Jacob Collier deconstructs a Stevie Wonder classic
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Stevie Wonder is one of the most widely celebrated artists in history. His music is infectious, melodic, and thoughtfully inspired by the jazz musicians who came before him. In his legendary song "Sir Duke," Stevie paid homage to the late Duke Ellington and his other predecessors.
Jacob Collier is a rising star in his own right and is Stevie Wonder's self-proclaimed greatest fan. Here, he breaks down the jazz influences and syncopations Stevie uses to create the magic that is "Sir Duke."
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Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.
Previous headline: Stevie Wonder's irresistible ode to jazz, explained
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The most challenging part of making this video was visually interpreting the song and Jacob's explanation in a clear way for musical amateurs (just like me). There's one moment around 2:15 where Jacob says "A flat minor." Now, as I'm animating, I'm also learning new things about music theory, and fact checking them. This moment completely stumped me, because "A flat minor" - I learned - is the enharmonic equivalent of "G sharp minor." In clearer terms, they are the same chord, though many people find "G sharp minor" to be the simpler alternative.
So, should he have said "G sharp minor instead?" Please discuss that amicably below. From my perspective, it would have been more complicated and confusing to write "G sharp minor" as he said "A flat minor." Also "A flat minor" needs more love. Please clap for #Aflatminor.
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This would’ve been much better without the annoying commentary.
A perfect music appreciation class. Thank you for your teaching.
“if you listen closely to stevie wonder you’ll hear jazz influence”
Could the piano sound any worse?
G#, come on man, I know it doesn’t matter to you, but down confuse the music students
I say this every time someone wants to put Stevie in a box of musical theory. You do know the man was blind, right? So he plays what he likes and hears. No Circle, no diatonic, no scales. Just a musical bottomless pit of Wonder-ful talent and creativity.
The music overlay between chord presentation in this video is unbearable.
I had never heard this song until about a month ago and I can confidently say I’ve heard it a couple hundred times now.
And Jacob also plays bass! Now, we're all dead! Let's save and enroll into music college.
Is Jacob a Juilliard music graduate? He's so gifted! Awsome!