copyright 2003 timothy s. hughes - stevie wonder

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  • Copyright 2003

    Timothy S. Hughes

  • Groove and Flow:Six Analytical Essays on the Music of Stevie Wonder

    Timothy S. Hughes

    A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of therequirements for the degree of

    Doctor of Philosophy

    University of Washington

    2003

    Program Authorized to Offer Degree: Music

  • University of WashingtonGraduate School

    This is to certify that I have examined this copy of a doctoral dissertation by

    Timothy S. Hughes

    and have found that it is complete and satisfactory in all respects,and that any and all revisions required by the final

    examining committee have been made.

    Chair of Supervisory Committee:

    Jonathan Bernard

    Reading Committee:

    Jonathan Bernard

    Lawrence Starr

    Thomas Collier

    Date:

  • In presenting this dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctoraldegree at the University of Washington, I agree that the Library shall make its copiesfreely available for inspection. I further agree that extensive copying of the dissertationis allowable only for scholarly purposes, consistent with fair use as prescribed in theU.S. Copyright Law. Requests for copying or reproduction of this dissertation may bereferred to Proquest Information and Learning, 300 North Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI48106-1346, to whom the author has granted the right to reproduce and sell (a) copies ofthe manuscript in microform and/or (b) printed copies of the manuscript made frommicroform.

    Signature

    Date

  • University of Washington

    Abstract

    Groove and Flow:Six Analytical Essays on the Music of Stevie Wonder

    Timothy S. Hughes

    Chair of the Supervisory Committee:Professor Jonathan Bernard

    Music Theory

    This dissertation is a collection of analytical essays on songs made by Stevie

    Wonder between 1972 and 1974. The essays focus on two interwoven aspects of soul

    and funk music, as they are employed by Wonder: the use of repeated musical figures,

    particularly grooves, to generate a sense of forward motion, or flow; and the use of flow

    in a variety of ways and on many levels to give songs both shape and life.

    I begin by introducing the primarily African-American musical paradox of

    collective individuality and the musical concepts of groove and flow that are central to

    soul and funk. Chapter 1 is a general analysis of Living for the City that is primarily

    concerned with formthe shape of the song over timeand the way in which that form

    interacts with the text and generates meaning(s). It also demonstrates for the first time

    how Wonder uses repetition of musical elements to create a sense of

    flowsimultaneously on several different structural levels and in many different

    waysand then manipulates that flow throughout the course of the song. Chapter 2 is an

  • analysis of Golden Lady that demonstrates groove and flow operating in areas other

    than rhythm and meter, in scales beyond the merely local, and in a compound, multi-

    dimensional manner.

    Chapters 3 through 6 constitute a single, in-depth discussion of Wonders

    distinctive brand of clavinet-based funk music, divided into four parts. Chapter 3

    outlines the primary musical characteristics of funk and how Wonders style grew out the

    specific approach to funk developed by the house band and producers at Motown

    Records. I then analyze Superstition, Higher Ground, and You Havent Done

    Nothin, focusing on the interactions of rhythm and meter. Each song is analyzed

    separately but in a similar fashion, allowing for depth of analysis without sacrificing

    detail. Based on the concepts of groove and flow established earlier, this four-chapter

    discussion explores Wonders particular version of the robustly collective grooves that

    are essential to funk, demonstrating vital musical processes and accounting for some of

    the unusual power and life of this music.

  • i

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Page

    List of Musical Examples ................................................................................................ ii

    List of Figures................................................................................................................. v

    List of Tables ...............................................................................................................viii

    Introduction..................................................................................................................... 1

    Chapter 1: Living for the City .............................................................................. 20

    Chapter 2: Golden Lady....................................................................................... 60

    Chapter 3: Funk and Stevie Wonder ...................................................................... 107

    Chapter 4: Superstition ...................................................................................... 140

    Chapter 5: Higher Ground.................................................................................. 178

    Chapter 6: You Havent Done Nothin............................................................... 221

    Conclusion .................................................................................................................. 260

    Bibliography ............................................................................................................... 268

    Discography................................................................................................................ 274

    Filmography................................................................................................................ 279

  • ii

    LIST OF MUSICAL EXAMPLES

    Example Number Page

    1. The Primary Groove of Living for the City .......................................................... 29

    2. The Melody and Lyrics of the First Verse of Living for the City .......................... 33

    3. The Refrain of Living for the City........................................................................ 34

    4. The Chorus of Living for the City ........................................................................ 37

    5. The Ending of Living for the City ........................................................................ 43

    6. The Transitional Figure between Living for the City and Golden Lady ............. 44

    7. A Transcription of the Introduction to Golden Lady ............................................. 67

    8. A Lead-Sheet Transcription of the A-Section Melody.............................................. 75

    9. The B-Section Melody of Golden Lady................................................................ 84

    10. The Chorus and Transition of Golden Lady ........................................................... 93

    11. The Stem, or Primary Groove, of Papa Was A Rolling Stone.......................... 122

    12. The Cadential Progression in the Chorus of Superstition .................................... 150

    13. The Opening Drum Figure of Superstition.......................................................... 152

    14. The First Statement of the Primary Groove of Superstition................................. 157

    15. The Vocal Melody of Verse 1 of Superstition..................................................... 164

  • iii

    16. Comparison of the Melody and Ostinato of Superstition.................................... 164

    17. The Augmented Primary Groove of Superstition................................................ 167

    18. The Chorus of Superstition................................................................................. 169

    19. The Bridge of Superstition ................................................................................. 173

    20. The Harmony and Bass Line of the Primary Groove of Higher Ground.............. 191

    21. The Harmony and Bass Line of the Refrain of Higher Ground ........................... 192

    22. The Harmony and Bass Line of the Chorus of Higher Ground............................ 194

    23. The First Eight Measures of the Introduction to Higher Ground ......................... 200

    24. A Generalized, Composite Rhythm of the Primary Groove of Higher Ground.... 202

    25. The Bass Groove from Chics Good Times ........................................................ 203

    26. Separate Bass Voices in the Primary Groove of Higher Ground ......................... 205

    27. The Drum and Bass Parts of Measures 5-12 of Higher Ground........................... 208

    28. Phrase Structure in the Melody and Bass Line of the Verses of Higher Ground.. 210

    29. Correspondences between the Vocal and Bass Melodies in the Verse and Refrain of

    Higher Ground ................................................................................................... 211

    30. The Vocals, Clavinet Section, and Bass Line of the Chorus of Higher Ground ... 214

    31. The Bass Line and Drums of the Chorus of Higher Ground................................ 216

    32. The Chorus of You Havent Done Nothin......................................................... 236

    33. The First Eight Measures of the Introduction to You Havent Done Nothin ..... 242

    34. The Vocal Melody of the Verse of You Havent Done Nothin .......................... 245

    35. The Horn Melody of the Verse of You Havent Done Nothin............................ 246

  • iv

    36. Lead Parts during the Bridge and Closing Vamp.................................................... 248

    37. Down