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 Post subject: On Indian Music
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2006 4:38 pm 
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"I've always loved Indian music. There was even a period of my life when I thought, 'I must go to India to hear this music.' Then I heard how many needles they had to give you, and what kind of diseases were lurking for you over there. I decided, 'Well, I'll just get the records instead.'"

From the Mother of All Interviews, from here:

http://home.online.no/~corneliu/interviews.htm

I always wondered about this cuz of the rhythms in both his and Indian music.

vcf

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 12:57 am 
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The influence isn't just rhythmic-it's melodic, too. Check out the melody from '3rd Movement From Sinister Footwear'. His style of guitar solo sounds very 'indian', in a way.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:16 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
The influence isn't just rhythmic-it's melodic, too. Check out the melody from '3rd Movement From Sinister Footwear'. His style of guitar solo sounds very 'indian', in a way.


It probably helped FZ was working with L.Shankar (an outstanding Indian violin virtuoso) at the time when the basic track for "3rd Movement" was recorded (october 1978), too.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:58 am 
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FeralCats wrote:
His style of guitar solo sounds very 'indian', in a way.


Yeah, he discussed that in, I guess, another interview. When I posted this thread, I intended to put that in too, but I couldn't find it in "The Mother of All Interviews."

With regard to guitar soloing, he said something like "I don't like chord changes," :lol: and then compared his approach to sitar players.

It's in one of the interviews in that link, but there's almost 50 interviews there. Reading them really makes me miss Frank, but they also affirm what was great about him besides the great music.

vcf

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 1:51 pm 
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Aybe Sea wrote:
FeralCats wrote:
The influence isn't just rhythmic-it's melodic, too. Check out the melody from '3rd Movement From Sinister Footwear'. His style of guitar solo sounds very 'indian', in a way.


It probably helped FZ was working with L.Shankar (an outstanding Indian violin virtuoso) at the time when the basic track for "3rd Movement" was recorded (october 1978), too.


Oh, right, I forgot about that. My mom went to school with his more famous Brother L. Subramaniam.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:22 pm 
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VCF wrote:
With regard to guitar soloing, he said something like "I don't like chord changes," :lol: and then compared his approach to sitar players.
It's in one of the interviews in that link, but there's almost 50 interviews there. Reading them really makes me miss Frank, but they also affirm what was great about him besides the great music.
vcf


Here it is:

MUSICIAN: Soloing, you favor certain modes, and most go over less intricate vamps. For some players that means more pressure to come up with something interesting. You often emphasize the nine and mixolydian ideas in your solos - do you have target notes? Is it conscious?

ZAPPA: They're aesthetic decisions, sure. I mean, some people like to play on II-V-I changes and can bebop themselves into a frenzy; and there are other people who even like to listen to that sort of thing. I can't stand it myself. I pretty much loathe chord progressions. Look at Indian musical culture: They don't have too much in the way of progressions, and that's some of the most interesting, beautiful music ever. You don't need changes to play great lines. All you need is a tonic and a 5th and away you go; sometimes you don't even need the 5th. That's the aesthetic principle that I go on. But if your ear hears a harmonic foundation of something, then the interest of the solo is the theoretical difference you perceive on a note-by-note, nanosecond-by-nanosecond basis of what the improviser inflicts on the established tonality. In other words, if you hear in the bass a C and a G, you know, "You're in the key of C, buddy." You are anchored to a tonality, and when a soloist comes along and plays the C#, he's sending you a message. And where that C# goes is part of the adventure of playing the solo. And if he's playing a B natural or an F# against those notes... they're like ingredients in a stew. I mean, there's a right way and a wrong way to stick a C# on top of a C-G groundbase. If you play all notes that are part of the C major scale, the recipe you have just prepared is oatmeal, know what I mean? So it's like the difference between eating oatmeal and eating salsa.

Musician 1991

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:29 am 
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Guitar Player Dec 82
http://www.afka.net/Articles/1982-12_Guitar_Player.htm

Quote:
Your solos are often built over vamps.

Right. I don't like chord changes. I like to have one tonal center that stays there, or possibly with a second chord that varies off the main tonal center. And then I play around that. I don't know if you ever listen to Indian music — there are no chord changes in that, but you can hear implications of all kinds of other chord changes and lines that are played against each other.


Musician April 84
http://www.afka.net/Articles/1982-04_Musician.htm

Quote:
MUSICIAN: Are your rock compositions influenced much by people like Varèse and Stravinsky and Webern?

ZAPPA: Well, once I've absorbed an influence and it's part of my fibre, it's there. It's just as influential as Bulgarian music or Indian music or rhythm 'n' blues or whatever. What I write is a product of what I like, and what I like is a product of what I've been exposed to. And fortunately I was exposed to a wide range of stuff.


Guitar May 1979
http://www.afka.net/Articles/1979-05_Guitar.htm

Quote:
Any other instrumentalists [you're interested in, beside some guitarists like Montgomery, Watson etc.]?

Don't know. Can't think of anybody who drives me wild. I like Bulgarian music, Indian music, I like some Arab music. I couldn't name any guys who would kill me.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 6:02 pm 
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It makes a lot of sense that Zappa's soloing style was influenced by Indian music. I think what he liked was that it is not only RHYTHMICALLY free but it is also HARMONICALLY free.

I really like the idea of using less chord changes to give the soloist more room to create melody. When you're playing to a II-V-I progression or multiple chord changes you become a lot more restricted, melodically.


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