Frank Zappa's musical language
Frank Zappa's musical language
A study of the music of Frank Zappa

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THE LYDIAN THEORY BY BRETT CLEMENT

Around 2011 I got into conflict with Brett Clement from the University of Cincinatti, who published a dissertation on Zappa's instrumental music in 2009. The discussion deals with copyright, an alleged preference for the Lydian scale and the validity of a Lydian System theory, based upon this preference and specific rules of consonance and dissonance. Since it is my conclusion that Zappa's music follows no systems, this theory is in conflict with my findings.

I included an argument against this theory in the 2012 4th pdf version of my study, downloadable via this site. In the synopsis and introduction of the pdf file below you'll find my reasons for extending this argument to a larger downloadable file.

My argument re-stated as a separate pdf file:

Refutation of the Lydian theory by Brett Clement

In July 2015 Brett Clement wrote me to inform me that he has written a counterargument. It's a pdf of 11 MB, being my argument with a lot of comment from his side added in. At that point he wished to distribute it himself via e-mail with the following text (but made it directly downloadable later on):

"Brett Clement has written a response to the document above. If you are interested in reading it, please contact him at clementbrett6@gmail.com and he will reply with an email attachment."

In the meantime some comments have been posted at www.zappateers.com, which made Brett decide to make his counterargument directly downloadable:

Response to Kasper Sloots by Brett Clement

Though hard to read for non-musicologists, briefly summarized the Clement theory explains (regarding diatonic instrumental music):
a) Why Zappa has a preference for some scales, while rarely using some others.
b) Why some chords can be seen as characteristic and others as to be avoided.
c) Why Zappa's music lacks a sense of tragedy.
d) Why Zappa is inclined to avoid the tonic in melodies, when playing in Lydian.
These four items are interrelated. It's the first study to present a theory about Zappa's music, an explanation of his instrumental music, much different from earlier studies, being descriptive. Because of that this study has been heralded as a break-through by a number of people. It's also written in a very erudite manner, using sophisticated language ("isomelism" instead of rhythmic variations, "chordal zone" instead of chords, various types of formulas etc.). Probably it's also the intellectual appearance of his study, that mesmerizes people.
The better thing about Brett's response is that it makes things clearer and better verifiable. I felt no urge to react at first, taking a pause from this discussion. After three years, when setting up the 5th edition of this study, I read it more detailedly and it's pretty interesting material. I've been largely using it to deepen some topics in my main study and add a number of new examples. In general I'm not raising new discussions, and people can check out the details by themselves, though at some points further comment seemed to be inevitable.
- Item a) is coming along below.
- Item b) is coming by in my Zoot allures section, Preferred and to be avoided chords.
- Item c) is coming by in my Guitar section, Scales and moods.
- Item d) is coming by in my Roxy and elsewhere section, Tritone restriction.

So far the Lydian theory has been well received. People simply seem to assume it must be correct and I also get the impression that some people don't want it be incorrect. For conceptual reasons they believe there has to be a system behind what Zappa does. In the long run I think it's inevitable that people start verifying things and, like me, detect the flaws in it.


GENERAL REMARKS

- In his response Brett is trying to shift the accent of his association with Russell's theory from a preference for Lydian towards a "vertical" approach. But that's not what he wrote earlier in his 2009 study and 2014 article:








Russell indeed only approaches music in a vertical manner, but that's not what this theory is about, nor does it have consequences for identifying scales in case of Zappa. Brett identifies scales in Zappa's music the same way as everybody before him. I'm also looking at pedal notes for identifying scales, rather than chord progressions, and so do Steve Vai in the FZ Guitar book and Zappa himself. In fact, in the list below, you can see Brett (in bold) doing the opposite by trying to use arguments from a horizontal approach to overrule the vertical approach, e.g.:

Project X (Bb) X (Eb Lydian at the beginning)
King Kong 1969 (Ab) X (this is the IV chord in Eb Dorian)
Black Page 1988 solo (F) X (?; this is Bb Lydian, just as are all Black Page solos)
I Come From Nowhere, intro and solo (F#) X (I think this is the v of B minor)
Catholic Girls, interlude (F#) X (the bass’s b7 is just a melodic borrowing; this is major key I-vi-V)

That is, he's trying to ignore the bass pedal as tonic and explain the chord as a step from a different key. The actual reason for trying to shift the accent is that, over time, Brett himself has come to realize that his argument for Lydian being the central scale in Zappa's music is much weaker than he initially thought. Because of my e-mail exchange with Brett, I know more about what happened than what can be found in official papers, but I can't use that.

- The dominant 7th chord (Mm7).
Brett has written two arguments against the Mm7 chord. In 2009 he objects to its presence within a Lydian system, because its resolving tendencies would challenge the supremacy of the Lydian tonic. An example in Ionian from Holiday in Berlin is presented as not belonging to a Lydian system. A resolving Mm7 can happen in any diatonic scale. In 2014 Brett presented a rule for the Mm7 chord for his Mixolydian table. These two versions are different, but don't exclude each other. I'm referring to both. In his response Brett now states that he only objects to the Mm7 in Mixolydian, but does not withdraw his 2009 statements. You can't have it both ways. I didn't expect Brett to try something like this, otherwise I would have been more specific about these two versions. But suppose Brett would retrospectively be allowed to limit his objections to Mixolydian only, what then becomes of his Holiday in Berlin example? At first an example of something not belonging to a Lydian system and now it would be okay, because it's in Ionian.

- Repetitions.
Below Brett is calling guitar solos that are outtakes of a song repetitions. This is getting addressed at in my Guitar section at Variations on Sinister #3 and Trance-Fusion section at Butter or cannons. By Zappa himself in the Real FZ book, talking about the pleasure it gives building up a composition live, without knowing what the outcome would be. Only when a solo is using a pre-conceived theme, he would use the same title (for instance Black Napkins). Zappa's guitar solos seldom relate to the song they stem from. By listening to these solos by themselves it's mostly impossible to know what song they were part of. The fact that this is known is only because of bootlegs. You can't expect people to listen to for instance Chalk Pie and then react like isn't that a repetition of Zoot Allures. You may also consider the effort Zappa took in selecting them and the quality of his guitar solo CDs. I consider the word repetition in this context misplaced, mildly put.


THE PENTATONIC SCALE AND BLUES - PREFERENCE FOR LYDIAN

In his Response you can read Brett arguing that a large number of Zappa compositions should be labeled as pentatonic, distinct from Dorian and Mixolydian. Pentatonic passages are indeed occurring frequently, but they are about always embedded in a Dorian or Mixolydian environment. This discussion isn't real: it's not about OR but about BOTH.
The neutral description of what Clement is addressing himself to is Dorian or Mixolydian with pentatonic passages, a subcategory of Dorian or Mixolydian if you like. Brett can point at pentatonic bars, but that doesn't mean that these compositions as a whole can't be called Dorian or Mixolydian anymore. Related to this is his argument that blues can't be related to diatonic scales. For some examples with the details:

The pentatonic scale in general.
The pentatonic/Dorian scale in blues pieces.

In note 54 from his 2014 article, he mentions:



So, in 2014, Brett was saying almost the same as I am. The real reason why he now states that pentatonic should be separated from Dorian and Mixolydian, is that, if you don't, also by his own counting Dorian gets above Lydian. It's important for him to maintain the dominance of Lydian, not only because he himself has stated this repeatedly, but others have been citing him for that too.

Charles Ulrich claims that "In both guitar solos and composed works, FZ used the major scale for melodies over chord progressions. But in static contexts, such as the aforementioned two-chord vamps, he preferred the Lydian mode." And:



But is his Response you can find Brett saying that "The torture never stops" should not be called Dorian, but pentatonic:



So this creates some confusion. Statistically Zappa's mostly-used scales are Mixolydian in case of major type scales, and Dorian in case of minor type scales ("static" or not, instrumental or not, it doesn't make much difference). Both of them occurring in comparable amounts. To me this is a statistical fact only. Major, minor and Lydian are often used as well, and, more importantly, they sound perfectly normal in the context of Zappa. Chanan Hanspal tries to support Brett's 2014 article by saying:



In his article Brett can only say that the Lydian scale is "ubiquitous", but in his Response it gets specified very detailedly why he thinks the Lydian scale is the central scale. Chanan does not mention the existence of this writing. For a scholar such behaviour is not-done. One should have a heart for data that are verifiable. Martin Herraiz also supports Brett's theory, beginning with citing the preference for Lydian:



Which is the first citation from above at the general remarks, in Portuguese. Martin's study was written in 2010, when Brett's Response didn't yet exist.


KEYS IN ALL DIATONIC INSTRUMENTAL PIECES ACCORDING TO BRETT AND ME

In his response Brett is looking at all diatonic instrumental examples in Zappa's music, partly by commenting upon my examples, partly by setting up a list himself. The better thing about this effort by both of us is that it makes things verifiable. Below I've added some remarks by myself. In most cases I'm referring to the examples in my main study without further comment. Anyone can check these examples for him- or herself. In many other cases I'm pointing at the general remarks above. It also helped me to get rid of some errors by myself or to investigate some pieces more profoundly.

IONIAN "Sloots list". Brett's comment is in bold and an X means that he disagrees. My reaction is in Italics.

- Uncle Meat (theme 1, D, theme 2, Eb)
- Project X (Bb) X (Eb Lydian at the beginning)
See my example and description.
- Peaches en regalia (many) (only 1, E)
The main object of this exercise is listing titles that are using certain scales. When there's an agreement upon one type of scale happening, I'm refraining from discussing the number of tonics.
- Son of Mr. Green Genes (C) (only a brief tonicizaton)
- Holiday in Berlin, theme 3 (D) (okay, but I wouldn’t classify this as modal music; the second module even uses chromatic chords)
- Toads of the Short Forest (A) X (Mixolydian)
See my examples and description. It's notated in A by Zappa (when it was titled "Arabesque"). The Weasels version is indeed better identified as Mixolydian.
- Dwarf Nebula (A) X (no clue how this could be A Ionian)
See my example and description.
- Rudy Wants to Buy Yez a Drink (interlude) (C) X (common-practice tonal; not modal)
Toying with words. See below at the Sheik Yerbouti tango for terms like "functional".
- Would You Like a Snack? Intro (C) X (this is better analyzed as Lydian; in Holiday in Berlin, intro, F# appears in the accompaniment)
Both are possible when the F/F# isn't actually played
- It Might Just be a one shot deal (solo) (G) (it’s worth noting that this is not a Zappa solo)
- Waka/Jawaka (F/D/E) X (the only one I possibly see is D Ionian at the very end)
See my examples and description. Since Brett is also hearing D Ionian, I see no reason why it should't be a good example in his own list.
- Blessed Relief (F/E)
- Fifty Fifty (Db) X (the guitar solo? Too chromatic to determine. Plus, the Db chord is functioning as the bII chord of C Phrygian dominant).
See my examples and description.
- Apostrophe (C) X (this is simply the bVII chord in D Mixolydian)
See my second example. D Mixolydian involves an F#, C Ionian an F natural. It's the bass player making this switch in bars 5-6 of my second example, while Zappa simply avoids the F/F# over C. In this case the distinction isn't sharp.
- Echidna’s Arf (E) X (where? If Sloots means the beginning, this is E Lydian)
See my example and description of the beginning. Both E and E Lydian are applied.
- Don’t You Ever Wash That Thing, theme (C)
- Inca Roads (C) [KS: I forgot to include this in my list, but since it isn't in Brett's list of Ionian examples, he disagrees]
See my example and description of the opening bars.
- Sofa (C) (okay, but see the discussion in Clement 2009, 157)
- RDNZL (many) RDNZL, guitar solo (A) X (no, its Lydian; why the conflict between this analysis and the Lydian analysis below?)
See my examples and description. The mingling of closely related scales is getting pointed at at large in my Guitar section. That's not a "conflict", but noting what's happening.
- Zoot allures, central theme [KS: Brett forgot to copy this example into this list. Since it isn't in his list of Ionian examples, he apparently disagrees.]
See my example and description.
- Flakes, interlude (E) (yes, but it’s noteworthy that Zappa does not solo over this vamp)
- Strictly Genteel (D)
- Duke of Prunes (E) X (I think this brief moment is Mixolydian)
See my Duke of prunes (1975) example, bars 18-21.
- Watermelon in Easter Hay (E)
- Treacherous Cretins (A) X (no, the notes are A B C# D E F G; how is that Ionian?)
I'm citing Zappa's interpretation. A new example has been added in my main study, showing Brett has a point.
- Frogs with dirty, outro (A) X (not a good modal example; plus, no scale degree 4 is used)
See my example and description. I agree in the sense that it isn't a bright example, but there's a D involved, certainly not a D#.
- What’s New in Baltimore (E) (the solo?)
See my example and description.
- Let’s Move to Cleveland (C) X (Lydian: why the conflict with the analysis below?)
See my example and description.
- In-A-Gadda-Stravinsky (D) X (polyscalar)
See my examples and description, where I'm calling it an example of mingling of closely related scales. It's not in conflict with calling it polyscalar.
- Dupree’s Paradise (B) X (no clue)
This is getting described in my YCDTOSA vol II section. It deals with the block where sometimes the E, sometimes the B is getting the accent of being the pedal note.
- Uncle Meat (1973) (Eb) X (repetition: see Uncle Meat)
This title is included because of version differences, that affect the keys. I agree that the Eb pedal section didn't change significantly.
- King Kong 1971/82 (Bb) X (where?)
See the second example from my YCDTOSA section.
- Let’s Make the water turn black (C) X (not modal Ionian, this is functional C major)
Toying with words. See below at the Sheik Yerbouti tango for the term "functional".
- Black Page 1988 solo (F) X (?; this is Bb Lydian, just as are all Black Page solos)
See my example and description. Like Brett I'm following the "vertical" approach. In this case it would be very odd to take the Bb as pedal note instead of F.
- Epilogue (Ahead of Their Time) (Ab) X (Db Lydian)
See my example and description.
- I Was a Teenage Maltshop (C) X (how?)
See my example and description.
- Agency Man, intro (C/G) X (C major functional tonality, not modal Ionian; obviously an example of parody)
Toying with words. See below at the Sheik Yerbouti tango for the term "functional".
- Harmonica Fun (Bb/F#) X (this is not worthy of inclusion)
When you're writing a theory about instrumental music, all examples should be considered. See the You never know who your friends are example from my main study for its relevance (though not including the Harmonica fun section).
- Rollo (many) X (where?)
See my examples and description.
- Basement music #2 (D) X (very rare use of major pentatonic D E F# A B)
See my example with the C and G being included too. But it's D Mixolydian instead of major.
- Farther O'Blivion, opening 1972 (E) X (where?)
See my example, bars 41-42, and description.
- Bavarian sunset (E) X (okay, but Dweezil establishes this mode)
Then not so fast with Xs.
- Greggery Peccary 1972 mt1 interlude (D) X (this is on-the-spot improv by the band; mode not controlled by Zappa)
The outlines of such improvisation blocks must have been agreed upon in advance. There are patterns establishing keys.
- What’s The ugliest Part of your body (LM) (G) X (not modal; this is obviously a doo-wop parody)
Toying with words. See below at the Sheik Yerbouti tango for terms like "functional".
- Flakes 1978, instrumental section (E) X (repetition: see Flakes)
See my examples and description, this version is quite different.
- Uncle rhebus (Finer moments) (Eb) X (the Uncle Meat quotation?; if so, shouldn’t be counted again)
See my description of this piece. Uncle rhebus is re-using material from Uncle Meat and King Kong, but its construction is thus awkward that it needs attention upon its own merits. And it's a one-time only approach, as happening more often in Zappa's music.
- All Skate (A) X (blues)
See my example and description. Blues has been addressed at above.
- Phyniox (Ab) X (modally ambiguous)
See my examples and description.
- The world greatest movie sample #1 (D) X (the music used in Holiday in Berlin? If so, repetition)
See my examples and description.
- No more mr. nice girl (E) (I’d be willing to bet Shankar wrote this theme)


DORIAN "Sloots list"

Hungry Freaks, Daddy (solo) (A/B) (also minor pentatonic system)
Invocation and ritual dance (C#/E)
Duodenum (G) X (not purely modal, but includes chords borrowed from different modes (Dorian: i-IV Harmonic minor (bVI-V) Aeolian: bVI-bVII-I Phrygian: bII-bIII-I; notice also that it includes non-diatonic chords I and V)
Toying with words. See my first example with bars 1-6 being in Dorian (G should be E). What would be the conflict with "Dorian: i-IV"?
Oh No, Theme 1 (E)
Take Your Clothes Off (E) (not sure where Sloots gets this key; at most, this is a “secondary Dorian tonicization” of ii in C Major; I’m using the key from YCDTOSA vol. 6; notice that the music after the opening Dm-Em progression is clearly in C: iv (borrowed chromatic chord)-I-vi-ii-V-I)
See my example with the 1961 performance (transposed up on Lumpy Gravy). And if Brett finds it's major, than why shouldn't it be included in his own list of Ionian?
Nine Types of Industrial Pollution (Bb)
Dog Breath Variations (E) (why the conflict with the L/M analysis of “Dog Breath” below? I’ll allow it, since the Yellow Shark version is clearly Dorian in the introduction section) (also, there’s a hint of D major here)
Prelude to King Kong (F#)
Ian Underwood Whips It Out (Eb) X (this is obviously atonal)
See my example and description.
King Kong 1969 (Eb)
Peaches en Regalia (many) (really only B Dorian, others are part of sequence)
Willy the Pimp (A) X (minor pentatonic primarily, a few Dorian touches)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Son of Mr. Green Genes (D/Bb) (not Bb; Zappa does many different things over the Bb chord; overall, it is consistent with blues minor pentatonic playing)
Little Umbrellas (D) X (it is some kind of D minor tonality, but not modal)
See the Hot rats guitar book and my description.
Gumbo Variations (G) X (this is simply the blues scale in G, not clearly Dorian or Mixolydian)
See my examples and description.
Aybe see (Db) X (I think this is improv from Ian Underwood, not composed by Zappa?)
I'm not trying to make such distinctions. There's about always an improvised element in his recordings with Zappa himself being responsible for the end result.
Get a Little (E)
My guitar (interlude) (G) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
The Orange County Lumber Truck (F#/G#) (C#)
Transylvania Boogie 1970 (E) X (not sure where Sloots gets this; if it is the last section he’s labeling, this clearly A minor pentatonic with an occasional Mixolydian elements added in)
See my examples and description. There's some ambiguity about some sections being in A Mixolydian or E Dorian.
Road Ladies Solo (D) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Twenty Small Cigars (E) X (possibly, but not enough info to say for certain)
See my example. Bars 1-8 are brightly Dorian, next it starts to fluctuate.
The Nancy and Mary Music (Eb/D) X (repetition: this is from King Kong) (also, primarily minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic as well as repetitions have been addressed at above.
Chunga’s Revenge (D)
Little House, intro (A)
Lonesome Electric Turkey (D) X (repetition: this is King Kong live)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Magic Fingers, solo (A) (okay, but the song as a whole should be classified as blues minor pentatonic)
Call Any Vegetable, solo (A) X (minor pentatonic; there are some Dorian elements in the song itself, however)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Dog Breath Solo (F#) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Big Swifty Themes/outro (E)
Waka Jawaka (F#/A) (I don’t find A Dorian; the F# Dorian is also the relative minor of the main scale of the piece: A Lydian) (also, D Dorian in the coda)
The Grand Wazoo (D)
Eat That Question (E)
Blessed Relief (A/G/F#) X (Dorian scales not very well articulated; the F#m and Gm chords in the solo should be interpreted as the ii chord in Ionian)
Toying with words.
I'm the Slime (intro) (F#) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Fifty Fifty (D/C) (not sure about C; also Eb and E)
Montana, intro and solo (F#)
Cosmic Debris (C) X (this is standard blues playing; primarily minor pentatonic, etc.)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Apostrophe (E/B) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Penguin in Bondage (D) X (blues; minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Echidna’s Arf (B) X (where?)
See my examples and description, in this case you could call it passing.
Don’t You Every Wash That Thing, solo (F#) X (solo is minor pentatonic, chords are major I-IV-IV-I)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
More Trouble Every Day, solo (F#) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Inca Roads (many)
Can’t Afford, solo (E) X (standard blues playing; not clearly Dorian or Mixolydian)
It's blues-like at best. My Guitar section contains a section about mingling of closely related scales. You can also notice that Brett calls it Dorian only in his own list.
Pojama People solo (D) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
San Bernardino solo (A) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Andy (F#) (the F# is minor pentatonic; there is a C# Dorian, however)
200 years old intro (G) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Advance Romance solo (G) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Muffin Man solo (F#) (okay, but melody is better characterized as minor pentatonic)
Wind Up Working in a gas station, interlude (D) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Black Napkins (C#)
The Torture Never Stops (G) X (Dorian elements for sure, but should be classified as minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Wonderful Wino Outro (A) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Zoot Allures (C#) (addition: live versions from same era: D# Dorian)
I Promise Not to come.., solo (many)
Punky’s Whips, solo (C#) (okay, but mostly minor pentatonic) (otherwise, E Dorian used a lot in the song proper)
Illinois Enema Bandit, solo (D) X (blues minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Lemme take you to the beach, interlude (A) (okay, but I would classify this as a secondary tonicization in the key of C major; it’s actually very similar to Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance)
Regyptian Strut (B/G#) (also pentatonic)
The Ocean is the Only Solution (many) (not sure that modes can be accurately identified in this track)
RDNZL (many)
Rat Tomago (Bb) X (repetition: see Torture Never Stops)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Duke of Prunes (A/E) (brief)
Crew Slut, solo (D) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
On the Bus (A)
Why Does it hurt, interlude (A) X (not modal: other than the minor tonic triad, all other chords are major: i IV-V-VI-VII)
I've included the interlude in my main study. It contains 8 bars in A minor (Dorian should be minor).
Keep it Greasy, solo (G) (also D minor pent/Dorian song)
Bamboozled by love, solo (A) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Shut Up n’ Play Yer Guitar (A) X (C Lydian)
See the FZ Guitar book, pages 30-31. At the bottom of page 31 Steve Vai writes "modulate back to original key". However the titles "Shut up 'n play yer guitar" and "Shut up 'n play yer guitar some more" are turned around in the FZ Guitar book, compared to the album. So the A Dorian part belongs to "Shut up 'n play yer guitar some more" on the album.
While You Were Out (D)
Soup and Old Clothes (D) X (repetition: Illinois Enema Bandit solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Variations on the Carlos Santana (G) (note: City of Tiny Lites solo)
Ship Ahoy (D)
Deathless Horse (C#)
Pink Napkins (C#) X (repetition; see Black Napkins)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Beat it With Your Fist (A) X (repetition; see Torture Never Stops)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Stucco Homes (D) X (clearly D Mixolydian; also an octatonic scale at 7:40)
I agree, I first thought it's the same as in While you were out.
I Come from Nowhere, intro and solo (B)
Drowning Witch, solo (B)
Tink Walks Amok (many) X (where?)
See my description. There's a section in B minor/Dorian, not brightly Dorian if you like.
We’re Not Alone (F#/G/E) X (see above for the correct analysis)
A transcription with a more accurate analysis has been added to my main study. Both me and Brett missed elements.
Ya Hozna, solo (C) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Marqueson’s Chicken, solo (E) X (how? One could make a case for octatonic, maybe)
See my example and description. It's not standard Dorian, nor atonal. Octatonic is indeed a good approach.
Alien Orifice (G/C) and E
What’s New in Baltimore (E) X (not purely modal; uses a variety of scale degrees: F#/F, C#/C, G/G#, etc.)
See my example and description.
Hot Plate Heaven, solo (E) (not the solo, but the main song; though this may be the v chord of A Mixolydian)
Let’s Move to Cleveland (E)
Night School (C#/E) X (don’t know how Sloots gets these)
A second example has been added to my main study with a more accurate description. The presence of Dorian is indeed weak. On the other hand you have minor passing by too.
G Spot Tornado (B) (okay, but this is mostly pentatonic)
St. Etienne (B) X (repetition: see Drowning Witch solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Do Not Pass Go (B) X (repetition: see Drowning Witch solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
In-a Gadda Stravinsky (D) X (polyscalar)
See my examples and description, where I'm calling it an example of mingling of closely related scales. It's not in conflict with calling it polyscalar.
That’s not really reggae (D) (note: Whipping post solo)
Jim and Tammy’s Upper Room (G) X (repetition: see Advance Romance solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Were We every Really Safe (B) X (repetition: see Drowning Witch solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
That ol' G minor thing again (G) X (repetition: see City of Tiny Lites Solo/Carlos Santana)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Hotel Atlanta Incidentals (E) X (A Mixolydian) (repetition: see Hot Plate Solo)
See my example and description.
That’s Not Really a Shuffle (Eb) X (not a clear diatonic scale)
See my example and description.
Orrin hatch on skis (D) X (D Mixolydian) (note: Ride My Face to Chicago solo)
See my example and description.
For Duane (A) X (repetition: see Whipping Post solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Things that look like meat (G) X (repetition: see City of Tiny Lites solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
The Mammy Anthem (Bb/Ab) (no Bb; D Dorian in composed part; Ab Dorian solo)
Pygmy twylyte 1974 (D/G) (should be B, not D, also, mostly pentatonic)
Room service (B) (also minor pentatonic)
Dupree’s paradise (B/A) X (he’s referring to the alternating Bm-Am progression during the flute/etc. solo; its not clearly Dorian)
See my examples and description.
Ride my face to Chicago intro and solo (D) X (Mixolydian; and repetition: see hatch)
See my description of the solo.
Dickie’s such an asshole, solo (B) X (blues pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
King Kong 1971/82 (Eb) X (repetition)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Star wars won’t work (D) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
T'Mershi Duween (1988) (A)
City of tiny lights, solo (G) X (repetition)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Pound for a brown solos (D) X (minor pentatonic; plus, improv by Mars)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Baked-bean boogie (Eb) X (repetition: see King Kong)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
No waiting for the peanuts to dissolve (E) X (minor pentatonic; note: Trouble Every Day solo)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Pound for a brown, solo (V. 5) (G)
Sleeping in a jar (playground) (Eb) X (? perhaps he means the brief E minor pentatonic solo)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Transylvania Boogie 1968 (E) X (no clue how he gets this)
See my examples and description. Sometimes the accent lies on A as pedal note, sometimes on E.
Put a Motor in Yourself (E)
Lost in a Whirlpool (E) X (blues)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Run Home Cues #2 (G)
Alley Cat, intro (E) X (arguable; melody is minor pentatonic, chords could be characterized as Dorian)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Sharleena 1969, solos (G) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Duck Duck Goose (D) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
I Was a Teenage Maltshop (D) X (no clue; G is the pitch center)
See my example and description.
Metal Man has won his wings (E) X (blues)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Power trio (A) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Speedfreak boogie (E) X (minor pentatonic melody, Dorian chords (see Alley Cat))
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Original Mothers at… (G) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Mondo Hollywood (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Black Beauty (Eb) X (repetition: see King Kong)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
T'Mershi Duween 1991 (D) X (more likely Mixolydian, given the 1# key signature used in the 1988 version)
See my example and description.
Ancient Armaments (A)
Rollo (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Chunga’s Basement (D) X (repetition: see Chunga’s Revenge)
To me it has sufficient elements of its own, but you might call it a repetition. Transcriptions from both titles are included in my study.
Venusian Time Bandits (F) X (G) (repetition: More Trouble Every Day)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition. The tonic is indeed G.
Think It Over (D) X (repetition; see The Grand Wazoo)
It concerns the solo. See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Been to Kansas (A) X (not even close; melody is minor pentatonic, chords are from the minor blues: i-iv-i-V-iv-i; the only Dorian element is the harmonic embellishment of the i chord)
See my example and description. Blues has been addressed at above.
Farther O'blivion 1972 opening (many)
Cucamonga (part of FOB) (Eb) (and many others)
DC Boogie (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Imaginary Diseases (B)
Chunga's Revenge (Trance) (D) X (repetition: see Chunga’s Revenge)
In this case it has Frank and Dweezil soloing, but you might call it a repetition.
Good Lobna (F#)
Ask Dr. Stupid (F#) X (Mixolydian) (Note: Easy Meat solo 1979)
See my example and description.
Scratch and Sniff (G) X (repetition: see City of Tiny Lites solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Trancefusion (D) (somewhat ambiguous as to pitch center; it may be G Mixolydian; note: Twenty One)
Gorgo (A) X (repetition: see Torture Never Stops solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Diplodocus (D#) X (repetition: see King Kong)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Soul Polka (C#) (note: Oh No solo)
After dinner smoker (A) X (repetition: Torture Never Stops solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
The Torture Never stops 1980 (A) X (repetition)
See my examples. This version has enough of its own.
Chunga’s Revenge 1975, rhythm guitar solo (D) X (repetition: see Chunga’s Revenge)
See my example. This rhythm guitar solo section should be looked at upon its own merits.
How did that get in there?, solos (D/A) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Unit 2 (C#) (note: Oh No coda, etc.)
Mom and Dad (E/D)
King Kong 1978, solo (HO) (Eb) X (possible repetition; though the vamp is sufficiently “new” to count it)
Then why an X?
Mud shark, solo (CH) (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Sleazette (fin mom) (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Uncle rhebus (Eb/C) (note: this is King Kong live)
The subcutaneous peril(D) (note: Pound for a Brown solo)
Your teeth (venue 2) (Eb) X (George Duke improvisation: mostly minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
All Skate (A) X (blues, mostly pentatonic)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Run home slow movie sample #1 (E) (I don’t know what moment this refers to)
See my movie example #1.
Waltz (pal records) (D) X (not able to verify)
See my example and description.
Breaktime (C) X (blues: minor pentatonic melody, Mm7 chords)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Grunion Run (C) X (blues again; see above)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Twinkle Tits X (no clear mode)
See my example and description.
Conehead 1978, solo (F/E) (melody entirely pentatonic; chords are Dorian; should be classified as minor-1 pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.


PHRYGIAN "Sloots list"

Duodenum (G) X (see analysis above; this is modal borrowing, not pure modality)
See my example and description.
Didja get any onja (F#) X (not modal)
Toying with words. See my example and description.
Big Swifty, solo block 1 (E) X (this is the Phrygian dominant scale: EFG#ABCD)
See my examples and description (both are happening).
Fifty Fifty (C) X (this is the Phrygian dominant scale again)
See my example and description.
Filthy Habits (F/C)
Duke of Prunes (G#) X (where?)
See my examples and description.
Sinister Footwear, solo (G)
Bossa Nova (G) X (modally ambiguous)
See my examples and description.
9/8 objects (C) X (more likely the Phrygian dominant scale)
See my example and description.
Phyniox (C) X (?)
See my examples and description.


LYDIAN Sloots list

It's from Kansas (F) X (no clue how this could be Lydian)
See my example and description. It's indeed not brightly Lydian, calling it multi-scale is possible too.
Dog Breath (G) (note: L/M; ambiguous)
Peaches en Regalia (A) X (not a clear example, still functioning in B)
See my description and block E from the Hot rats guitar book. Indeed not a clear example.
Holiday in Berlin, Theme 4 and solo (D)
Aybe see (C/Eb) (maybe, but I’m inclined to hear these as transpositions of the VII chord from the Mixolydian main theme rather than examples or true Lydian modality)
Didja get any Onya (C)
The Orange County Lumber Truck (G) (also A)
Would You Like a Snack, intro (Eb/Ab/D) (also C: note, this is Holiday in Berlin intro)
Waka Jawaka (A/F/G)
Blessed Relief (Bb)
Fifty Fifty (Db/E) (not sure about the Db)
Echidna’s Arf (E) (and others)
Son of Orange County (E)
Inca Roads (many)
Andy (A/D)
Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy (C/F) X (not F, I hear that as G Mixolydian)
We agree about C, F or G is debatable. There's certainly no need for an X. Three examples are now included in my main study, showing the 1984 version points at Ionian being present too.
Black Napkins (D)
I Promise Not to Come… , solo (many)
The Black Page #1 (many)
The Black Page #2 (many) X (repetition: see The Black Page #1)
The Black Page #2 deserves attention upon its own merits, but regarding scales you might call it a repetition.
Music for Low Budget Orchestra, brass section (G) L/M
RDNZL (many)
RDNZL, guitar solo (A)
Wild Love (many)
Strictly Genteel (D)
Sy Borg Solo (C) (and many more during the song itself)
We are here talking about instrumental music.
Outside Now, Solo (Bb)
He Used to Cut the Grass, solo (E)
Easy Meat (E)
Now You See It, Now you Don’t (Eb) (or possibly F Mixolydian)
See above at Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy, a similar situation. Strange to see that Brett doesn't use the word repetition here. I wouldn't neither, but in this case you have hard evidence in the solo itself that it's part of a King Kong performance.
Pick Me I’m Clean (C) (possible; a somewhat ambiguous song)
Hog Heaven (E) (note: Easy Meat solo)
Shut Up n’ Play yer Guitar (C) (note: Inca Roads solo)
Gee, I Like Your Pants (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Deathless Horsie (A)
Shut Up n’ Play Yer Guitar Some More (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Pink Napkins (D) X (repetition: see Black Napkins)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Return of the son… (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Sinister Footwear III (F)
Tink Walks Amok (many) (maybe; I’m not sure that this piece is a good candidate for modal analysis; notice that the upper bass line is just being transposed by different values, while the bass line is often stationary)
Sinister Footwear II, opening block (Ab) (I’m not sure what moment he refers to; there are certainly Lydian things happening in this piece, but the Ab Lydian description here seems inadequate to deal with them; see my discussion in Clement 2009, 209-10)
Them or us (Bb) (note: Black Page solo)
Alien Orifice (Eb/C) (also A, C in the middle section)
Let’s Move to Cleveland (C/Ab)
Night School (C/Ab)
Which One is it (Bb) X (repetition: Black Page solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
In a Gadda Stravinsky (D) X (polyscalar)
See my examples and description, where I'm calling it an example of mingling of closely related scales. It's not in conflict with calling it polyscalar.
Once Again, without the Net (D) (note: Let’s Move to Cleveland solo)
Move It Or Park it (Bb) X (repetition: Black Page solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Variations on Sinister #3 (E) X (repetition: Easy Meat solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Winos do not march (F) X (G Mixolydian; note: Sharleena solo)
I agree. It's an F-G alternation, but played over a G pedal only. An example has been added to my main study.
Swans what swans? (Bb) (note: Pound for a Brown solo 1981)
Systems of Edges (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Do not try this at home (Bb) X (repetition: Black Page solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Is that all there is? (C) (note: Let’s Move to Cleveland solo 1982)
Pygmy twylyte 1974 (Bb) X (?, if he’s talking about the Bm-G-Bb-C-A progression, seems like a strange chromatic area to hear Lydian modality)
See my example and description
Dupree’s paradise (E)
Uncle Meat (1973) (G)
Any Kind of Pain, solo (F)
The Black page 1988 (many) X (repetition: see The Black Page)
The black page 1988 is thus re-arranged, that I included this title too, but you might call it a repetition.
T'Mershi Duween 1988 (C)
Pound for a brown solos (C) (note sure whether to count: this is a holdover from the Thirteen vamp)
The black page #2 solo (v 5) Bb X (repetition: Black Page solo)
On Zappa in New York, this title has no solo in it, so I included this instance too.
Thirteen (C)
Rollo (many)
Farther O’blivion, opening (many)
Cucamonga (FOB) (G) X (where?)
See my example and description
A Cold Dark Matter (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Occam’s razor (C) X (repetition: Inca Roads solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Mom and Dad (F) (okay, but this could also be an extended bII in the key of E minor, which is how the FM chord is used in the first phrase)
Who Needs the peace corps (C)
King Kong 1978 solo (HO) (D)
Billy the Mountain, solos (C) (also several Lydian examples in the song itself)
We are here talking about instrumental music
Uncle Rhebus (fin mom) (Db) X (too indistinct to give modal assignment)
See my examples and description
Phyniox (Ab) X (modally ambiguous)
See my example and description
The World’s Greatest movie sample #1 (D) X (repetition?)
Repetition of what?
No more mr. nice girl (A)

MIXOLYDIAN Sloots list

King Kong, Lumpy Gravy (A)
Stuff Up the Cracks (solo) (C) X (blues-derived borrowing: Zappa solos in C minor pentatonic, while chords are I-bVII-I)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Dog Breath (A) (note: L/M)
Legend of the Golden Arches (B) (note: Pound for a Brown)
[Uncle meat variations (1969). I forgot to include this one in my list. It's not in Brett's list neither, but on page 70 of his response he doesn't seem to object to my calling it Mixolydian.]
King Kong 1969 (Ab) X (this is the IV chord in Eb Dorian)
See my examples and description. It's very odd to say a song begins on step IV, especially when you're following the vertical method. The more reasonable thing you might say is that it is a pedal substitution in a song mostly beginning on Eb.
Peaches en Regalia (many) X (none)
See my description and the Hot Rats guitar book.
Son of Mr. Green Genes (Bb/D) X (see comments above on the Bb chord; The D major chord at the ending is just a “Picardy third” in D minor).
See my descriptions and the Hot Rats guitar book.
Gumbo Variations (G) X (see above: blues scale)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Theme from Burnt Weeny Sandwich (D)
Aybe See (E/A) (only E Mixolydian; the A has too many chromatic notes; I’d be more inclined to label it as A Dorian anyway)
Get a little (E) X (no, this is Dorian; why the conflict with the analysis above?)
See the description in my main study.
My Guitar (interlude) (G) X (blues progression, maj/min elements)
Blues-like if you wish, using Mixolydian (G should be A).
Transylvania Boogie (A) (okay, but I would consider this standard blues playing, with the A minor pentatonic scale as the basis, rather than clear diatonic Mixolydian modality)
Big Swifty, solo block 2 (E) X (I don’t hear a melodic G#; probably still essentially Dorian)
Toying with words. You listen to the whole, not the melody only.
Waka/Jawaka (A/G)
Dirty Love (intro and solo) (D) X (minor pentatonic; the tonic pitch is A, not D)
See my example and the Overnite sensation guitar book. "Vertically" you're looking for pedal notes, with the D being far more heavy than the A. Horizontally you're also seeing a D-C alternation. And if you want to see the A as tonic, you might also argue it's the G. See above at Carolina hard core ecstasy, and Now you see it, now you don’t. Brett certainly isn't consistent. The accentuated and longer sustained note can better be seen as the tonic, though I agree it sometimes can get arguable.
Fifty Fifty (many) X (just because many dominant ninth chords are found, doesn’t mean the Mixolydian mode is being used)
See my examples, description of the scheme and the Overnite sensation guitar book.
Montana, intro and solo (A) X (there’s a melodic D# which is clearly part of the theme; the accompanimental G and C are just there to create parallel major triads, with the melodic note functioning as the chordal third)
See my example and description.
Excentrifugal forz, intro and solo (A) (arguable; Zappa’s singing is in A minor pentatonic)
See my example and the Apostrophe guitar book.
Apostrophe (D)
Stinkfoot Solo (C) X (I’d just say blues scale; we find both E natural and Eb)
It's blues with Mixolydian being used. See above and my example and description. The Eb is indeed involved too, so I'm also referring to it as an example of mingling Mixolydian and Dorian.
Echidna’s Arf (A) (arguable)
Be-Bop Tango solo (B) X (12-bar blues: standard major chords I-IV-V and minor pentatonic melody)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Can’t Afford.. solo (E) X (blues playing, pentatonic)
Blues/pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Sofa (G) (again, see the discussion in Clement 2009, 157)
Cucamonga intro (A) X (major chords on minor pentatonic scale degrees I-IV-bIII)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above. If you want to name it like Brett does, it doesn't mean it can't be called Mixolydian anymore.
Miss Pinky interlude (A) (interlude? You just mean the main riff?)
See my examples at Artificial Rhonda. The main riff continues during the solo in it (instrumental interlude). It's just another example of instrumental music.
Cruising for Burgers (D)
I Promise…, solo (many) X (I don’t find any; seems pretty consistently Lydian/Dorian)
See my description.
Big Leg Emma Interlude (E) X (12-bar blues)
See my examples and description. Blues has been addressed at above.
Purple Lagoon, solos (F)
Music for low budget, guitar solo (D) X (I analyze C Lydian, but one could argue)
Zappa is playing over a D pedal.
RDNZL (many) (none very clearly articulated)
RDNZL, keyboard solo (F)
The Ocean is the Only Solution (many) (possible, but difficult to identify modes in this piece)
I have been in you, interlude (A) X (no clue; referring to the IV-V progression?)
2:33-2:53. It's an instrumental version of my example of the opening.
Rubber Shirt (Eb) X (bass part improvised by O’Hearn; plus, both b3 and nat3)
It's a joint composition, see the album liner notes. Brett doesn't really deny it's at least to a degree Mixolydian. I agree a minor third is also happening. An example has been added to my main study.
Wild Love (many)
Yo' Mama, instrumental section (E)
Central Scrutinizer, interlude (D) X (blues based; melody is minor pentatonic)
See my example and description. Blues/Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Catholic Girls, interlude (F#) X (the bass’s b7 is just a melodic borrowing; this is major key I-vi-V)
See my example and description. I call it as it is. And if you want to call it Ionian nevertheless, it should be in Brett's own list of Ionian examples.
Crew Slut, solo (D) X (blues, minor pentatonic)
Blues/Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Packard Goose, solo (F#)
Easy Meat (F#) X (E Lydian)
See my example and description. There's an indecision to take the E or F# as tonic, during the theme and the solo, that sometimes has E, sometimes F# as pedal note. Brett also includes Easy Meat in his Mixolydian list. So you can see how zealous he got finding excuses to put Xs here.
The Blue Light, intro (A)
Pick Me I’m Clean (D) (okay, but this is an ambiguous piece)
While You Were Out (D) X (Dorian)
See my description and the FZ Guitar book. It's a mingling of Mixolydian and Dorian. Compare this with Stucco Homes from above, stemming from the same session, where Mixolydian gets to dominate.
Heavy Duty Judy (E)
Ship Ahoy (D) X (Dorian)
See my example and description. Another mingling of Mixolydian and Dorian.
Deathless Horsie (B)
Pinocchio’s Furniture (G) X (D Dorian: Chunga’s Revenge solo)
After relistening I agree. The D comes out stronger than the G.
Why Johnny Can’t Read (E)
Stucco Homes (D)
I Come From Nowhere, intro and solo (F#) X (I think this is the v of B minor)
See my example and description. It's very odd to say a song begins on step V, especially when you're following the vertical method. And if you do it would be V from B Ionian. We agree about another section in B Aeolian (see below).
Tink Walks Amok (many) X (arguable; I’d analyze this as simply an upper-voice transposition of the Lydian idea down by whole step, while the bass stays the same)
See my example and description. Bars 1-4 are clearly Mixolydian.
Truck Driver’s Divorce, solo (A) (note: Zoot Allures solo)
Stevie’s Spanking solo (A/B)
One Man, One Vote (B)
Alien Orifice (A) X (where?)
See my examples and description of how the CD performance differs from the score.
Hot Plate Heaven, solo (A)
Let’s Move to Cleveland: 1984: Does Humor… guitar solo (D)
Night School (C#) X (I don’t find this; perhaps C# Ionian for a few measures)
I agree, a second example has been added to my main study, C# Ionian it is.
Chalk Pie (A) X (repetition: Zoot Allures solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
In A Gadda Stravinsky (D) X (polyscalar)
See my examples and description, where I'm calling it an example of mingling of closely related scales. It's not in conflict with calling it polyscalar.
When No One Was No One (A) X (repetition: Zoot Allures solo)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Sunrise Redeemer (E) (note: 1984 Let’s Move to Cleveland solo)
Orrin hatch on skis (D) (X: blues pentatonic playing with major I; note: Ride My Face solo)
See my example and description. Blues/Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
But who was Fulcanelli (E) ? (not sure about this one; the excerpt does sound like E Mixolydian, but this is the solo from Drowning Witch, which is usually in B Dorian; perhaps this is a pedal substitution)
When it sounds like Mixolydian it isn't really Mixolydian but a pedal substitution for a section not on the CD? You can see that Brett includes this title in his Dorian list with a question mark. Even when you would listen to the apparently existing bootleg version, this section would still be Mixolydian.
GOA (D) (note: 1984 Let’s Move to Cleveland solo)
Too ugly for show business (D) (note: King Kong solo 1981)
Village of the sun intro and solo (G) (okay, but occurring within the F Lydian context of the song as a whole)
Room service (E) X (where?)
See my examples and description.
Ride my face to Chicago solo (D) X (pentatonic system; see Orrin Hatch on Skis)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Chana in the bushwop solo (C) X (12-bar blues)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Nig biz, solo (G) X (12-bar blues)
Blues has been addressed at above.
King Kong 1971/82 (A) (1971 solo)
Heavy duty Judy 1988 (E) X (repetition: see Heavy Duty Judy)
It's thus heavily re-arranged, that I looked into this title upon its own merits.
Fire and Chains (D) (note Pound for Brown solo 1988)
Pound for a brown solos (D) (okay, but bear in mind that this is improv by Tommy Mars, not anything composed or prepared by Zappa)
Sleeping in a Jar (D)
Brixtol still life (D) X (Dorian; note: Pound for a Brown solo 1971)
See my example and description. The chromatic elements in it are such that you might also call it a mingling of Mixolydian and Dorian, but certainly not to the point of calling it Dorian only.
Transylvania boogie 1968 (A) X (Phrygian dominant scale primarily; also octatonic)
See my example, bars 3-8. Brett is talking about other sections.
Outrage at Valdez (Eb) X (where? Perhaps in two measures. I thought Sloots was not including “rapidly shifting” areas?)
See my description. The Eb pedal can be heard between 0:43 and 1:01.
Exercise #4 (G)
Lil’ Clanton Shuffle (C) X (12-bar blues)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Duck Duck Goose (E) X (no, this is not clearly modal)
See my example, being in Mixolydian. Not clearly modal is toying with words.
Leather Goods (D)
Original Duke of Prunes (C) X (if C is considered the pitch center and the melody has F#, it is Lydian)
The analysis in my main study has been renewed. Both Brett and me made errors.
I was a Teenage Maltshop (D) X (this is the V chord of G major; one could make a case for G Mixolydian, but I hear the F as a chromatic blues inflection in G major; in other words, this is not purely modal)
Toying with words.
T'mershi Duween 1991 (D/E) (maybe, not clear)
Rollo (many) X (where?)
See my examples and descriptions.
Farther O'blivion 1972 opening (many) (arguable)
DC Boogie (D)
Imaginary Diseases (A) X (not purely Mixolydian: notice the melody includes C and F)
See my examples. The inclusion of some altered notes is normal.
Montreal (D)
Bowling on Charen (B)
For Giuseppe Franco (A) X (repetition: Hot Plate Heaven solo 1984)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Finding Higgs’ Bosson (A) X (repetition: Hot Plate Heaven solo 1988)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Bavarian sunset (E) X (primarily Ionian; a single note played by Zappa isn’t enough to change the overall mode)
See my example or listen to the complete title.
Heidelberg (E) X (repetition: see Yo Mama)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Absolutely Free (D/E)
Mom and Dad (Bb) (VERY weak example)
I agree, my analysis is renewed.
Who Needs the Peace Corps (A)
Flakes 1978 (HO) instrumental (E) X (Ionian: why the conflict with the analysis above?)
See my examples and description. Here I'm talking about the H.O. opening.
Mud Shark Solos (E) X (minor pentatonic)
Pentatonic has been addressed at above.
Conehead vamp (BS) (Bb) X (reasonable to hear it this way, but the beginning bass note and chord suggest Ab Lydian)
As I'm saying too. Again you can see Brett is primarily looking for excuses to put Xs.
All State (C/A) X (blues improv)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Phyniox (Ab) X (modally ambiguous)
See my examples and description.
Reeny Ra (G)
Cheepnis percussion, main theme (D) X (one could make a case for D Dorian, since the melody only uses white notes, but the chords used in the full piece are not strictly diatonic: DM-BbM-CM-CM-BM
Brett's thesis is about instrumental music, so only Cheepnis percussion can be considered, not the chords with lyrics from Cheepnis as on Roxy and elsewhere. See my example of Cheepnis with theme one, the main theme, being present in Cheepnis percussion too.
Walkin’ out (D/A/E) X (I’m more inclined to hear these as blues colorations)
Blues has been addressed at above.
Waltz (pal records) (D) X (same as above)
See my example and description.
Twinkle Tits (E) X (no clear mode)
See my example with the opening riff being in Mixolydian. Modulations mean that you can't identify modes?.
Mo’ Mama (E) X (repetition: see Yo Mama)
See above at the general remarks for the word repetition.
Improvisation in A (A) X (don’t know what this is)
So Brett also disagrees when he doesn't know what he disagrees with. See the example in my Outrage at Valdez section.
Budapest solo (D) X (if I’m correct in the performance referred to, this is D Dorian)
See my example and description.
What will Rumi Do (E)

AEOLIAN "Sloots List".

- Peaches en Regalia (B) X (I find no examples of B Aeolian)
See my example, theme II is using G natural. And compare this with my Peaches III example. B Dorian is the main scale in this piece, but variants from the B minor type group get used as well.
- My Guitar (interlude) (B) X (blues pentatonic)
See my 2nd example, bars 6-8, using the full B minor scale.
- The Orange County Lumber Truck (C#) X (C# Dorian)
Two examples have been added to my main study. It's more complicated than I first thought. The bass doesn't play along the lead melody ("C# minor"), but harmonizes it following F# Dorian. For the second reprise of the opening theme, the bass sets the key to A Mixolydian. Both me and Brett have missed some elements.
- Would You Like a Snack, intro (C#) X (no obvious scale here) (note: this is also Holiday in Berlin, intro)
See my example and description.
- Apostrophe (B) X (minor pentatonic)
See my third example using the full B minor scale. See also my description and the Apostrophe guitar book.
- Echidna’s Arf (B/C#)
- Florentine Pogen, intro (E) X (actually, as the later harmonization at the beginning of the verse shows, this is A Dorian)
The intro itself is in E minor. See also the One size fits all guitar book with Addi Booth letting it start with E5. I've added some further details in my main study.
- Black Napkins (C#) X (no, its C# Dorian)
See my comments at Pink Napkins and the FZ Guitar book. C# minor and C# Dorian are being used next to each other. See also my paragraph about mingling closely related scales from my Guitar section.
- I Promise not to come in your mouth, theme (C) X (no melodic Ab to confirm this)
Toying with words. See my example, staff 4. For identifying scales you listen to the whole. Nobody has ever suggested one should take the melody separate. Apart from that it's a hocketing melody.
- RDNZL (many) (at most, there is one (C), but it’s very weak)
- Filthy Habits (F/C) X (where? These are a mixture of Phyrgian (the vamp) and Dorian (the melody)
See my example, bar 6. Bars 4-10 are the main theme, with Db as a dotted 16th note and D natural as a 32nd note only. With the vamp also using Db, it's even more logical to notate the D natural as an altered note.
- Sheik Yerbouti Tango (F) X (not purely diatonic, this is “functional” F minor, with a major V chord; of course, it’s a standard tango progression)
Toying with words. Putting the adjective “functional” in front of it and then it doesn't count? Not purely diatonic because of altered notes being included? Then none of the Preludes and Fugues from the Well-tempered clavier by Bach are purely diatonic.
The term "functional" stems from Hugo Riemann, calling a number of common progressions "functional harmonies". It is a conclusion from my study that Zappa is using standard progressions (functional, common, traditional, classical or whatever term you would like to use) next to a wide range of uncommon ones. For the identification of scales in instrumental music, the distinction is irrelevant.

- Duke of Prunes (G#/F) X (not enough melodic info to call these brief moments Aeolian)
See my example and the 7th diatonic note paragraph from my Burnt weeny sandwich. I agree in the sense that these instances could be called weak.
- Treacherous Cretins (D) X (no, A is definitely the pitch center here)
I'm citing Zappa's interpretation. A new example has been added in my main study, showing Brett has a point.
- Deathless Horsie (C#) (okay, but it’s also sometimes Dorian)
As I'm saying too.
- I Come from Nowhere, intro and solo (B) (not the solo, which is Dorian)
As I'm saying too.
- We Are Not Alone (F#/G) X I hear the key of A with major/minor modal mixture: vi-V-I vi-V-I bIII-ii i-bVI-V (anyhow, this example is clearly not purely modal, so it shouldn’t be included)
I take the starting bass note as tonic. Only if the bass would be moving downwards, or when the F# could be seen as a passing note, I might have taken the A as tonic. Otherwise it's getting arbitrary. See also the discussion about how to identify the I-II alternation in Lydian in Brett's response. If you don't follow a consistent approach, the identification of scales becomes a terminological mess. "Pure" has already been commented upon above.
- Moggio (E) X I don’t hear C natural, but rather the Dorian C# played)
See my example, bars 1-2, or listen to it yourself. It's a C natural for both the harmony and the bass line.
- Sinister Footwear II, second block (B) X (the scale used here is not strictly diatonic; in one measure it walks up the melodic minor scale, in other measures you find both b5 and b6)
See my example and above at the Sheik Yerbouti Tango, the involvement of altered notes is normal.
- Alien Orifice (E/G) X (no, these are Dorian; for more evidence, see the guitar solo, which alternates between Lydian and Dorian, just like the main theme)
Though it appears to be true that Zappa originally wrote this as a Lydian-Dorian alternation etc., the CD version is one of many instances of the AAAFNRAA principle. See my examples and description, where you can see other keys being used as well.
- Let’s Move to Cleveland (E) X (its Dorian, notice the C# in the inner voice; why the conflict with the analysis below?)
See the description in my main study. Brett is here talking about theme 2 only.
- Massagio Galore (B) X (no clue how Sloots gets this; sounds G Phrygian to me)
The B is a writing error for G, but it is G minor. See my example, bar 1, with an A, and my comment upon bars 1-2.
- Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (C#) X (blues minor pentatonic, neither melody or accompaniment is purely Aeolian: melody (minor pentatonic), accompaniment (minor, but includes V7#9)
See my example and description. Blues has been addressed at above.
- Pygmy twilight (1974) (B) (should also be classified as minor pentatonic)
- Room Service (E) X (not enough melodic info)
See my example and description of it.
- Harry You’re a Beast (A) X (this is A Mixolydian)
A writing error from my side, I put the A in the wrong column next to it.
- Outrage at Valdez (F/F#)
- T'Mershi Duween 1991 (B) (X, If it’s the spot I think he means, this is E Dorian or Mix)
Block B from my example (at the end built around a Bm-A chord progression, admittedly a weak example). I think Brett is referring to block C, which I also identify as E Dorian/Mixolydian.
- Think It Over (D) X (this is Dorian and minor pentatonic; note: this is also The Grand Wazoo)
See my third example (guitar solo from it) and description of it.
- Greggery mt 3 solo, (E) X (A Dorian)
See my example and description.
- Mom and Dad (E) (okay, but in general I find that this song is better as an example of modal borrowing; Dorian is the mode that comes out best at the beginning)
I agree, it's not a bright example
- Who Needs the Peace Corps (F#) X (not enough melodic info; I’d guess Dorian instead)
See my example and description, including Brett's comment. See also the 7th diatonic note paragraph from my Burnt weeny sandwich section. It's undecided.
- Uncle rhebus (C) VERY brief; more often C Dorian; note: this is King Kong live
This section isn't included in the studio version.

So there's one example I didn't hear right and one writing error. On the other hand Brett lists 4 examples, that I didn't include. And I came across other examples after I set up this list, like my Canard du jour example in G minor. I agree with Brett that Zappa's music shows a preference for Dorian over minor as it comes to the minor type group. The point is not the exact number of examples in minor, but showing that there are sufficient examples to consider it a normal scale in Zappa's instrumental music. It doesn't sound exceptional. More importantly I disagree with the musicological reason Brett is giving why Zappa should avoid minor in a Lydian system.
The above mentioned Charles Ulrich writes about the guitar solos from the "Drowning witch" title track: "FZ plays two guitar solos, both on the Hendrix strat, the first over a vamp in 9/8 (3/4 + 3/8) and the second over a B minor vamp in 6/8". Charles doesn't do musical analysis himself, so probably someone informed him about this, a person who doesn't make a distinction between minor and Dorian. By itself it's legitimate to do so and the description is correct. In my study I'm presenting Zappa as a modal composer, so the distinction becomes relevant. For Brett's theory this distinction is crucial: he's giving a musicological reason why Zappa would avoid minor. In his Response Brett writes in red (pages 52 and 136, blue is me):





It's a small detail, but significant enough to see that there must be other reasons than musicological ones, why people are eager to associate themselves with Brett's theory.

In his own list Brett marks titles in bold, when they aren't in my list. It concerns the following:

IONIAN (none)

DORIAN

- Alien Orifice, solo
Alien Orifice is present in my Dorian list. I'm not double-counting titles for themes and solos.
- Bob in Dacron, mov. I/II
See below at Lydian.
- Call any vegetable, song
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- Chunga's revenge, solo
Chunga's revenge is present in my Dorian list. I'm not double-counting titles for themes and solos.
- Dupree's paradise, orchestral (chords)
Dupree's paradise is present in my Dorian list. I'm not double-counting titles for orchestral chords.
- Envelopes, orchestral (chords)
See below at Lydian.
- Florentine Pogen (A/E/F#)
See above at the Aeolian list. And only the instrumental intro should be considered in this context.
- The idiot bastard song
See my examples and description. The Lumpy Money version is instrumental. Many scales are passing by briefly, among them Dorian. I'm calling it multi-scale. There's more to it than Dorian and Lydian only.
- Mo 'n Herb's vacation I (some chords)
See below at Lydian.
- Montana, solo
Montana is present in my Dorian list. I'm not double-counting titles for themes and solos.
- Pound for a brown (second theme)
A second example from the Legend of the golden arches version is now included in my study, indeed in Dorian.
- Punky's whips (song)
We are here talking about instrumental music. The instrumental sections know many scales and the solo is already included in my Dorian list.
- Run home slow
If you like, calling it B Dorian is possible too. On the Mystery disc there's also a section in C Mixolydian, not mentioned by Brett, the part in the middle with the brief guitar solo.
- Sad Jane I/II
See below at Lydian.
- Sinister footwear I/II (chords)
See below at Lydian.
- Zoot allures live 1975-6, solo
Zoot allures is present in my Dorian list. I see no reason for double-counting this title.


Minor pentatonic or weak

- Andy, ending theme (F#)
Andy is present in my Dorian list for its instrumental sections.
- Zomby woof, song (A)
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- Zomby woof, solo (A)
An omission from my side, there's even an example from the 1988 solo present in my study.
- Outrage at Valdez (Bb)
Brett's 2014 article talks about a Bbm11 chord, that he calls "Dorian". It's still over an F pedal, the Aeolian part.

PHRYGIAN

- Massagio Galore
See my example and description.
- Transylvania boogie
See my examples and description.


LYDIAN

As you can see above, Brett is trying to find excuses for quite some non-Lydian examples to be not good examples, while complete bars can be positively identified as belonging to these scales. The bias in his list comes out the sharpest for doing the opposite for a couple of pieces, that he lists as clear examples of Lydian:
- Bob in Dacron, mov. 1.
- Bob in Dacron, mov. 2.
- Mo 'n Herbs vacation, mov. 1.
- Envelopes.
- The perfect stranger.
- Sad Jane, mov. 1.
- Sad Jane, mov. 2.
- Sinister footwear, mov. 1.
These pieces are either atonal or portraying diatonic material in a rather fragmented way. I agree that even in an atonal composition as Mo 'n Herbs vacation the notes can sometimes be grouped as diatonic, and then not just Lydian and Dorian (see my example of the opening). But listing them as good compositions in Lydian or Dorian is in the context of the above misplaced. Another thing one should bear in mind is that interpreting chords as Lydian or Dorian "chord bible" chords, as Nguyen does on page 57 of his study, is something quite different from saying these bars are composed in Lydian or Dorian. There's no tonic present, nor is any diatonic scale being used other than for very brief moments.
Other items that are obviously biased:
- Some song with lyrics are included in Brett's Lydian list only. If you would like to extend a theory about instrumental music to songs too, then all songs should be considered, not just the ones in Lydian that you consider convenient for your theory.
- There are many compositions with brief moments in various scales (called multi-scale by me). Brett is inclined to mention the Lydian and Dorian moments only.

- Alien orifice
- Alien orifice, solo
Alien orifice is in my Lydian list. I don't double-count titles for themes and solos.
- Andy, solo
Andy is in my Lydian list for its instrumental parts.
- Billy the mountain (Db/C/B, etc).
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- Billy the mountain, solo (C).
Billy the mountain is in my Lydian list for its solo.
- Bob in Dacron, mov. 1 and 2 (Lydian chord bible harmonies)
See above.
- Bogus pomp, violin solo (E)
There are passages you might attribute to keys. In that case not only Lydian (see my examples).
- Drowning witch, interlude (F#/F/E)
The instrumental sections are listed by me as "varying rapidly". If you want to attribute these sections to keys, then one shouldn't call them Lydian only.
- Dupree's paradise
Dupree's paradise is in my Lydian list.
- Goat polo
Dance me this wasn't yet released when I set up my list.
- Holiday in Berlin
Holiday in Berlin is in my Lydian list. I see no reason to include it three times, as Brett does in his response.
- Hordern intro
Isn't that a Naval aviation in art tape running?
- Gorgeous Inca
I haven't downloaded everything by the ZFT. Seen its title it must indeed be in Lydian.
- Let's move to Cleveland, solo
Let's move to Cleveland is in my Lydian list.
- Montana, interlude
On Overnite sensation it has lyrics, but there's an instrumental version too. The interlude is rather fragmented regarding scales. If you want to attribute it to scales, then it's not Lydian only. See my examples or the Overnite sensation Guitar book.
- Mo 'n Herbs vacation, mov. 1.
See above.
- More trouble every day (1988, Birthday bundle) (E)
I guess so then. I haven't downloaded this one.
- The perfect stranger.
See above.
- Pound for a brown solo (1981)
Pound for a brown solo is in my Lydian list.
- Punky's whips.
The instrumental sections are listed by me as "varying rapidly". If you want to attribute these sections to keys, then one shouldn't call them Lydian and Mixolydian only.
- Regyptian strut, intro C.
Listed by me as partly Dorian and partly "varying rapidly". The intro is relatively brief.
- Remington electric razor.
I only know of this title from the Apocrypha bootleg, where it has lyrics.
- Sad Jane mov. 1 and 2
See above.
- Sinister Footwear mov. 1
See above.
- Sinister Footwear mov. 2 and 3
Both are in my Lydian list.
- Stevie's spanking ("hairbrush")
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- Sy Borg
The solo is included in my Lydian list. We are here talking about instrumental music. Certainly in this case there's no reason for double counting it for both the song and the solo.
- Uncle meat (Yellow shark), ending.
Uncle meat is in my Lydian list.
- Village of the sun
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- What's the name of your group
200 Motels, the suites, wasn't released at the time I set up this list. There's more than Lydian only in the new sections (some examples are included in my main study).

Brief/weak/passing

- Absolutely free, intro
There are brief instrumental intros and passages in many songs with lyrics. The list might indeed be extended this way. Then not just for Lydian, but for all diatonic scales.
- Beauty knows no pain.
We are here talking about instrumental music.
- The idiot bastard son
See above.
- Mother people
See above at Absolutely free.
- Outrage at Valdez, ending
See the description in my main study.
- Pick me I'm clean, solo
Pick me I'm clean is in my Lydian list.
- Teen-age wind
See above at Absolutely free.
- Zoot allures (A)
See the examples from my main study.


MIXOLYDIAN

- Carolina hard core ecstasy
See my comment in my main study.
- Dance me this
Dance me this wasn't yet released when I set up my list. See my examples and description, there's more than Mixolydian only.
- Easy meat, solo
Easy meat is in my Mixoydian list.
- Ask Dr. Stupid
See my example and description.
- Montana (B/C)
We are here talking about instrumental music. See my examples and description, where these two instances are happening in passages with lyrics. On the other hand I identify the instrumental opening as A Mixolydian.
- Pound for a brown (F)
Pound for a brown is in my Mixoydian list.
- Pound for a brown, solo 1988
I'm not double-counting titles.
- Punky's whips
The instrumental sections are listed by me as "varying rapidly". If you want to attribute these sections to keys, then one shouldn't call them Lydian and Mixolydian only.
- Remington electric razor
I only know of this title from the Apocrypha bootleg, where it has lyrics.
- Sharleena, solo (1981-88)
I agree.
- Teenage wind
See above at Absolutely free.
- Wild love, solo (1977)
Wild love is in my Mixoydian list.
- Zoot allures, solo (1981-88) (A)
I agree, Zappa indeed used A Mixolydian during the eighties.


AEOLIAN

- The grand wazoo (B)
The main scale is D Dorian, other sections are labeled as "varying rapidly" by me. One might call some instances Aeolian.
- Outside now, again (D)
See my example and description. If you want to identify a key, D Aeolian is indeed the only option.
- Bwana Dik
We are here talking about instrumental music.

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