Jacob Collier deconstructs a Stevie The sound that connects Stravinsky 1 day ago   10:43

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Stevie Wonder's irresistible ode to jazz, explained

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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."

If you’d like to check out more of Jacob’s music check out his YouTube channel here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jacobcolliermusic

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Some songs don't just stick in your head, they change the music world forever. Join Estelle Caswell on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs.

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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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Comments 1313 Comments

Vox
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.

And if you want to help me make even more Vox Earworm videos, the best way to do that is by joining the Video Lab: http://bit.ly/vox-video-membership. Thanks!

- Estelle
The Logical Vegan
What is the song towards the end of the video?
atowari
Thanks, off to listen to Sir Duke!
Kit Cotter
Been watching Jacob since his first ever clip. Where's the youtube clip of Jacob MEETING Stevie... jamming w Stevie ? Now there's something I'd like to witness !
Digby Ovenden
"Hi. I'm Steven Collier. And I'm Stevie Wonders biggest fan." Brilliant
Brennan Dugan
3:21: you guys labeled that third chord as a "G major 7" chord, when he had just clearly said it is a G7 chord. A G7 chord is a G dominant 7, which is a very different chord than a "G major 7" chord. Gotta be careful with people who's brains are fresh and new to music! Great vid otherwise :)
Jarvis L-K
he's wearing crocs
gabriel landaverde
I love this video, and I am not even a musician. The only thing I wish was better was the audio on Jacob during his parts. Despite, its an amazing video.
PogieJoe
I've always loved this track. I had no idea it was so clever.
Chris Bandy
with FACTS and LOGIC!!!
CM Harrington
Loved this! As a Stevie fan, one of the things I find most enjoyable about his music, as Jacob explains, is the accessibility of some very complex and novel turns-of-musical-phrase couched in the familiar. A terrible analogy would be like the equivalent of hiding broccoli in amongst bacon. Once you get into Stevie, you can more easily get into Jazz (also see Prince for this accessibility/gateway effect) if you originally found Jazz difficult or overwhelming.
Crushi! .Original Music, Art and Weird.
Astonishing and amazing!🐞
Kelly Mapatano
Give this man his own show ! I’ll willingly pay for it 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾
Ricardo Iris
Wow
Nathan 42006
But can we talk about the fact that he’s wearing crocs
Arell Moors
I hate the preset he’s using
yugno
Was this recorded the same day as the tiny desk concert?
McMxxCiV
I'm confused. I now think crocs are cool.
Nicholas Maestrello Agiz
what is the code of that piano ?
Connor Lee Duckworth
Get the man a proper piano or Nord
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The sound that connects Stravinsky Jacob Collier deconstructs a Stevie 1 day ago   09:26

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It’s an 1980s pop music cliche that dates back to 1910.

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If you listen to the first few seconds of Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” (hint: listen to the Cardi B remix) you’ll hear a sound that immediately creates a sense of 80s hip-hop nostalgia. Yes, Cardi B’s flow is very Roxanne Shante, but the sound that drives that nostalgia home isn’t actually from the 1980s.

Robert Fink and the inventor of the Fairlight CMI, Peter Vogel, help me tell the story of the orchestra hit - a sound that was first heard in 1910 at the Paris Opera where the famed 20th century Russian composer Stravinsky debuted his first hit, The Firebird.

The video above is, in short, a history of the original orchestra hit sample from The Firebird Suite to the 1982 hit “Planet Rock” to “Finesse.” And as a treat, here’s a playlist of way more songs with orchestra hits than you probably wanted.  

Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/estellecaswell/playlist/53plZYDXbG2GooieYDV7fs?si=PnXiBWLjRnWLTO46hY-F_A

Fairlight CMI app: Peter Vogel CMI by Peter Vogel Instruments Pty Ltdhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/app/peter-vogel-cmi/id420212505?mt=8

Robert Fink's paper: https://www.jstor.org/stable/3877522?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Some songs don't just stick in your head, they change the music world forever. Join Estelle Caswell on a musical journey to discover the stories behind your favorite songs.

Check out the entire Vox Earworm playlist here: http://bit.ly/2QCwhMH

And follow Vox Earworm on Facebook for more: http://www.facebook.com/VoxEarworm

Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com.

Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE
Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o
Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H

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