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” and the 1973 release “Innervisions” by Stevie Wonder. Students will listen to select tracks while learning the chord progressions that Mr. Wonder used in composing this landmark album. Students will analyze this music using theory and form and analysis used in his recordings and performances, as well as compose original melodies over existing Stevie Wonder chord progressions creating a contrafact. Students will also research 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. For the final students will use these progressions to create and arrange their own original songs and compositions in the styling of Stevie Wonder. An end of term radio presentation on BRAD to showcase student work is expected but not required.

Learning Outcomes:
• Learn to recognize chord progressions using western notation as well as jazz notation
• Learn the production history behind these landmark recordings
• Compose original melodies over Stevie Wonder chord progressions
• Create and record original music in the stylings of Stevie Wonder
• Present your music on BRAD radio

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Instructions in voice, keyboard, guitar, brass, wind, drumset, or composition is preferred. Auditions by appointment to be announced.
Corequisites: Music Workshop
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 2
Tu 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: Every 2-3 years

Categories: All courses , Performance , Composition , History , Fully In-Person
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