Frank Zappa's musical language

Frank Zappa's musical language

A study of the music of Frank Zappa

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Zappa's late projects show an increasing counterpoint contribution. The late projects being the three synclavier albums and the successful "The yellow shark" project featuring the Ensemble Modern from 1993. Take for instance the bass line, that plays through most of "G-spot tornado" (better audible on "Jazz from hell" then on the "The yellow shark" version; see also the fragment from the Synclavier subpage), the second half of "While you were out II" and sections of "Xmas values" and "Times beach II".

This section works in conjunction with the "Weasels ripped my flesh: counterpoint #1" section, filling in the picture with some examples from Zappa's late works.

1) Classical counterpoint.

An example of the classical use of counterpoint is included in the counterpoint #1 section.

2) Counterpoint including complementary harmony.

Strictly genteel

"Strictly genteel" returns a couple of times in Zappa's output in different settings:
- "200 Motels, the suites": original version including lyrics.
- "200 Motels" (CD): idem, plus an ending with a rock piece, followed by some delirately chaotic music.
- "Orchestral favorites": instrumental version for smaller orchestra.
- "L.S.O.": instrumental version for large orchestra.
- "Make a jazz noise here" and "YCDTOSA vol. VI": instrumental version for rock band.
This piece can be used as an example for many aspects of Zappa's music, for instance its instrumentation, its waltz meter or being diatonic orchestral music. This title is also getting attention in three academic articles/studies, the ones by J. Bernard, A. Ashby and B. Clement (see the references for the details). Here I'm looking at it for its form, using the L.S.O. version for the transcriptions. It's a variation piece with a central theme and a number of side themes. First its opening with the main theme:

Strictly genteel, opening-main theme (midi file)

Strictly genteel, opening-main theme (transcription)

Bars 1-4 serve as the introduction for the main theme, letting the piece begin in D with the progression D-A-Em-D-E. Bernard calls the piece "nominally D major, but given a somewhat peculiar coloring by the repeated emphasis upon an E-major triad of ambiguous function. i.e. not V of V" (Listening to Zappa, page 88). During these opening bars you can see that G natural and G sharp are used next to each other, next to a one time only A sharp. Within the context of Zappa's music this can also be seen as a blending of D major and D Lydian. Using closely related scales next to each other is common in Zappa's music. B. Clement can correctly call bars 4-7 D Lydian and identify the remainder as "functional D major harmony" (page 162 of his study). As indicated by Bernard, the chord progression of the main theme is D-A-E-F#-D-G-A. As I'm hearing it the second D chord should be a Bm chord, as also noted by Clement, the total progression thus being D-A-E-F#-Bm-G-A. Another thing you can notice, is that it is mostly a parallel movement of major triads. Such parallel movements occur more often in Zappa's music and can cause an ambiguity towards which scale they are in by themselves. See also my discussion of "The idiot bastard son". So there is no unique way of looking at "Strictly genteel".

Block I: Exposition of the main theme.
- 0:00 Intro.
- 0:09 Main theme.
- 0:34 Main theme with minor melodic changes plus some extra bars.
- 0:51 Main theme with some more melodic changes, the chord progression still being kept.
- 1:16 Side theme #1.
- 1:23 Side theme #2.
- 1:33 Side theme #3.
Block II: Character variations upon the main theme.
- 1:49 The main theme returns in a different set-up (form A). The melody changes again, while some of the chords get skipped. Here it has become a variation made up of two phrases, both using the chord progression D-A-G-A. The final A chord gets extended to A11. By character variations I mean variations that aren't varying the whole theme, but taking over some of its characteristics.
- 2:14 The main theme returns in yet another set-up (form B), this time with the progression D-C#m-F#-G-A. Compared to the initial form, some chords are skipped again and the E chord is replaced by a C#m chord. Zappa keeps changing the melody to the point that only the global outlines of the original are still recognizable: the rhythm and the downwards-upwards directions.
Block III: Re-exposition of the main theme.
- 2:35 Re-exposition of the main theme with the progression D-A-Bm-F#-Bm-G-A, more simular to block I.
- 2:55 Main theme with a different tail.
Block IV: The character variations upon the main theme return.
- 3:13 Re-appearance in form A. With every variation Zappa keeps changing the instrumentation. Tempos can also change. At this point the orchestra is playing in full. With the orchestra score unavailable to the general public, reproduced examples come in handy. Bars 94-99 can be found in the article by A. Ashby. These bars correspond with 3:13-3:24 on the CD. Now you can see every detail of the orchestration, ass well as that the chords are bigger than just triads, at least at this point. The D is Dadd2 or D9 (without #7), etc. Ashby comments as follows: "In all contexts and groups, electric or acoustic, an obvious "orchestralness" comes across; the work is an orchestral showpiece, a kind of Zappaesque Bolero, where the strophic repetitions display sections of the orchestra in turn (harp, percussion, woodwinds, trumpets etc.) (anti-feteshist orchestra article, pages 593-595)".

Strictly genteel, character variation (midi file)

Strictly genteel, character variation (notes)

- 3:33 Re-appearance in form B. This is the fragment that has been in this study from the second edition onwards as an example of counterpoint, where two melodies are played by the bass and descant. The bass line was at first played lightly in the background, but is now coming out clearly to the fore. At several points the harmonies become complementary, while at other instances they are moving more separately. As in all of "Strictly genteel", both melodies are in a straight 3/4 time. (The tonal ambiguity has already been spoken of above. In the previous editions, with only this example, I wrote: Since there are no clear keynotes here (in major the melodies are using notes of D, A and B), the chords can better be identified unrelated to keys. In the first bar for instance, the bass and descant are playing through the D chord. In the second bar they are playing mostly through the C#m chord. The progression in total goes as D-C#m-F#-G-A.)

Strictly genteel, counterpoint variation (midi file)

Strictly genteel, counterpoint variation (transcription)

Block V: Interlude
- 4:00 A D-E chord alternation passing through a wide range of different positions. Throughout the piece D major and D Lydian keep returning as the main scales. While the previous character variation (form A) is in D major, this interlude is in D Lydian. The relationship with the main theme is still remotely present in the sense that these two chords are occurring at the start of the main theme.
- 5:13 Coda for this block, playing around Bb-C#-G-Aadd2.

Block VI: Finale
- 5:37 Another character variation, itself being a variant upon form B. This is a melodic-harmonic variation, with the chords as shown in the following example:
bars 1-2: final Aadd2 chord from the preceding.
bar 3: D.
bar 4: A.
bar 5: Bm-A-Em7. So far this variation is in D major.
bar 6: G-C-A. From bar 6 onwards, notes are getting altered, making the music glide through different scales in a rather indefinite form. The implied scale of bar 6 is D Mixolydian.
bar 7: G-Eb add2-E (in the example the Eb is notated as D#).
bar 8: F#m-5-C+5-F7.
bar 9: Dm7-E7-Dm7. The A# by the bass during the third beat can be seen as a chromatic passing-through note. The writing style is getting mixed. All parts combined form the mentioned chords, but their individual movements are going into different directions. Staff 2, staffs 3-4 and staff 5 follow contrary paths.
bars 10-11: G add2-Gm-Dm7. With this last Dm7 chord, the example below stops and we're getting at the final theme.

Strictly genteel, harmonic variation (midi file)

Strictly genteel, harmonic variation (transcription)

- 5:53: Final theme.
- 6:27: Closing chords, D-A-E, fading out.
- 6:56: End on the L.S.O. CD. The version differences of the above mentioned "Strictly genteel" recordings are described by Bernard in his other "crossover" pieces article, pages 166-167: the final bars 181-4 were skipped in the L.S.O. version, but present in the 1988 rock band edition. On "Make a jazz noise here" they are played during 6:01-6:13.

"Strictly genteel" can be called classical in a number of aspects. It's a classical example of applying the art of variation, it's classical in its way of orchestration and it's classical for its quality, though the last is not just for me to decide. Bernard writes that "As the piece progresses, this material [1st example from above] is subjected to minimal variation, with occasional chromatic digressions that somehow never manage to eclipse the overriding sameness; the oom-pah-pah of the main theme closes the piece" (Listening to Zappa, page 88). I can (only) follow this as it comes to the rhythm. As I've been pointing at in the Roxy section, Zappa follows any method as it comes to rhythmic diversity and this can also mean emphasizing standards. Here it's plain 3/4 with never any form of complexity within this meter. Ashby starts his article with quoting Zappa about, among others, Beethoven's fifth: "How many times do you want to hear Beethoven's fifth? [...] it's all tweedlydeedlydee" (anti-feteshist orchestra article, page 557). See also my FZ quotes section from the left menu for some nuances. This shows that it's virtually impossible to form theories about Zappa, and Zappa's own remarks often only contribute to the confusion. In "Strictly genteel" it's Zappa himself doing "tweedlydeedlydee" or "oom-pah-pah", and this is not exceptional nor should it be explained away as parody music.

3-4) Counterpoint through multiple layers and counterpoint with shifting harmonies.

9/8 Objects - T'Mershi Duween - What will Rumi do?

See also the counterpoint #1 section. Next is another example of counterpoint with shifting harmonies, where the melodic lines are playing in a different meters. It's an exercise for playing 4/4 and 9/8 simultaneously. The drumset plays a steady 4/4 beat, over which the marimba and celli play a 9/8 figure in the same tempo. After a while the flute and clarinet join in with arpeggio figures in 4/4. Brass instruments are playing in triplet time, while Shankar is improvising on violin. Its recording got released in 1999 on the Zappa Family Trust release "Everything is healing nicely" (see also the Ensemble Modern section of the left menu). The excerpt below is from the most dense section, when all parts are playing together. The scale is C Phrygian. The chord formed by the 9/8 figure is a fifth plus a diminished fifth on C or Cm7-9 without the 3rd and 7th.
The notation here is done so that it shows the 9/8 over 4/4 effect, otherwise I would have notated 4/4 for all parts and let the 9/8 figure shift through it (like in Echidna's arf (of you)). I've chosen to let the 9/8 meter start at the first drum beat, but one might just as well opt for letting the figure start right with the first notes (at the beginning you have a similar situation).
The first staff is the 9/8 object, the second is Shankar on violin (at first only a vague indication between brackets, because I can't hear this part properly with everyone else playing). The third staff contains arpeggio figures, played by a flute, oboe and a clarinet. The fourth staff is played by the brass. The fifth line is the bass drum beat of the drumset part.

9/8 Objects, section (midi file)
What will Rumi do?, end (midi file)
T'Mershi Duween (1991), section (midi file, tempo change not included)

9/8 Objects, section (transcription)
What will Rumi do?, end (transcription)
T'Mershi Duween (1991), section (notes/transcription)

"What will Rumi do?" is another example of such a 9/8 object over 4/4. Here the 9/8 figure is played by the piano. The composition was made up by Zappa during rehearsals by assigning melody lines to the various sections of the ensemble. It gets build up layer over layer. The fragment from above is from the end, when everybody is playing. It's going from the bottom staff of the transcription playing solo, with every few bars a new bar added bottom up. Rumi, being the percussionist Rumi Ogawa, joins in for the toms part. At the top the ultimate three bars closing melody is represented. The piece has premiered on the Ensemble Modern CD called "Greggery Peccary & other persuasions". "What will Rumi do?" is one of the clearest examples of Zappa creating a harmonic field. In the final bars you've got all notes from E Mixolydian mingled, except for the C#. The 9/8 bar extra forces this field formation upon it, because, with its unequal length, it very deliberately seeks to form any harmonic combination with the other parts.
On "EIHN" a variant upon "What will Rumi do?" is included in "T'Mershi Duween". This latter piece was part of the 1974 band repertoire, only to appear on CD 15 years later on "YCDTOSA II". Its main melody lasts 23/16 in total. A performing difficulty lays in its reappearance halfway, to be played a tiny bit faster over a 6/4 accompanying figure, thus creating a 23:24 relationship. The transcription above includes some sections from the 1992 "EIHN" version, performed as follows:
A: The 23-tuplet bar in D Dorian, to be played twice.
B: A figure in 10/16, repeated various times and swelling via doubling and parallel playing. It starts just on F sharp and ends as indicated in the transcription, sort of in B minor.
C: After block B has reached its max, the ensemble moves to the "What will Rumi do?" variant, block C. This one also gets build up in layers, the closing melody of the top staff being played only once just at the end. Next most of the C figure goes to mezzo-piano and gets used as a vamp for the returning "T'Mershi Duween" melody. The vamp itself is in E Dorian, the top staff uses the G# from "What will Rumi do?" in E Mixolydian.

5) Free counterpoint movements.

This is a test

This is a test, bars 1-2 (midi file)
This is a test, bars 9-13 (midi file)

This is a test (transcription)

"This is a test" was handed over to the Ensemble Modern the first day of rehearsals in 1992 because it's easy to perform and fit for sight reading. Zappa didn't intend this composition to be officially released. It's a relaxed easy going miniature though and its recording also landed on "Everything is healing nicely". It's a variation piece, where the theme is presented in the first two bars. Then this melody gets varied upon till the end, leading it through all kind of diatonic scales. The bass part, played by the brass, is blowing chromatic counterpoint notes through it to season it.

Exercise #4

"Exercise #4" appears three times in the official catalogue. The set-up of the "Yellow shark" version is as follows:
0:00 Theme 1. A melody in G Mixolydian, played via parallel fourths over a repeating chord (Gsus4 add m7).
0:09 Theme 1 gets repeated, transposed a minor second down.
0:00 Theme one on G again. Here my transcription starts. Rhythmically it has the lead melody played as four times 3/16, while the chord is repeated as standard 6/8.
0:18 Counterpoint block. Here it's getting irregular. The homophonic and polyphonic writing styles get mixed and the notes are sometimes forming parts of a diatonic scale, while at other moments it's more atonal. Theme 1 is in 6/8. This section has no clear downbeat pattern. I continued notating in 6/8, but it's possible that Zappa notated this differently. My transcription stops towards the end of this block.
0:29 Theme 2. A motif that gets varied upon. There's a light form of counterpoint included, because the two melodic lines can move into diverging directories.
0:40 Variations upon the earlier counterpoint block.
0:53 Outro with repeating chords.
1:06 Applause.
1:37 End.

Exercise #4, 0:13-0:25 (midi file).

Exercise #4, 0:13-0:25 (transcription).

"Exercise #4" premiered as the intro for the "Uncle Meat variations" from the 1968 "Uncle Meat" CD. Here only themes 1 and 2 are played, much slower than on the "Yellow shark". "Exercise #4" is not directly related to "Uncle Meat", but stylistically they belong to the same category: modern diatonic music, not using traditional harmony patterns. Interesting is the "Road tapes, venue #2" version with a 1973 performance. This one actually starts with "Uncle Meat" variations - that is variations upon the melodic material from "Uncle Meat". The variations as present in the 1968 "Uncle Meat variations" are basically the theme replayed as a series of different instrumentations. This one features theme 1 and has an interlude of its own.

6) Counterpoint in an atonal field.

Ensemble ModernThe 1993 "The yellow shark" CD is a sort of a suite for an ensemble, though not written with that intention, with pieces that are highly diverse in their instrumentation, form and accessibility. The release contains some of Zappa's most difficult music, written for wind sextet and string quintet, as well as easier pieces to listen to like "Outrage at Valdez". Three concerts were held in Germany and Austria. To the right a still from the ZDF TV registration with Zappa and Peter Rundel during applause in front of the Ensemble Modern. On the program were also some rearrangements of earlier pieces. From the counterpoint point of view the final version of "Pound for a brown" (first appearance on the "Uncle Meat" album) is very interesting because of the different sorts of counterpoint in it: motifs played against a melody at the beginning, bass and descant playing against each other in the middle section and repeating melodies at the end going from one melody to two and three part counterpoint in layers.

Ruth is sleeping

"Ruth is sleeping" is the first composition Zappa started with on the synclavier in 1982-3. Rather than beginning with something easy, he immediately went ahead exploring what a machine could do what would be difficult for humans. At the time it could operate with sampled sounds, he chose it to become a piano movement and started reworking upon the score. Technically the score below can be played on a single piano, but then it would become a circus act. It would mean that you would have to keep two to four balls in the air with each hand. The balls in this case are the four to eight melodic lines, that for performing purposes are divided over two piano parts of two staffs. Each staff is doing sometimes one, sometimes two melodic movements. The meter in these opening bars is 3/4 with the melodic lines moving through it irregularly. There are just as much notes on beat, off beat, before beat and after beat. The meter then only serves for a time unit, there is no downbeat. The formation is such that there about two sequences of two 16th notes per bar, whereas the other sequences are slower. It's going from piano to forte, at the end a bit faster. Here it's completely free atonal music, passing through all registers of a piano.

Ruth is sleeping, opening bars (midi file).

Ruth is sleeping, opening bars (score).

The piece changes in character however frequently. There are for instance sections that sound like a modern jazz improvisation and sections with larger sequences, where melodic motifs are getting varied upon. This is happening for instance during bars 57-65, to be continued in bars 69-72 (1:11-1:27 on the CD). The piece ends with another example of sequences, bars 269-282 (5:15-5:31 on the CD). An example of a recurring motif at different spots are the cells with repeated 16th notes in bars 18, 34-35 and 38. This becomes notable, because repeating notes aren't happening elsewhere in this composition in this manner. The next example are bars 237-245 (4:33-4:44 on the CD). This section might be called an exercise for playing seconds (etude in French). It's made up of two bass lines plus two held notes by the descant at first. These two lines are alternating. While one is taking over playing the melody, the other is holding its last note. You can see little melodic cells that get varied upon. The mostly used interval is the minor second. Second comes the major second, as in the recurring F-Gb-Ab-F-G natural figure in bars 241-2. Only occasionally other intervals turn up. Bars 237-239 are played in the lower registers of the piano, bars 240-244 in the lowest registers, going down to C1 in bar 243.

Ruth is sleeping, bars 237-245 (midi file).

Ruth is sleeping, bars 237-245 (score).

To the example I've added the intervals between subsequent notes as the number of minor second steps, as well as I've indicated cells with letters:
- a: little Eb-E step. The Eb always lasts a 16th note, while the length of the longer E note varies and the E can get repeated.
- b: a F-Gb figure at first, with varying tails getting added to it during its returns.
- c: plain chromatic movement, downwards or upwards.
- d: figure around E-Eb-E.
- e: two times a cell with a downwards minor second and minor third, beginning on E and B respectively.
- f and g: two more little figures, not directly related to the previous, as a transition to bar 245. With bar 245 the climate changes again to the free atonal music as in the opening bars.

Ruth is sleeping, bars 44-53 (midi file).

Ruth is sleeping, bars 44-53 (score).

During bars 44-45 the piece changes in a second from free atonal music to a brief moment of diatonic music. The harmony of bar 45 sounds surprising. It's the Em7 chord from E Dorian with the descant using this scale as well during bar 45 and the first beat of bar 46. In this example it's mostly the descant from staff 1, that continues playing a lead melody. Here it's done in a quasi-improvised jazz type manner. From the second beat of bar 46 the music is atonal again. While the previous two examples are notated in 3/4, here Zappa is using 9/8 (one time only), as well as 2/4 (as for several blocks). Bars 44-53 correspond with 1:00-1:09 on the CD.

Times Beach

I'm getting near the end this study with two sections from one of Zappa's most inaccessible pieces, the sextet "Times Beach" from "The Yellow shark". The members of the Ensemble Modern, who are playing it, first thought of it as just another modern atonal piece, but started to appreciate it in the long run.
The first example contains two bars from the second movement, that comprehend flute and clarinet (untransposed "C-clarinet" notation) playing counterpoint figures. This fragment is too short to give an idea of the piece as a whole but on a microscale the second bar gives a variation on the movement in the first bar. The other example stems from the third movement. It's one of the fast passages in this mostly adagio movement. See "Igor's boogie", "Greggery Peccary" and "Envelopes" for other such examples in this study.

Times Beach II, fragment (midi file).
Times Beach III, fragment (midi file, tempo change not included).

Times Beach II, fragment (transcription).
Times Beach III, fragment (transcription).

Zappa: ""Times Beach" was commissioned by the Aspen Wind Quintet, and it was in five movements, one of which seemed to be unplayable at the time that they gave their premiere performance in Alice Tulley Hall in 1985. Nobody has played it (in full) since they tried it. The title refers to our special little toxic town-you know, Time's Beach, the dioxin-infested town that was the first major U.S. environmental disaster where they had to remove everybody out because of the dioxin." Peter Rundel, conducting the Ensemble Modern: "We had already prepared other pieces, but we needed something more. The musicians opposed it, but I said maybe we should try that again. Frank said, "Why not, let's do it", and it became very clear how to play it. It had no dynamics, no articulation-just plain notes. Frank sang the phrases for us. Suddenly it became very lively, and the character of the music came out. It was not an abstract kind of music anymore" (CD Booklet).

None of the above

None of the above"None of the above" was orginally composed as a four-part string quartet for the Kronos Quartet, who premiered this piece in 1985. As is in the case of "Times Beach", "None of the above" is available for only two of its movements. Image to the right: Zappa in front of a page from "None of the above" (Yellow shark booklet). Both pieces are still waiting for a complete recording (see also the On the shelves section of the left menu). The corresponding tracks are:
- String quartet mvt. I => "None of the above" for string quintet.
- String quartet mvt. II: exists as sheet music only.
- String quartet mvt. III => "III Revised" for string quintet.
- String quartet mvt. IV: exists as sheet music only.
Related are:
- "Questi cazzi di piccione": another string quintet piece from "The yellow shark", regarding style related to "III Revised".
- "None of the above (revised & previsited)": rehearsal sections from "EIHN", starting with the opening of "III Revised". Next this track continues with string quintet music with additional chamber orchestra embellishments. It sounds like it is recorded in a rather fragmented way with many pauses. The CD liner notes suggest that next to the expansion for string quintet, some sections were also rewritten for string quintet plus chamber orchestra.

In 1992 The Ensemble Modern had five string players, the reason why Zappa adapted "None of the above" for a string quintet. It's for two violins, and one viola, violincello and contrabass. The scores of "Times Beach" and "None of the above" are only for rent for ensembles, nor have I found examples elsewhere. It's difficult music to transcribe, because the meters are mostly only functioning as time units. There's a lot of counterpoint happening in "III Revised" and "Questi cazzi di piccione", as well as hocketing. Compared to these two movements and "Times Beach", "None of the above" is much more accessible, even though also this section is all atonal. This is accomplished by the formation of sequences and the more homophonic writing style.

None of the above, section (midi file).

None of the above, section (transcription).

The example above is from the middle part of this piece, where the cello is taking the lead. It's not possible for me to be sure who's playing which note, so I've notated this with three staffs corresponding with ranges. One staff for the higher descant notes, one for the alt range and one bass staff. The cello is playing a sequence of mostly downwards moving strings of four notes per bar. The others are complementing the cello part with mostly harmony notes and occasionally some light counterpoint movement. About the whole example, bars 1-11, is played accelerating little by little. If I'm not mistaken, it ends with a held chord, preceded by a bar in 9/8. It's a broad chord, containing Gb-C-Ab-E-Eb, spread out over four octaves.

Other tracks from The yellow shark and EIHN

Apart from the intro, all titles from "The yellow shark" know scores. Most are for rent on the list of Munchkin Music at "EIHN" is a combination of composed music, themes made up on the spot and improvisations. Some compositions, like "T'Mershi Duween", are also on the Munchkin Music list
- "Dog breath variations": the opening of the specific "Yellow shark" version gets dealt with in the Uncle meat section of this study, next to earlier versions.
- "Uncle meat": around 1972 Zappa re-arranged "Uncle meat" and "The dog breath variations" for his jazz ensemble as "Dog/Meat". This version was also used for the 1974 execution on "YCDTOSA vol. II" and this performance on "Yellow shark". "Uncle meat" remains relatively close to the original version from 1968. The main differences are a little coda and a different accompanying figure for theme 1.
- "Outrage at Valdez": this composition was written for the "Outrage at Valdez" documentary. See the previous Outrage at Valdez-documentaries section.
- "The girl in the magnesium dress": two smaller examples from the score are presented in the L.S.O.-Perfect stranger section.
- "Be-bop tango": the opening of the specific "Yellow shark" version is coming by in the Roxy and elsewhere section, where I've included a subsection about Zappa's tangos.
- "Welcome to the United States": this composition has its outlines written out, while the details can be improvised. See the Broadway the hard way section for two examples.
- "Pound for a brown": this is the oldest piece from "Yellow shark", dealt with in the Zappa's teens section of this study.
- "Get whitey": this composition is an example where Zappa is using the synclavier for playing extremely difficult irregular rhythmic groupings. See the next section for an example. The Ensemble Modern succeeded in approaching it.
- "G-spot tornedo": this is a synclavier composition that can be performed without much difficulties. See the Jazz from hell section for two examples.
- "Strat Vindaloo": this title features members from the Ensemble Modern, improvising Indian music with Zappa and Shankar. See the previous documentaries section.
- "Amnerika": See the Civilization Phaze III with a vocal version from around 1983.

The left menu of this site has a section with the tracks that have appeared on the three Ensemble Modern CDs with music by Zappa, 42 in total. Many note examples from these pieces are dealt with spread out over this study. In case of their last "Greggery Peccary and other persuasions" CD it concerns the following titles:

- Moggio: The man from Utopia section.
- What will Rumi do?: above.
- Night school: Jazz from hell section.
- Revised music for low budget orchestra: Orchestral favorites section.
- Put a motor in yourself: Civilization part III section.
- Peaches en regalia: Hot rats and Tinsel town rebellion section.
- Naval aviation in art?: Drowning witch section.
- The adventures of Greggery Peccary: Orchestral favorites section.

At the start of 2014, the Ensemble Insomnio managed to get a permission the play the larger part from the Yellow Shark program anew. Below are two photos from their concerts at the Lantaren, Rotterdam, and at the Muziekgebouw Het IJ, Amsterdam (photographer unknown).

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