102. FRANK ZAPPA: How Could I Be Such A Fool

A detailed analysis of the above Frank Zappa composition, including notated musical examples.

How Could I Be Such A Fool


NOTES ON THE COMPOSITIONS INCLUDED HEREIN: "HOW COULD I BE SUCH A FOOL ... is based on a modified nanigo rhythm. We call it a Motown Waltz. It stays in 3/4 time throughout, but shifts in the accents occur from section to section. As an American teen-ager (as an American), this means nothing to you. (I always wondered if I could write a love song.)"

Wow! A modified nanigo, huh?

With a tree growing off of its...lemme write this down -- sorta take a few notes ... A nanigo is a Cuban dance (although the Afro-Latin Rhythm Dictionary lists it as an "Afro Dance") -- yes -- in 3/4 time. We reproduce the peculiar rhythmic pattern of the nanigo: 2 bars of 6/8. x is a beat, - is a rest:

Guiro (Down/Up)D-UD-UD-UD-U
Bongos (Upper case bass)RLRlrlRLRlrl
Conga 1 (open, palm)o-po-po-po-p
Conga 2 (open, palm, slap)opsopsopsops
Timbales High (X accent)XxxXxxXxXxXx
Timbales LowX-X--XX-X---

Key of C Major
Quarter note = ca. 108
There are 76 bars

BARFINDER:The word "when" is on the first beat of Bar 5; the word "very" is on the first beat of Bar 7.

PERCEIVED INSTRUMENTATION: Vocals, electric guitars, electric bass, piano, vibraphone, trumpet (other brass/winds? do we hear a bari sax?), drums and percussion.

Part 1
Bars 1-4

ACCENTS on the first beat of Bars 2 and 4

Part 2
Bars 5-20
"When I won" ... "in lonely misery. I"

Part 3
Bars 21-36
"Know now that you" ... "that we shared"

A nice running 1/8th-note pattern in the guitar:

Part 4
Bars 37-56
"How could I be" ... "terrible disgrace"

Shifting ACCENTS! This is a pretty background lick at Bar 50. Bars 55-56 ritard slightly into

Part 5
Bars 57-72
"There will come a time" ... "is just a show"


Part 6
Bars 73-76
"How could I be" to end

Big ending, now

Next track