Category Archives: Orchestration

Colors of the Wind – Guide Tone Lines Revealed, Part I

Because all the harmonic structures of this piece are closely related, finding the guide tone lines for Alan Mencken’s Colors of the Wind is a simple matter. But before going further, it will be helpful to review what is meant … Continue reading

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Finding The Guide Tone Lines: “All The Things You Are”

Now that we’ve picked this tune apart in terms of structure, it’s time to find the actual guide tone lines. Now, granted  we could have done this from the get-go – our analysis of the piece was not completely necessary. … Continue reading

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Part 3: Not Not-Quite-As-Amazing (But Still Useful) Augmented Chord

When we arrive at the “B” section of All The Things You Are, the piece returns to the key of G major, where it started in the verse. Harmonically, this part of the piece consists of nothing more than a … Continue reading

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Getting From Here To There – Go Fourth…

In the last post, we examined the verse of Jerome Kern’s All The Things You Are – which, while not especially memorable from a melodic standpoint when compared to what follows (Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics here do set up the refrain … Continue reading

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Posted in baroque composers, baroque era, cadence, changing keys, chord progression, common tone diminished, common tones, diminished chords, dissonance, dissonant intervals, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Improvisation, key change, modal scales, modes, music theory, Orchestration, Shenkerian Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Mathematics of It All

If you are anything like me, you struggled with math in school. Oh, I could write like Faulkner or Hemingway, play the saxophone like Jimmy Dorsey, draw like Rodin or Picasso….but when it came to numbers, I was lost. Eventually, … Continue reading

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Posted in baroque composers, changes, chord progression, contrary motion, counterpoint, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, mathematics, music theory, Orchestration, percussion, rhythm, rudiments, Shenkerian Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Incredible and Amazing Diminished Seventh Chord

I have to give one of my former instructors credit for this one. Dr. Peter Gries, who until his recent retirement was the music department chairman at my old alma mater, spent quite a bit of time on this in … Continue reading

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Posted in cadence, central washington university, changes, chord progression, common tone diminished, common tones, diminished chords, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Improvisation, modulation, music theory, neighbor tones, Orchestration, Shenkerian Analysis | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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 … Continue reading

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Posted in chord progression, common tones, contrary motion, counterpoint, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, neighbor tones, Orchestration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Guide Tone Lines In Action, Part 3 – Colors of the Winds

So – what’s wrong with the guide tone line in the second ending in terms of orchestration? Nothing, provided we drop the line an octave. In simplest terms, the second ending of the “A” section in the current example (Harry … Continue reading

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Posted in Big Bands, cadence, changes, chord progression, common tones, counterpoint, Great American Songbook, guide tone lines, harmonic structures, Hollywood Scores, Improvisation, Orchestration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

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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

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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