Advanced reharmonization: But Beautiful

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Last week, I turned in my final projects for my Berklee class on reharmonization. Just for fun, I want to share one with you today. It is a reharmonization of one of my favorite songs “But Beautiful.”

Before I talk about the song, I will give you a bit of news. I am not taking any more classes at Berklee for the time being. I have decided however to do a one year long class through another organization to help me learn orchestration (which has always been a passion of mine). I very much enjoyed the Berklee class but it also became very clear to me as I progressed through it that I have no interest in pursuing any kind of formal degree in music. I just want to learn, and to learn most effectively and quickly, I am going to have to get training from different places. The class I am starting next week is from ThinkSpaceEducation (this class).

Now on to the song. Below is the lead sheet showing my reharmonization. My changes are in red. As you might note, the original chords were fairly sophisticated themselves but I have really gone out on a limb with this one. Listen to the demo I recorded and let me know what you think.

But Beautiful reharmonization

Listen to demo

I had to justify every change I made and here is a bar-by-bar analysis of my changes.

Bar 1:
G6 converted to Gma7 with structured conversion.
Em-7 is tonic substitution.
E-7(b5) and D#-7(b5) are chromatic approaches to D-7(b5) in next bar.
(2nd time) Cma7 is a subdominant approach the B-7(b5) in bar 2.

Bar 2:
D-7(b5) and G7 are axis substitutions. G7 approaches …

Bar 3:
F#-7 is axis substitution for A-7 and approaches F7 (which is an axis substitution for D7 which is the related V of A-7).
D#-7(b5) and D-7(b5) are chromatic approaches to C#-7(b5) in next bar.
(2nd time) D-(M7) is a structured conversion from D-7.

Bar 4:
No change

Bar 5:
G6 converted to Gma7 with structured conversion.
C-6 is a subdominant approach the B-7(b5) in bar 2.

Bar 6:
Bb7 is tritone substitution for E7.

Bar 7:
Ab-7 starts stepwise descending bass line.

Bar 8:
G-7 and F#-7 continue stepwise descending bass line.

Bar 9:
F7 is axis substitution. F#-7(b5) is added as cycle 5 approach to B-7 in next bar.

Bar 10:
F#-7 is parallel approach to E-7 which is parallel approach to D-7.

Bar 11:
Abma7 is tritone substitution for D7 (structural conversion to ma7 to account for melody note).

Bar 12:
G6 converted to Gma7 with structured conversion.
F7 is added as dominant approach to E-7 in next bar.

Bar 13:
F7 is added as parallel approach to A7 in next bar.

Bar 14:
Eb7 is added as tritone substitution for A7.

Bar 15:
A-7/D is converted to A-7.
Related V for A-7 is added (D7).
C-7 – F7 represent related II-V axis substitution for A-7 – D7.
F7 is dominant approach to E-7 in next bar.

Bar 16:
E-7 – Eb7 is II-Vsub approach to D7.

Bar 17:
C#-7(b5) is start of stepwise descending bass line.

Bar 18:
C-(M7) and B-7 are continuation of stepwise descending bass line.

Bar 19:
A-7 is inserted as related II for D7. D7/C is added just to smooth the bass line moving to B-7 in next bar.

Bar 20:
F#-7 is parallel approach to E-7. Db7 is added as dominant approach to Cma7 in next bar.

Bar 21:
G-7 is added as chromatic approach to F#-7.
F7 is tritone substitution for B7.

Bar 22:
F#7 is added as dominant approach to B-7 in next bar.

Bar 23:
Bb7 is tritone substitution for for E7 and approaches by cycle 5 to…
Ebma7 and Abmaj7 are subdominant insertions before the A-7 in the next bar.

Bar 24:
No change.

Bar 25:
Ebma7 and Abma7 represent a delayed cadence.

Bar 26:
No change.