Sunday, March 26, 2017


As mentioned on Zappateers :
Brett Clement wrote a paper on Zappa's Chord Bible.

On the subject of Zappa's Chord Bible :

Zappa On Jazz From Hell
By Frank Zappa
Music & Sound Output, March 1987
Jeff Spurrier

Beltway Bandits is a really old one. The rhythm is a round, the parts are staggered. They're staggered so they interlock with each other. A simple rhythm becomes more complex, times four, when you copy the same part and stagger it a certain number of beats. The harmony that's used is all derived from this book called The Chord Bible. Every composer has notes, chords and rhythms that he likes to hear. Some people keep it all in their head and some people will jot down little sketches. Several years ago I made a classification of all of my favorite chords plus the order in which I preferred to hear the pitches in the chords arpeggiated. It's all broken down from three-note, four-note, five-note, six-note, eight-note chords. The chords are in different classifications, starting with those chords that have a minor second as the uppermost interval, major second, minor third, blah blah blah blah blah, all the way down to the fewest chords that have the minor ninth as the upper interval of the chord. There are real dense voice chords and chords that cover four or five octaves. There's a whole variety in the book. The harmony in "Beltway Bandits" is derived from Chord Bible harmony, and usually it's four- and five-note harmony. There are a couple of seven-note chords in there also.

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