As you may recall from the first post about this particular piece, the harmonic structures in the bridge are more sophisticated than the rest of the song. This is due to the use of an extended chord, in the word “high” is sung on a C natural, creating a Gb maj 9 (#11) – an advanced, “Lydian”-sounding harmony:
Note that the bass line (highlighted in yellow) is treated separately, not as a guide tone line.
In the last two measures, the composer could have simply used a V7 (Ab7), but decided instead to use some substitutions in order to create greater aural interest:
In Schenkerian terms, this whole phrase – starting with the Cb maj7 – is nothing more than an extended V7.
Note the asterisk by the pitch on which the word “cut” is sung creates a #11 for a brief moment. Because it is only half a beat, I hear that F as an appogiatura of the Eb that follows, not really as a chord extension, however.
That pretty much covers Colors of the Wind. In future posts, we’ll be taking a look at some more complex harmonic progressions.