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Model #: ScoringStages-02
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Scoring Stages #2: Something From Nothing

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About the Course

Scoring Stages™ #2: Something From Nothing
(Quick Compositional Techniques For Nearly Any Music Style)
19 Mini-Video Lectures, Running Approximately 4 hours Total (Each mini-video lecture length varies based on the material being taught)

Introducing Scoring Stages™ 2: Something From Nothing
The big question many ask is, “How do I generate inspiration to create something new?” Scoring Stages 2: Something From Nothing begins answering that question by first showing you specific compositional techniques using triads then four-part harmony to create, near instantly (without ever having had counterpoint), two- and three-part compositions. Apply tone colors and Span of Orchestration from the Spectrotone Chart, and voila, a professional sounding composition.

To accomplish this, Scoring Stages 2 starts with a harmony review. Not Theory! Instead, Harmonic facts that can be applied to most any genre of music you’re working on. And! From Rap to Orchestral, synths to strings. You can apply this information in a bazillion ways.

*Cookie Notice: By playing this video you consent to YouTube cookies

How You Learn/What You Do
Scoring Stages 2 uses a learning technique composers and songwriters have used for literally hundreds of years. It’s called OSA. OSA is an acronym for Organized Screwing Around. It’s the musicians way of expressing of experimenting and working with music that leads to discovery. The specific task you’re trying to accomplish is to see what happens when you do this, or if you do that, and if you assign to one instrument or section vs. another.

This is where the Spectrotone Chart is so important.

Once I’ve shown you how to apply each concept, you’ll then apply OSA to take your musical idea and see how it works in different registers (Span of Orchestration), with different solo instruments or sections, and the four different types of combinations available in each register. Only the Spectrotone Chart enables you to do this.

The more you work with this, the quicker you’ll find “inspiration” coming to you as you discover just how many options you have to score your musical idea, depending on what you’re trying to say.

If You Don’t Read Music...
If you don’t read music, you’ll learn a lot that you can readily apply. If you don't have access to a piano or keyboard but do have an “i” device, there are plenty of free piano apps you can download. You’ll need one. Keyboard diagrams in the lectures show you where to put your fingers to hear and work with these techniques.

If you’re a guitarist, I encourage you to get a good chord dictionary

If You Do Read Music...
To use a jazz term, you’re gonna wail! If you’ve been to music school and had harmony, you’re gonna soar because what I’m teaching you hasn’t been taught in music schools for over 100 years.

And if you’re pianist, you can take these starting techniques and apply them to learn how to create instant accompaniments.

Audio Examples
Audio examples are part of the videos.

Do At Your Own Pace
There’s no rush with this. You’re not on a schedule. Just take what you’ve learned and apply, apply, apply.

That’s how you’ll really learn to use this material in what you write and produce.

All the mini-video lectures are organized in pattern/stepwise instruction with each lecture building on the preceding. The beginning is basic. But by the end, you’ll be learning how to apply basic ideas in an advanced orchestration setting. You can also apply the same concepts to your synth sounds, too.

Covers how we’ll proceed and learn.

LECTURE 1 - Triadic Chord Types (Now Posted! 6:16)
Covers the four types of triads and how they’re created.

LECTURE 2 - Seventh Chords (7:44)
Covers the nine types of seventh chords and how to create each one of them. Seventh chords covered include the Maj 7, Dom 7. Min 7. Min Maj 7, Full Dim 7, Half Dim 7, Dim Maj 7, Aug 7, Aug Maj 7.

LECTURES 3A & 3B - Application: Creating Interesting Harmonies by Using Small and Large Thirds (21:22)
In this application lecture, I will give you a simple theme and show you multiple ways of creating interesting reharmonizations which you then apply to an original theme you’ve written. Recommended length: 8 bars.

LECTURE 4 - Chord Families, Chord Connections, Chord Substitutions (13:20)
Covers the Major C Scale, Triads and Major Scale, Triads with 2 Common Tones, Triads with 1 common tone, Triads with 0 common tones - adjacent chords with compositional applications.

LECTURE 5 - 6 Triadic Voicings (10:10)
There are six triadic voicings, three open, three closed. What they are and which registers by Span of Orchestration they work best in.

LECTURE 6 - Triadic Chord Connections (6:16)
Learn the three types of triadic chord connections and how they apply for creating background lines and low brass sustain passages.

LECTURE 7 - Basic 4-part Voicings (8:26)
To the triad we’ll add a fourth voice and see how doubling the root, fifth or third impacts the sound and feel of what you’re trying to say musically.

LECTURE 8 - 4-Part Chord Connections (7:08)
Learn the two approaches for connecting four part chords and how that impacts sustained background lines and vertically voicing the melody.

LECTURE 9 - Guide Tone Lines (13:21)
There are two types of guide tone lines, classical and jazz. You’ll learn both types plus how they can be used to inspire a melody and their use when creating creating background lines below the melody.

LECTURE 10 - Rhythmic Counterpoint (32:00)
These are the most basic background lines easily applied to most any concert or pop style.

LECTURE 11 - Harmonic Figuration (18:00)
Manipulating broken chord patterns is one of the major techniques for creating a near-instant 3-part composition.

In this final block of lectures, we’ll take what you’ve learned and see how to apply it across Span of Orchestration.

LECTURES 12A & 12B - Application by Sub Bass Register & Tone Colors (26:00)
Learn how to apply selected broken chord patterns and other compositional techniques in this register.

LECTURE 13A & 13B - Application by Low Register & Tone Colors (26:38)
Learn how to apply selected broken chord patterns and other compositional techniques in this register.

LECTURE 14A & 14B - Application by Middle Register & Tone Colors (23:39)
Learn how to apply selected broken chord patterns and other compositional techniques in this register.

LECTURE 15A & 15B - Application by High Register & Tone Colors (18:35)
Learn how to apply selected broken chord patterns and other compositional techniques in this register.

LECTURE 16A & 16B - Application by Very High Register & Tone Colors (18:08)
Learn how to apply selected broken chord patterns and other compositional techniques in this register.

What You Need
You will absolutely need the 70th Anniversary Edition of the Spectrotone Chart.

Do At Your Own Pace
Remember, there’s no rush! The idea is to apply what you’ve learned by building your composition, orchestration and music production skills as you go. Use the gear you have.


Peter Lawrence Alexander is the first American to create in English the multi-volume Professional Orchestration™ Series which has been endorsed by winners of the Academy®, Grammy®, Emmy®, and BAFTA® Awards. He’s also the author of How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite, The Instant Composer: Counterpoint by Fux. Writing For Strings, Applied Professional Harmony 101 and 102 and the popular How MIDI Works. He’s also Film Music Magazine’s award winning Music Technology Journalist.

A graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston with a BS In Music Composition, he has studied counterpoint privately with Dr. Hugo Norden of Boston University, and orchestration with Pulitzer Prize nominated composer Albert Harris.

He’s coordinated beta test teams for the Vienna Symphonic Library and co-produced the Modern Symphonic Orchestra orchestral sample library for Creative Labs. As a media researcher he’s done studies showing geodemographical radio station listening patterns by day part, and in working with renown radio programmer Jack McCoy’s RAM Research he laid the research foundation for what later became Arbitron Information on Demand. He’s currently under contract to produce library music for film and TV.


What You’re Provided
You get 17 downloadable Mini-Video Lectures in QuickTime .mov format, where each technique taught has its own lecture. After going through a mini-lecture you’ll create one or more original works applying what you just learned.

What You Need Additionally If You Don’t Have It
You will absolutely need the 70th Anniversary Edition of the Spectrotone Chart.

What You Need to Provide
You’ll need to have at least one (1) 8-bar theme in A:B format, and one original song in either Verse Chorus or AABA format to which you’ll apply these concepts.

You need a piano app available free from the iTunes Store.

You’re encouraged to get a spiral music notation notebook for the exercises you’ll be doing.

Scoring Stages 2 Course Reviews
(from genuine course owners)

"I love all of the courses that I have purchased. One of the best purchases that I have made in the world of Orchestration and Samples. Thank you very much for your incredible products!"
- Paul K.

"Thank you for your extraordinary course."
- Claudio R.

"Please pass on to Peter than I very much enjoy his teaching style and approach to orchestration - as a pianist it has opened up a whole new world of composition tools and textures to me!"
- Jason W.

"I would like to thank you for what Visual Orchestration 1 & 2 and even more Scoring for Stage 01 and 02 taught me. I think my way of writing improved a lot after following your courses."
- Claudio R.

"Going through the courses "Visual Orchstration I-III" and "Scoring Stages 1 & 2" I would like to give you a warm and hearty "Thank you" for this all. I learned so much additionally to my work as a musician and orchestral MIDI-MockUp-er. It was a pleasure and a lots of peace for me to listen to your agreeably sounding voice and your instructions and explanations which helped pointing the way out of this acoustical labyrinth ... that was a good teaching."
- Thomas H.

"I've bought the scoring stages 2 and I really loved it."
- Ricardo S.

"Just wanted to say hi and express my gratitude for all the learning works you make. I bought many materials, including Pro Orch bundle, How Ravel Orchestrated, Writing for Strings, Counterpoint by Fux, Visual Orch, Scoring Stages, etc. There is so much great stuff there to learn. It's also great because it's so easy to understand (though there are some more complex things). I wish I could have more time to study everything, but even scratching the surface of the materials you provide opens ears and mind to some exciting musical ideas. I especially like the Scoring Stages, which is a wonderful learning journey. Can't wait for the next parts. Thanks so much for all you are doing!"
- Michael C.

"Thanks for your efforts in the creation of the Visual Orchestration course.  Never have I seen this material presented in such a clear and succinct way."  
- Tim B.

"Hi Peter, I’ve really enjoyed your courses over the years, Pro Orchestration series, Scoring Stages series, Visual Orchestration series etc. Thank you for sharing your expertise."
- Wayne B.

"Thank you. Thank you so much for your  valuable courses in orchestration, time, and effort. They are treasures in the field."
- Yuan-Mei C.

"I am a happy customer of many of your products including many of your awesome classes! Your classes are 10x more helpful that the BERKLEE classes I took right before! ...I took 2 BERKLEE online classes and they were so general, unhelpful and boring. Mr. Alexander's are priceless! I learn so much from them!!! THANK YOU!!!!"
- Christopher D.

"I am a composition student, currently on my last year of studying, and a highly satisfied customer of yours, having purchased quite a lot of your material on orchestration."
- Raoul M.

"I really like all courses, tutorials and materials I've purchased on Alexander Publishing. Best regards,"
- Franto K.

"I have enjoyed the various texts I’ve purchased from you as I find your approach refreshing and with new insights. ...Many thanks for your work so far."
- Alex G.

"Thanks. I’m enjoying your products and will certainly be purchasing more."
- Steve B.

"Thank you for the all publications you did. I love your Orchestration' books."
- Galina M.