Young also composed such classics as "My Foolish Heart", "When I Fall in Love", "Street of Dreams", and "Love Letters", to name a but few, all of which have also become popular vehicles for improvisers.
I remember seeing the film years ago on TV, with the leading man (Ray Milland), sitting at the piano in an attic, composing a song to this young, fine chick named Stella. "Ahhh", me thinked, "so that's where the song comes from."
I also don't remember the film as being that scary. I''ll probably check it out again, now that we're on the subject.
As for the etude, I can honestly say that I came up with the title, "Bella by Bar Light", on my own (really!), but after a few chuckles at the images it evoked, I realized that it might be a bit too obvious a moniker to be original, so I Google searched it and sure enough, I was beat to the spot by at least twenty years by saxophonist John Lurie (and probably others), who gave the title to his short piece of minimalistic film music, which bore no resemblance whatsoever to the original "Stella", save for being cute with the title.
So therefore, herewith and thereby, I present you with "The Real Bella (by Bar Light)" in all her naked, neon glory!
The form of "Stella by Starlight" is somewhat unique in that, although the length is your standard 32 bars, the structure is A1-B-C-A2.
This etude, consisting of a single 32 bar chorus, was composed from my tenor. This means that the elements of the piece are made up of things that I can play easily, as well as things that I'm trying to hear and incorporate more readily into my solos, such as the augmented scale, for example,.
Add the technique of editing, and you have a slowed down, composed version of a would be, could be, improvised solo.
The elemental breakdown of the majority of the material used here is:
The augmented scale, featured in measures #1 (pick up), 10 - 12, 24, 25, 32 - 33.
Also featured as another element I've been working on, the Pentatonic b6, can be found in measures #9, 16, 22 - 23, 30 and 31.
It's Melodic Minor cousin, Pentatonic b3 is used in measures #7 and 28.
More Melodic Minor material, in the form of Triad Pairs, is available in measures #5, 17, 18 and 19.
Here on this blog, I've posted quite a bit of material on these scales and elements over the past several months. Check it all out if you haven't done so. It's free!
There is also a wealth of introductory to advanced exercises in my eBook, "Slick Licks That Stick!" plus more on the way in Vol. 2!
As a learning / teaching / practice tool, I highly recommend writing yourself out some etudes over the changes of tunes you dig.
Personally, I get a lot out of it and I hope you do, too.
Bella, whoever you are, this is for you, baby!