Here is an adaptation of a Stevie Wonder song from 1975 with the Tenor Banjo: Isn’t She Lovely.
This song is part of the double album, Songs in the key of life.
Songs in the key of life seems to me to be an essential album to have in your library or, in 2023, in your pocket. So pop, so musical.
Why this song.
I discovered Stevie Wonder in the 80’s with his song “I just called to say I love you”. It was during a school exchange in England for several months. The song, him with his Afro braids, the joyful love atmosphere seduced me immediately. Afterwards, I always felt close to Stevie Wonder’s music.
Recently, I wanted to play something funky with my Tenor Banjo and thought of the song “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder. First of all, this song has a captivating musical grid that loops around. In addition to that, I also love this song because of its lyrics. As a dad of two incredible girls, every time I listen to this song, I think of their birth and the immense joy I felt at that moment.
In music, the key of E major with its 4 sharps is not always preferred by pianists. However, Stevie Wonder, being blind, prefers the black keys on his keyboard because they are easier to spot. Another example is the song “Superstition” which is in Eb minor and also uses many black keys.
Personally, what I like most about this melody is the arrival on the ninth note of the A major chord, which is the fourth degree from E. This note creates a nice opening. Also, the end of the chord progression is restarted each time by a small pentatonic scale which adds energy to the song.
Score and tablature.
If you wish, my adaptation is available in pdf format just below this text.
This is a non-commercial sharing.