A Harmony Part for “Lullaby of Birdland” (+free sheet music)

image of George Shearing, who wrote Lullaby of Birdland. The lyrics are by George David Weiss
George Shearing wrote Lullaby of Birdland. Lyrics are by George David Weiss

A throwback Thursday post. I ran across this footage of me and some friends playing the tune Lullaby of Birdland at a coffee shop several years ago. It reminded me of the harmony part I wrote for the tune when I was learning the chord progressions.

Figuring out a harmony part for the melody is a great way to understand a chord progression and the way the melody (or the harmony) works its way through the chords. Another great way to practice is to listen to the masters who have sung and played this tune, like Sarah Vaughan, Lester Young, and so many more, including more modern singers like Nikki Yanofsky or Amy Winehouse. It’s a good idea to learn the lyrics of a tune if it has lyrics.

Here’s a clip of me and some friends playing Lullaby of Birdland (the harmony comes in on the 2nd A), and a quick tutorial on the harmony part.

Lullaby of Birdland (harmony tutorial)

Guitar: Buco Cavar, John Garza
Trumpet: yours truly
Clarinet: Sophie Creutz

Here’s the link to the free printable sheet music: Lullaby of Birdland (Harmony part) (it’s in Bb, so will work for trumpet/clarinet/tenor sax/soprano sax).

cheers,
Jon

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