What are the best YouTube channels for music theory and composition? 

For high-quality, free music lessons, you’re at the right place and you’re spoiled for choice! Here’s a list of 60+ of the best music theory and composition YouTube channels with enough material for a lifetime of learning.

As you can expect, a lot of topics overlap between channels. I even teach these subjects myself but I believe you should make an informed decision and choose a teacher you like and resonate with. 

The School of Composition’s YouTube channel is not included in this list but here it is if you’d like to have a look (and subscribe to support us). 

What is not included in this list:

  • Channels that only teach how to play a specific instrument;
  • Channels dedicated only to music performances or music videos;
  • Channels aimed only at musical humor.

P.s. All the links open a new tab.

60+ best music theory and composition youtube channel

Music Theory YouTube Channels

Let’s start this list with some of the best music theory youtube channels. These channels cover the fundamentals and then move on to various other topics. 

The Music Theory Guy

From reading music to the basics of theory, this is a great channel for beginner topics in Music Theory. Here’s his explanation of reading notes on the bass clef. 

The Music Theory Guy: the Bass Clef

Michael New

Michael New has a knack for breaking music theory down and explaining the parts logically.  He’s such an excellent teacher that I had a hard time choosing an example. Here’s one about the Circle of Fifths. 

Michael New: The Circle of Fifths 

Andrew Furmanczyk

This is a very popular channel with a complete music theory course for absolute beginners. The lectures are simply numbered in order without any detail whatsoever in the title so here’s the first one of the series:

Andrew Furmanczyk: Music Theory Lesson 1

Hack Music Theory

This is a channel dedicated to music theory without notation so it’s very useful for beginner producers and songwriters. The lessons are filled with great advice. Here’s one of their most popular videos:

Hack Music Theory: 6 Hacks for Better Bass Lines



Music Matters

Here’s another option to learn the basics in music theory from scratch and beyond (including harmony, analysis and composition). The channel is mostly intended for students sitting for music exams but it’s worth checking out either way. 

Music Matters: Grade 1 Rhythm

Dave Conservatoire

Here’s another excellent option to learn the fundamentals of music. There are a ton of videos here covering notation, musical terms, scales, modes and even a crash course for using MuseScore (a free notation software). Definitely worth looking at:  

Dave Conservatoire: MuseScore Crash Course

Jazz Tutorial

This channel tackles theory from the Jazzist’s point of view. While the fundamentals between musical genres are basically the same, there are a lot of nuances so I’m really glad I stumbled upon this channel some time ago. 

Jazz Tutorial: Jazz Scales explained in 10 minutes

Ericsson Hatfield

A wonderful channel for more advanced music theory lessons and series. 

Ericsson Hatfield: Sonata Theory Introduction

Music Engraving Tips

This small channel is dedicated to engraving – the art of writing musical notation with all its wonderful subtleties and intricacies – a crucial subject when preparing any kind of music for publication.


Music Composition YouTube Channels

Next in our list are a variety of channels with lessons and advice for music composition, film scoring and songwriting. 

JJay Berthume

JJay is a young composer with a rather unique way of explaining music. His channel features a variety of topics such as writing melodies, themes, fugues and orchestral music. 

JJay Berthume: How to Write a Melody Series

Ashton Gleckman

Due to the variety of videos in this channel, I could have placed it in a number of other categories. Like JJay above, Ashton is a young composer with his own perspectives and methods. Check out this tutorial on Epic Music: 

Ashton Gleckman: Writing Epic Orchestral Music

Art of Composing

This channel is focused on classical music composition and some general advice for composers. Here is lesson one of a 6-part composition series: 

Art of Composing: How to Compose Music Lesson 1

Alex Moukala

I stumbled upon this channel while I prepared this article and I’m soooo very, very glad I did! Alex is a gifted composer and an even more talented teacher. I’ll be watching more of his material in the next few days. Here’s a great series in which he gives feedback to his own viewers’ orchestral music:

Alex Moukala: Live orchestral track reviews and advice 

Ben Levin

Ben Levin is a guitarist and composer who put up a lot of different kinds of videos on this channel. My most favorite (and most useful for this list) is this series called Let’s Write with a Plan in which he walks us through a blueprint for writing a piece. 

Ben Levin: Let’s Write with a Plan

The Art of Songs

This channel is full of great advice. Some videos deal with lyrics and some with the music. Either way, Ali has some interesting perspectives we can all learn from.

The Art of Songs: How to Write a Song Hook – Melody

The Song Foundry

Another channel full of ideas, tools and techniques you might apply to all sorts of songs or compositions. Here is one about the very common verse-chorus form:

The Song Foundry: How a Verse-Chorus Song Structure Works


Music Production YouTube Channels

Next up we have the music production category. There are many, many channels in this category on YouTube so I’ve chosen what I believe are among the best and what composers can benefit from. 

-Ne

Beat Academy

There’s a ton of great strategies for music production on this channel. Here’s one example. In this video we are provided with 2 ways of getting more realistic sounds from string plug-ins.

Beat Academy: Two Simple Ways to Bring Life to Your Strings

-Ne

Point Blank Music School

Another channel filled with invaluable tips. What’s really good about this channel is that they’re not fixed to one DAW. Here’s a great video about getting started with GarageBand – highly recommended for those starting out since the software is free. 

Point Blank Music School: GarageBand Tutorial

-Ne

Daniel James

Daniel James is a professional composer with a fantastic channel full of live composing streams, orchestral sessions and sample library reviews. Check out this Christmas Special he did:  

Daniel James: Writing a New Christmas Song Walkthrough

-Ne

Yuri Wong

In this channel Yuri recreates hit songs and popular pieces in Logic Pro. All composers and producers will benefit from these tutorials as Yuri shows us all the different parts that make up a song.

Yuri Wong: ‘Shape of You’ Remake

-Ne

Recording Revolution

This channel has developed into a massive library of resources for recording and mixing at home. My favorite video is probably this more recent one: 

RecordingRevolution: How to Build a Home Studio for Just $150

-Ne


Musical Analysis YouTube Channels

Now on to one of my personal favorite categories: analysis of music. These channels pick a song or a composition and dissect it to show us what it’s made of. This is something I love to do myself!

-Ne

12Tone

I could have placed this channel in the Music Theory category but, in my humble opinion, some of the best videos by 12Tone are the ones where he breaks down a well known song. You do need some music theory basics to get these tutorials:  

12Tone: Understanding Hotel California

-Ne

Holistic Songwriting

Despite the focus on songwriting, this channel is educational for all kinds of music makers. These analysis videos are awesome because they don’t stop at melody or harmony. The teacher/presenter, Friedemann Findeisen, also often gives us  some historical and cultural context to complete the picture. 

Holistic Songwriting: How Nirvana Writes a Chord Progression

-Ne

Samuel Andreyev

Samuel is a professional composer living in Paris. On this channel he focuses on analysis of 20th and 21st century music, interviews with living composers, Q&A sessions and some of his own music. This is a must-watch if you’re interested in contemporary music composition. 

Samuel Andreyev: Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4

-Ne

FilmScoreAnalysis

As its name says, this channel is dedicated to film scores. Here’s a typical example of how these videos are set up: the screen is split into two: the music on the bottom with the movie scenes themselves on top. Also, take note of the comments scattered around the score as they might help you understand what’s going on. 

FilmScoreAnalysis: ‘Opening Sequence’ – the Incredibles

David Bennett Piano

This channel is mostly dedicated to David’s own performances but I’ve decided to include it in this list because there are some analysis videos that I’ve really enjoyed. Here’s one example of such a video that is definitely worth checking out.

David Bennett Piano: How the Beatles used Modes

8-bit Music Theory

If you love music and you love video games, then this channel is your perfect match. 8-bit Music Theory is devoted to analyzing and discussing video game music. Here’s a fun and informative video about the Battle music in Pokemon: 

8-bit Music Theory: Top 5 Traits of battle Themes in Pokemon

Inside the Score

Here’s another highly interesting channel – it features analysis of film and classical music as well as tutorials and discussions about listening to music. Here’s an example of what these videos look like with an analysis of the music for Harry Potter.

Harry Potter: How NOT to Composer for a Series

Richard Atkinson

Richard’s channel features analysis of specific moments in Classical music pieces – moments that for some reason or another are absolutely brilliant. For example, here’s the finale of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony where all the themes heard so far are playing together (if that’s not brilliant, I don’t know what is!)

Richard Atkinson: Magnificent Counterpoint in the Finale of Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony


General Music Topics YouTube Channels

There are a number of famous musician-youtubers that speak about a large variety of topics. I put these in the ‘General Music Topics‘ category. 

Adam Neely

“Video essays, lessons and vlogs on new horizons in music and music theory.”

Adam Neely: What is the slowest music humanly possible

Jeff Schneider

“My mission is to make learning advanced music accessible to anyone who’s willing to put in the work. I hate the word talent. It downplays the power of hard work.”

Jeff Schneider: What happens when Jazz and EDM collide

Rick Beato

“Everything Music.” 

Rick Beato: What makes this song great? Ep. 9 – Toto

The Listener’s Guide

“The Listener’s Guide is a biweekly video series about classical music and the people who make it happen.”

The Listener’s Guide: There’s no such thing as bad music

Sideways

“I talk about music. A lot.”

Sideways: How to win an argument about Pop music

Junkie XL

“Tom Holkenborg, aka Junkie XL, is a Grammy nominated and multi platinum producer, musician, and composer whose versatility puts him on the cutting edge of contemporary music, as well as in the vanguard of exciting new film composers.”

Junkie XL: How to choose instruments for a film

Chris Wright

“This channel is mainly for videos about music, specifically the content one might encounter in a college-level music appreciation class. Other videos will address things I am passionate about.”

Chris Wright: What is a fugue?

Aimee Nolte

“Los Angeles-based jazz piano player and singer.”

Aimee Nolte: Simon and Garfunkel: The Harmony Struggle

Classical Nerd

“The source for educational videos on music history, theoretical concepts, and techniques. New videos posted on Thursdays (and occasional Tuesdays)!”

Classical Nerd: Great Composers: Jean Sibelius

Early Music Sources

“The aim of Early Music Source is to simplify the access to the vast amount of Early music sources.”

Early Music Sources: High Clefs and Transposition

Nahre Sol

“Creative videos on music performance, practicing, and composition by pianist-composer Nahre Sol.”


Orchestration YouTube Channels

Unfortunately, there aren’t many channels dedicated to the vast topic of orchestration. Fortunately, the ones that do are doing it fantastically well!

Orchestration Online

Orchestration Online is run by Thomas Goss, a professional composer and orchestrator. On this channel he covers everything from basic orchestration, analysis of orchestral works and discussions of particular orchestration issues. This is definitely one of my favorite channels on this list!

Orchestration Online: The Planets, Venus Part 2

Alan Belkin

Alan Belkin is a professional composer and composition professor. Even though I’ve chosen to include this channel in this category, he doesn’t limit himself to orchestration only. Check it out also for courses in harmony and counterpoint and to listen to his own original music. 

Alan Belkin: Modern Harmony – Introduction


Ear Training YouTube Channels

Ear training is crucial but it’s often overlooked especially by self-taught musicians and composers (but not only!) Here are a few channels dedicated to it.

Music with no Pain

This channel has a variety of videos aimed at developing the skills of musicianship. Worth a look! 

Music with no Pain: 18 Basic Sight Singing Exercises 

Mostly Ear Training

Just like the above, this channel is aimed at developing an ear for music. Here’s a basic interval test in the key of C: 

Mostly Ear Training: Solfege / Interval Quiz

Ear Training/Gehörbildung

A variety of lessons and quiz-type videos with solutions to train the ear. 

Aural Skills Guru

A channel with exercises in melodic, harmonic and rhythmic dictation including the answers in the description box. 


Score Reading YouTube Channels

Studying the scores of other composers is another essential activity for growing composers. These channels make it very easy to do this as all you have to do is press play and both score and music get going.

These channels are also great to discover music you’ve never heard before.

Classical & Romantic Scores

Olla-vogala

Ashish Xiangyi Kumar

HenriVieuxtemps (for music with violin)

GeruBach (Bach’s entire catalogue in scrolling format)

Medtnaculus

Score’sAnimation

Musicanth (also for less popular Classical music)

Modern & Contemporary Scores

Score Follower

Belanna999

Jleightcap

Incipitsify

Cmaj7

George N. Gianopoulos

A Bit of Everything

Damon J.H.K.

Tomekkobialka

Bartje Bartmans

Anthony Mondon


Phew! That’s quite a list 🙂 

Which ones are your favorite music YouTube channels? Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below!