The Theory of Everything: The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass

Posted on 20. Jan, 2015 by in Film Score, Post Classical, Premium Tabs

The Theory of Everything
(Note: The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass is my premium content.)

How to play The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass by Johann Johannsson

At the time of this writing, Johann Johannson has just won a Golden Globe award for his The Theory of Everything film score. I’m a big fan of his highly original post classical music, and also his film score work.

Recently, I posted a guitar version of the central theme of The Theory of Everything. I’ve also done Through Falling Snow from the movie Prisoners — which is also a free guitar tab.

I hadn’t planned on doing anything else from The Theory of Everything, but thankfully The Whirling Way of Stars That Pass was recommended to me by an astute reader of Intellimusica (thanks Ali!).

Having revisited the score for The Theory of Everything, it truly is remarkable from start to finish. To a small degree, I’m able to analyze the underpinnings of music. Johann Johannsson uses very simple chord progressions, but in a highly original way. As you’ll see in The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass, Johann Johannsson adds subtle overtones to basic chords to create a totally unique sound.

The great thing about The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass, is that it stands on it’s own as a solid piece of music, away from the actual movie. It doesn’t feel like it’s from a film score at all. That’s what you get from good composers: immensely listenable music, no matter what.

Unless you have a cutaway guitar, you won’t be able to play this song in actual capo position. If you have a regular guitar, I recommend the 2nd or 3rd fret as your capo position.

[It’s also important to note, that the guitar tab is written relative to the capo. The fret immediately following the capo is considered the 1st fret.]

I found The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass to be complicated, despite the song’s simple chord shapes. The guitar tab is easy to read and comprised of two pages that are played straight through, twice. I recommend this song for intermediate level guitar players and up.

It’s important to note in the guitar tab: when you see two notes together on the B and high E strings, I’m swiping them in an upward strumming motion with the second finger of my right hand. This is just my technique for efficiency, but you could just as easily pluck them with two fingers.

The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass is played in

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One Response to “The Theory of Everything: The Whirling Ways of Stars That Pass”

  1. Ali

    24. Jan, 2015

    This was perfect Evan! Thanks so much for following it up this quickly! A very nice surprise to ease my mind during the weekend. I was so excited, started this afternoon and am already playing it now :)

    As I said, the whole “Theory of Everything” soundtrack is very well done – you might also want to look into “A Game of Croquet” – it’s very nice, from a very emotional scene, and sounds like a simple arpeggio style setup could cover it! Though I understand if you want to move on from this movie ;)

    Eagerly looking forward to your future posts.


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