Songs in the Key of Wonder (MTH4148.01)

Michael Wimberly

Songs in the key of Wonder is a songwriting seminar based on the classic 1976 release “Songs in the Key of Life” by Stevie Wonder. Students will listen to select tracks while learning the melodies and chord progressions that Mr. Wonder used in composing this landmark album. Students will also listen to select tracks from Mr. Wonder’s multiple hit songs from his extended discography. We will dissect and analyze the music using theory and form and analysis while paying special attention to the arranging that was used in his recordings and performances. We will also look at other contemporary artists influenced by Mr. Wonder’s style such as, Prince, Michael Jackson, D’Angelo, Musiq Soulchild, Erykah Badu, and Janelle Monáe, to name a few. By the second half of the term students will use these progressions to create and arrange their own original songs and compositions in the style of Stevie Wonder. An end of term showing is expected but not required.

Prerequisites: Instructions in voice, keyboard, guitar, brass, wind, drumset, or composition is preferred. Auditions by appointment on Monday 11/25 from 7-8:30pm or Tuesday 11/26 from 9:30-11:30am or 4-6pm. Email mwimberly@bennington.edu to schedule.
Credits: 2
Tu 2:10-4:00
Maximum Enrollment: 12
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years
This course is categorized as Theory, All courses, and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , .