Haunting Dark Music Theory

Please, can someone give me some advice on how to write scary, dark, horror music, the stuff that creates a really anxious tense feeling. I’ve read the books and I’m watching youtube but I’m still having trouble creating dark melodies and chord progressions. Surely someone has covered this extensively for beginners somewhere.

Tutorials, sites, advice anything is most welcome and appreciated :slight_smile:

Thank you

Hey bro thanks for reaching out, sorry I wasn’t as descriptive as I could be I’m a newbie.

Horror, scary, anxious, frightening, moody, tense, eerie,

Vaz thank you so much for the help. I tried a track in Locrian but it didn’t sound scary at all I just made some chords with the notes and was jumbling them around. I don’t know how to use a scale properly to get it’s characteristics.

Hey Vaz, sorry for the late reply. Hope you are doing well in these crazy times.

I’ve not been doing much work on music. I missed this message as I didn’t have alert set up. I’ve read book 1 and I’m messing around in Locrian and I just can’t get anything sounding haunting and dark, the progressions sounds happy and the melodies are just very weak, I’ve been trying for hours.


Chords and melody are just one part of the picture. Instrument choices and octave range play an equally big part too. There are atmospheric samples etc. that can sound incredibly dark just alternating between two notes for example, and on the other hand you’d have a very tough time getting any combination of chords and melody to sound truly terrifying on (e.g.) an acoustic guitar.

Best strategy with such matters is to find a few pieces that you think are good examples of what you’re trying to achieve, and then try and recreate them perfectly from scratch with 100% accuracy using your own set-up. That will give you a terrific education - even better if you know enough about secondary and borrowed chords to see what angle those composers were approaching things from.

Hope that helps.

Thank you so much it makes a lot of sense, destruct and analysis. I just though that in this day and age someone would of took advantage of this hole in the market and created a course for dark sound design and melodies. There’s courses for everything else haha.

Blessings and stay safe