music Theory, Music Composition 1 and 2, and Four-part Harmony.
The course content is organized into sections covering each family of instruments (bowed strings, harp, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and keyboard instruments), as well as sections on preparing the score, parts, and proofing. The course concludes with a section on helpful tips and techniques. At key points in the course, students will be given assignments and quizzes to reinforce their learning.
8. Music Composition : Write Powerful Melodies by Jonathan Armandary (Udemy)
The Music Composition course titled “Write Powerful Melodies” is offered by instructor Jonathan Armandary. The course aims to teach the tried and tested process of composing exceptional melodies. The course covers various aspects such as composing better melodies from scratch, composing a strong melody over an existing chord sequence, what makes a good melody, how to compose countermelodies, and the scales and modes that can be used to compose more interesting melodies.
The course emphasizes the importance of melody in music composition and how it can improve one’s music without the need for the latest sample libraries or extensive analysis of orchestration details. It is suitable for both music producers with little formal musical training and classically trained musicians. The course offers lifetime access to all the steps required to create better melodies, including what to listen for when analyzing music and the various building blocks used to put a melody together.
The course comprises several sections, including Introduction, Elements of Melodies, Scales & Modes, Developmental Techniques, and Melodic Composition. It also includes a bonus download titled “The Media Scoring Guide.” The instructor provides a 30-Day-Money-Back Guarantee for learners who may not find the course suitable.
In conclusion, the Music Composition course titled “Write Powerful Melodies” teaches learners how to create exceptional melodies using a tried and tested process. The course emphasizes the importance of melody in music composition and offers several sections covering different aspects of melody creation. Learners are offered lifetime access to the program and a bonus download, and are protected by a 30-Day-Money-Back Guarantee.
9. Film Scoring – Part 1 – Techniques For The Modern Composer by Jason Allen (Udemy)
The Film Scoring – Part 1 – Techniques For The Modern Composer course on Udemy is aimed at both aspiring and active musicians who want to develop their music career. The course is taught by Jason Allen, a PhD in music composition, university professor, and Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year award semi-finalist. The course covers essential techniques for film scoring, and students will learn how to analyze and compose music for film projects. The course is designed to equip students with the tools, lingo, and techniques used in film composing and enable them to start their own projects.
The course is divided into several sections, and the first part covers various topics such as music theory and genre, finding the emotional response, working with industry budgets, using modes in film scores, and more. Students will also learn how to compose music for silent films, score the opening credits, and work with Leitmotifs, among other things. Closed captions have been added to all lessons, and students who register for the course will receive ongoing exclusive content and discounts for all future classes in the series.
Jason Allen has worked with major American orchestras, film studios, and video game designers throughout his career, and he shares his process for composing music for film projects in the course. The course is a roadmap to launching a career as a composer, and students will learn how to prepare, organize, and start their careers based on real-life experiences rather than just academic theory. The course comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and students who sign up for the course will also get discounts on other courses taught by Jason Allen.
10. Soundtrack Composer Masterclass: Score Films and Video Games by Chester Sky (Udemy)
The Soundtrack Composer Masterclass is a recognized course taught by music producer and instructor, Chester Sky. The course focuses on teaching students how to compose epic music soundtracks and scores for films, TV, and video games. Students will learn how to use digital audio workstations and software to orchestrate and develop musical ideas. The course covers music theory, including themes, motifs, leitmotifs, scales, modes, and how to make scary music. Students will also learn how to arrange for string instruments, create realistic orchestral strings, piano, and percussion using software, improvise bass guitar melodies, score trailers, and export music for musicians to play. The course is suitable for complete beginners with no prior music background, as it covers all the necessary techniques from beginner to advanced levels. Students can learn everything they need to become a soundtrack composer from the comfort of their own homes.
The course is broken down into several sections, including an introduction, music theory, FL Studio fundamentals (optional), orchestration with software, scoring trailers, composing efficiently, working with film directors and game designers, making sheet music for live musicians, and a bonus section. The course includes practical techniques on how to apply music theory, with a focus on using it rather than memorizing it. Students can learn how to develop musical ideas from scratch and overcome writer’s block. The course also covers the basics of reading and writing music, preparing students for working with film directors and game designers.
The course emphasizes that with today’s technology, students can harness the full power of an orchestra at their fingertips with just a few clicks. No professional studio or degree is required to learn how to score soundtracks. The course teaches students all the tricks and tools to become a soundtrack composer from their homes. Anyone with a desire to create, experiment, and find joy in making music can benefit from this course.