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Course for Music Theory 106 - Building Chord Progressions

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Chord progressions give your song some emotion and direction. They are the canvas on which to build great melodies and rhythms! Learn all about creating them in this 30-tutorial course from our Music Theory expert, Gregg Fine...

Chord progressions in music are a lot like the canvas an artists paints on - a multi-purpose canvas, that is. That's because a songwriter can give his or her song a totally different feeling just by altering a few chords under its melody and take the listener on a completely new journey.

In this in-depth course about building chord progressions, Gregg Fine takes you on a harmonic voyage and shows you, step by step, how chord progressions are created and how they can evolve. You learn how to build progressions using techniques such as chromatic passing chords, borrowed harmonies, chords with added tones, and so on. Your ear gets a workout with musical examples that Gregg has created especially for the course. As you progress through this harmonic journey, you get familiar with various types of progressions and you find out how and why knowing how to transpose your chords to a different key is so useful. Gregg also shows you how modulation works and reveals the all-important pivot chord as a way to gently move your listener from one section of your song to another.

So open you ears wide, and get ready to listen deeply to the way chord progressions work inside a song! And while you're here, make sure to brush up on your musical theory with Gregg Fine as your guide.

Table of contents:

1. Introduction
2. What is a Chord Progression?
3. Getting Started with Diatonic Progressions
4. Building Diatonic Progressions
5. The 4-Chord Progression
6. The Three Chord Classes
7. Cadences - Part 1
8. Cadences - Part 2
9. Circle Progressions - Part 1
10. Circle Progressions - Part 2
11. Borrowed Chords - Part 1
12. Borrowed Chords - Part 2
13. Secondary Dominants - Part 1
14. Secondary Dominants - Part 2
15. Added Tone Chords in a Progression
16. Added Tone Chords to Accompany Melody
17. Sus Chords in a Progression - Part 1
18. Sus Chords in a Progression - Part 2
19. Passing Chords in a Progression - Part 1
20. Passing Chords in a Progression - Part 2
21. Using Inversions
22. Using Modulation in a Progression - Part 1
23. Using Modulation in a Progression - Part 2
24. Creating Surprise with Fake-Outs!
25. Creating Surprise with Harmonic Rhythm
26. Transposition: Why Do It?
27. Transposition: How To Do It
28. Transposition Exercises
29. Ear Training Exercise
30. Conclusion (and Final Exam)