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School of Song

The Horizontal, The Vertical: Songwriting with Chris Cohen (May '22)

The Horizontal, The Vertical: Songwriting with Chris Cohen (May '22)

Regular price $160.00 USD
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All access to lecture recordings, songwriting prompts and all course materials for Chris Cohen's songwriting workshop taught in May/June 2022. By purchasing this past course, you're able to watch Chris's lectures and go about the course at your own pace!

    Chris's lectures cover the following topics and themes:

    1. Two Modes: Generative and Organizing
    2. Life-Cycle of a Song
    3. The Horizontal
    4. Macro Horizontal Organization
    5. Vertical Organization: Melody and Harmony

    This course also includes songwriting prompts from Chris such as "Drawer of found sounds", "Examining our default choices", "Playing with expectations", and "Maintaining attention: structural transformations."


    Here's a quote from Chris on the class...

    "As composers we are usually either making sounds or organizing them. These modes are closely connected, and we bounce back and forth between them often, but in this class we’ll look specifically at how they are different, paying close attention to organizing and transforming raw material into something that we enjoy hearing and playing.

    We’ll talk about the importance of how we listen back to our work and how we move it through a kind of distillation process, making it more unique and more truly our own. We’ll look at devices which transform music horizontally or in terms of rhythm and melody; vertically, in terms of harmony, accompaniment, and texture; and structurally, i.e. how elements are repeated or varied or simply arranged in time. This class will downplay the importance of inspiration and individualism, as we seek to uncover emergent phenomena in composing (using examples from my work).

    Please join us - I’m very excited to see where our music will go!” - Chris Cohen


    -- Testimonials from May 2022 students --

    "I really appreciated Chris' philosophy about songwriting and that this class focussed on songwriting through that lens. It opened me to being simultaneously more analytical and more intuitive with my songwriting. I only fully finished 2 songs (and half finished another) but I found the lectures to all be really valuable beyond their application to the homework."

    "Amazing class! I have been making music for about 15 years now, and this will forever change the way I approach songwriting. I really appreciate you speaking in the final class regarding music as a way to overcome communication barrier, as I can relate to this strongly. The various organizational techniques you described helped me to find new ways of hearing the music I write, and I feel have opened a door to a new realm of creativity. Thank you!"


    This "Past Course" includes:

    1. Class Video Recordings – Watch all 5 of Chris Cohen's lectures + Q&A's on his songwriting process.
    2. All course materials, including songwriting prompts crafted by Chris.
    3. Access to the "community jukebox" – upload your new songs to the jukebox and share the tunes with fellow classmates!


    Q: What musical experience is required to understand the material in this course?

    A: People across all musical levels will be able to gain something from the course. However, it will be helpful to be comfortable playing a few basic chords on any instrument of your choice in order to complete the songwriting prompts.

    Q: What if I’ve never written a song before? Can I still participate in this workshop?

    A: Yes! As with any new skill, just starting is usually the hardest part. This workshop will provide the structure and accountability we all need to get started and follow through, for beginners and old guard writers alike.

    Q: What is different about watching this past course versus participating while the workshop is run live?

    A: By purchasing this course, you'll have access to the same resources as the students who took the course while it was running other than the live songshares. 


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