Songs in the Key of Wonder (MTH4148.01)

Michael Wimberly

Songs in the Key of Wonder: In this songwriting seminar based on the classic 1973 release “Innervisions”, and the 1976 release, “Songs in the Key of Life”, students will examine the melodic and harmonic chord progressions that Stevie Wonder used in composing these landmark recordings. Using music theory, form & analysis, and contrafacts (i.e., composing a new melody over a familiar song), students will inspect select songs while strengthening their theoretical tools. For the final, students will use these progressions to create their own original songs and/or instrumental compositions in the styling of Stevie Wonder. An end of term presentation of students prerecorded work will be scheduled on Bennington College’s radio ‘BRAD’. Live performance options can be presented at Music Workshop.


Learning Outcomes:
• Examining chord progressions using western and jazz symbol 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 live and/or on BRAD radio




Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Instructions in voice, keyboard, guitar, brass, wind, drum set, or composition is preferred. Auditions are by appointment Nov 17-22. Email mwimberly@bennington.edu to schedule.
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 , Theory , Composition , History , Fully In-Person
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