Sunshine Music House Logo

The Sunshine Music House Theme Song

06-19-2018 Author: Casey Warnock
Welcome to Sunshine Music House! On every page of the website right below the logo and header text is an audio section which contains the Sunshine Music House theme song!

This song was created by Casey Warnock, and performed by Casey Warnock and Ngoc Warnock. The song is 54 seconds long, and is in the key of E major.

I started the process of making this song by asking Lamon, president of Sunshine Music House, what he would want in a theme song. I'm not sure he took my request as a serious offer to make a theme song; I'm not even sure I was serious about making a theme song! Nevertheless, he replied that the theme song should have piano, "poppy" horns, and should be 30 seconds long. Well two out of three ain't bad!

I'm glad that I had a fairly blank canvas to work with when making this tune, and the next morning I got started in seeing what I could do, still not certain I would end up producing anything of value. Personally, I thought the song should be upbeat, calming, and meaningful. I also knew that the song should contain the words "Sunshine Music House" as the "punch" and the main concluding theme. If you only remembered one part of the theme song, I wanted you to remember the words "Sunshine Music House!"

When I started on the melody, I sat down at my piano and I just wanted to find a melody that would work for the words "Sunshine Music House." After a few minutes, I was happy with a melody to match the phrase "It's the Sunshine Music House," whose notes consisted of E F# A A G# F# E respectively. As you can see, the lyrics at this point don't match the final version! I did not actually create lyrics for the theme song until after the entire instrumental version was created, so in my mind at the time, the conclusion of this theme song was set to be "It's the Sunshine Music House" instead of "At the Sunshine Music House."

From this established concluding melody, I knew the theme song would be in the key of E major. After this point, I started to create the chord structure that the verses would use. I knew I would need an E major chord to match the key (and tonic) of the song, and I also decided to use the A major (dominant) chord. And that's the only two chords of the Sunshine Music House theme song!

After creating the chord structure and conclusion, I was ready to record my first instrument track, the piano. Knowing that this song would have sung lyrics, I decided that the instrumental tracks for this theme would not include the melody, and rather just include the backing harmony/chordal structure. Furthermore, since I had only created the chord structure for the song and not lyrics or verses, I did not know what the tempo, length, or rhythm of the chords or song should be, and therefore, completely improvised when recording the piano track! This improvisation is the reason that the song is 54 seconds (19 measures) in length, and not 30 or 60 seconds!

After the piano instrument track, I recorded the rhythm tracks of this song, which included drums and background harmony instruments such as strings, with an emphasis on a calming rhythm and sound. At this point, two things were missing, horns and bass!

I chose to focus on the horns as my next track. For this track, I wanted to make sure I captured both "short and happy" and "cool and poppy," and so I focused on matching the chords the piano track was playing while creating a new "groovy" rhythm and short notes. The last track I wanted to add to the theme song was the bass track. I wanted to capture a quiet "rhythm based counter-melody" and decided that I could accomplish that by playing higher pitched notes on a bass.

With the instrumental version of the song completed, I now needed to focus on the lyrics!

I started with just a notepad and pen, and started listening to the song for a few times. After listening a few times, I started to hum a melody for the verses, and after a while started writing words to the melody in my head.

After a few revisions, and trips to a rhyming dictionary, I had finished the lyrics as seen to the side or below!

At this point came the last steps, recording the vocal tracks! To begin, I just recorded myself singing the entire song, and added some harmony vocal tracks to certain points. You can listen to this first rendition below.

I was fairly happy with this version, but I knew it could be better if I had a duet partner! Thankfully, I've got the best duet partner near me all the time, my wife!

After some begging and pleading, she agreed to record some vocals for me! At this point, I had planned for the theme to consist of mainly her vocals, with only some harmony from me. She recorded a vocal track for the entire song using my vocal track as a guide for the melody. She also recorded a few harmony tracks.

After listening to all of the vocals put together, we decided to remove some of my original harmony tracks, and to include both of us singing together for the majority of the song, rather than her singing alone. Furthermore, we decided to alternate between our two tracks for some sections of the song, as "trade-off" phrases. Finally, we decided to add the strong second "Sunshine" echo harmony tracks at the second to last line of the song.

After some final audio balancing, tweaking, and mixing, we ended up with the finished result, the Sunshine Music House theme song that you hear today! Personally, I have two favorite parts of the song. My first favorite part is the "trade-off" phrase that Ngoc sings beginning with "We're shining bright." This solo vocal track of hers is so beautiful to me as she sings it with a calming ebb and flow. My second favorite part is, of course, the "Sunshine" echo in the second to last line. I just love the overlay of vocal tracks in that final emphasized "harmonic-push" before the song's resolve.

I hope that listening to the Sunshine Music House theme song can calm your mind and raise your spirits just as creating and listening to it has for ours!

Take Care!