A Tale of Two Ditties

Actually, it’s two versions of the same ditty – in this case, the Harry Warren example we’ve been working with so far. You’ll remember the first version in which we simply used the guide tone lines. Here’s what it looks like:

And here’s what it sounds like.

It’s not bad – but it’s not great.

Now, we’re going to use principles of counterpoint to spice it up. Listen to it here.

 Notice that we were able to work in that F7(b9)  chord (highlighted) just before bringing it home – and do it in a very smooth manner. Had we simply used the guide tone lines as we did in the first example, it would have sounded a bit…well, “clunky.”

Do you agree?

The point here is that guide tone lines are simply that – “guide-lines.” They are but one ingredient in building an arrangement, albeit a basic one.

If there are any specific songs you would like to see analyzed in this manner, please leave a comment and tell me which ones you’d like to see featured.

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About KJ at Guide Tone Lines

KJ McElrath earned his Masters degree in Music Theory and Composition from Central Washington University. Composer of several works for big band, wind ensemble and orchestra, which can be heard at BardicCircle.com. I perform a cabaret act with Athena McElrath as McElrath Cabaret, which you can find at http://mcelrathcabaret.com.
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2 Responses to A Tale of Two Ditties

  1. adam says:

    Hello, could you please analyze this song in the same way?

  2. Thank you. I will be glad to do so and will attempt to get to it next week or the week after.