Author Archives: GuideToneLines

About GuideToneLines

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.

Colors of The Wind (The Song)

Before I continue on from where I left off  with 13th chords back on Friday the 13th of April, I’m going to respond to a request made by one of my readers and take a look at a modern pop … Continue reading

Posted in alan menken, algonquian, changes, chord extensions, chord progression, color tones, disney musicals, dissonance, dissonant intervals, film scores, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Hollywood Scores, john smith, key change, modal scales, music theory, pentatonic scale, pocahantas, powhatan indian, stephen schwarz, us history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Guide Tone Lines In Action, Part 2

It is said that the only thing two music theorists can agree on is how a third got his analysis wrong. I’ll start out with a disclaimer: this is not  a true Shenkerian analysis of the Harry Warren classic. I … Continue reading

Posted in big band singers, Big Bands, changes, chord progression, common tones, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Hollywood Scores, Orchestration, Shenkerian Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Guide Tone Lines in Action, Part 1

Today, let’s start off with a short musical interlude: The song of which this is the definitive recording will be the example used for the next  couple of posts. But before going much further, I want to talk about someone … Continue reading

Posted in Big Bands, changes, chord progression, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Hollywood Scores, Improvisation, neighbor tones, Orchestration, Shenkerian Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hi, Neighbor!

  The first step in constructing a guide tone line for a specific voice is to identify the common tones – single pitch classes that are common to two adjacent harmonic structures (basically, two different chords that share a single … Continue reading

Posted in cadence, chord progression, common tones, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, neighbor tones | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Common Tones

Finding a set of guide tone lines for a specific set of changes (chord progression) is not the exact science we music theory geeks would like it to be. It is possible – even probable – for one to discover … Continue reading

Posted in cadence, changes, chord progression, common tones, guide tone lines, harmonic structures | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

IDIC

Fans of Star Trek will recognize that acronym as “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combination” – the heart of Vulcan philosophy. It is in fact at the heart of our music here on Terra Firma as well. It is often said that … Continue reading

Posted in changes, chord progression, guide tone lines, harmonic structures | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments