Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”: Sheet Music & Analysis

Victoria Theodore  /  Pop/Rock  /  UPDATED Feb 29, 2024

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Stevie Wonder, “Superstition.” “You should learn this song because it’s part of the canon of American popular music,” says Victoria Theodore, who has performed with Stevie Wonder numerous times. “It is powerful in its lyrical statement, powerful in its musical statement, and it’s just fun and funky and everybody loves it! So learn it.”

In this post, we’re lucky to have Victoria Theodore break down what makes this classic hit so special. And if you want the sheet music to “Superstition,” you can download a note-for-note transcription in the Members Area of Pianote. Not a Member yet? Try a week of Pianote on us:

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Song Structure

“Superstition” isn’t a conventional pop song because it follows a slightly different structure. This structure is actually quite simple:

  • Verse
  • Pre-chorus
  • Chorus
  • Chant

What instruments are used in Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”?

Stevie Wonder played the clavinet and the drums and produced the song himself.

The instruments are what make this song sound so iconic. That riff is played by an instrument called the clavinet

The clavinet is an electromechanical instrument invented by Ernst Zacharias and produced by the Hohner company. It is also known as the Hohner Clavinet. Strings in the clavinet are struck by a piece of metal which is activated by the keys. The result is a percussive, funky twang. Most digital pianos now have a clavinet setting, so if you have a keyboard, you can play “Superstition” in its original sound!


We jump into the song via its iconic riff, played by the clavinet. There’s also a countermelody here that’s played live by the guitar. The sheet music for this section looks complex because there’s so much syncopation. “That syncopation is what gives the music its drive and its excitement,” says Victoria.

If you struggle with the sheet music, try listening to the intro a few times. You can also try breaking beats into their smallest increments like this:

Superstition sheet music with 16th note counting.

Pre-chorus and Chorus

A lot of cool stuff happens here. You’ll notice many grace notes and flams. Flamming is when two notes are played just a little out of sync.

The chord progression here is also unique. It’s not a standard pop chord progression. Instead, we get a chromatic line with lots of alterations. These alterations are what give these chords their rich, colorful sound.

Bb9 – B9(b5) – Bb9 – A7(b5) – Ab9(sus4) – Bb7#5

“It’s like a window into a world every time that he changes chords,” Victoria says, “especially when he uses the chromatic movement to go between things. I don’t think the song would have been nearly as impactful without them!”

What is “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder about? According to American Songwriter, Stevie Wonder wrote “Superstitious” precisely because he wasn’t superstitious. He believed that being superstitious led people to “suffer.”

“Superstition” Sheet Music

Want the full sheet music to “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder? Head on over to the Pianote Members Area. And if you’re not a Member yet, try it out!

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