Friday, February 22, 2008

107. FRANK ZAPPA: You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here

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

You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here



Key of G Major
Quarter note = ca. 132
There are 126 bars

BARFINDER: The word "you're" is on the secondh alf of the fourth beat of Bar 12; the syllable "pro-" from the word "pro-ba-bly" is on the first beat of Bar 13.

PERCEIVED INSTRUMENTATION: Vocals, electric guitars, electric bass, piano, vibraphone, trumpet (other winds/brass?), drums and percussion.

Part 1
Bars 1-12
Introduction ... "You're"

Notice how he builds the introduction in three four-bar segments:

Bars 1-4 -- snapping guitars
Bars 5-8 -- adds bass and vibes
Bars 9-12 -- adds bass vocal "bops"

Part 2
Bars 13-23
"Probably" ... Kazoo part

Very interesting harmonic construction for this melody: I-IV-bVII-III-vi-V Beautiful bass guitar part in Bars 20-22:

Part 3
Bars 24-35
"Just as much" ... "same old way" ... "and"

Just E to A in Bars 24-31. Notice the "goofy "Yeah!" in Bar 27 (and also in Bars 64 and 101) -- a great touch which, along with its numerous variants, are important "leitmotifs" in FZ's oeuvre...

Bar 33 is in 2/4. Notice how we hang on G# (Minor) -- the iii of E Major -- for eight beats (Bars 34-35) and then a half-step up to

Part 4
Bars 36-49
"Join your friends" ... "You're"

A Major. This section is worth looking at carefully -- again, to observe FZ's fantastic harmonic sense. Here he navigates his way from A Major to G Major. A descending series of chords (IV-iii-ii-I-vi) in Bars 42-43 again serves to emphasize the lyric -- one of our favorites! -- "maybe that's not for me to say" -- and see how he threads his way through various harmonic territory to finally land on D (V of G) in Bar 49! Bar 45 is in 2/4.

Part 5
Bars 50-86
"Probably" ... "mom and pop?" ... "You're"

Like Parts 2 and 3. Bars 70 and 82 are in 2/4. Here's the "tore a big hole" notation:

Part 6
Bars 87-123
"Probably" ... "Where it's at"

As before. Bars 107 and 119 are in 2/4. Giant ritard at Bar 122 and

Part 7
Bars 124-126

The final two bars:

Next track

1 comment:

Ramon said...