Next is a section from "Pojama prelude". It's one of threeexamples that show that Zappa could write lyrics independently of the music. Apparently the idea of a song about pojama people existed before the music from "One sizefits all". The same goes for "Father O'blivion" (as part of the "Australian yellow snow" track on "One shot deal") and for "The torture never stops, original version"("YCDTOSA Vol. IV").Pojama prelude, section (midi file).Pojama prelude, section (transcription).The accompaniment for "Pojama people" is a vamp, something Zappa frequently chose to do when the lyrics stand central. He sings it speech-wise as in bars 1-2 of the example. In this case the accompaniment is a modulation scheme with George Duke improvising. It's two bars long in a 12/8 meter. In bar 1 you have a basic chord progression, bar 2 is free.- Bar 1, beats 1-2: C Mixolydian with C-Em-Bb.- Bar 1, beats 3-4: A Mixolydian - A minor. The chord here is C#M7-augm. 5th. In harmony text books this chord gets located on step 1 of the major scale or step 3 of the minor scale, withthe augmented 5th seen as an altered note: C#-E#-G double sharp-B#, notated as C#-F-A-C in the example. It's precisely the augmented note however that's used as a bass pedal, the A in thiscase, with the effect that the scale becomes something of starting in A Mixolydian and ending as if in A minor.- Bar 2, beats 1-2: D Dorian or Mixolydian.- Bar 2, beats 3-4: G Mixolydian.
Today "Village of the sun" is available in three versions. They mainly differ by their introduction. The 1973 Helsinki version has a little instrumental composition as a prelude, that's not specifically related to the main song with lyrics. The whole goes as follows:0:00 Zappa introduces the song."We have sort of a rock 'n roll song for you now, but don't worry, [...]. It features Mr. George Duke again singing in a high voice". On "Roxy and elsewhere" Zappa would more specifically explain what the lyrics of "Village of the sun" are about, namelythe city of Palmdale. Zappa remembered it among others for the turkey farms. During the sixties and seventies Palmdale was a village of about 10.000 inhabitants, lying in the desertarea of California. Today it has become a city of 150.000 people. To the left route 138 near Palmdale (photographer unknown). 1:07 Instrumental prelude.1:07 Theme from the prelude. It's one of many Zappa compositions that I refer to as multi-scale. Nominally it's in E Mixolydian, but in about every bar differentscales get touched upon. The meters keep varying. The theme ends on a sustained B note, lasting for a 3/4 bar.1:28 The theme gets repeated. The example starts at 1:34, so it doesn't represent the whole theme. It does however contain all phrases from the theme,since some bars get repeated:Village of the sun (1973), opening (midi file).Village of the sun (1973), opening (transcription).- bar 1: this bar is a string in 9/8. Its first three eight ticks follow the E Phrygian scale, the next set of six ticks follow the E Lydian scale.- bar 2: this is the opening bar of the theme. It's in 4/4, subdivided as 3+2+3. Combined with bar 7, that serves as the coda, it sets the key to E Mixolydian.- bar 3: melodic variation upon bar 2; the rhythm remains the same. Upon A pedal the Lydian scale gets followed.- bar 4-6: bar in 6/8, played three times. The four staves show that's it's an alternation of a couple of elements. Staff 1 with E and B, staff two with twochords (combined with the bass being C#m7-5 and E7), staff 3 with D and A and staff 4 with G and D. The sounding whole forms two larger chords, not belonging to a single scale.- bar 7: 4/4 again with a standard coda: VII-I in E Mixolydian.- bar 8: unisono melody in 5/4, evading to step V of E Mixolydian.- bar 9: this time the B note gets sustained for 11 beats instead of 3. This is done to insert a larger pause, because the main "Village of the sun" song hasno connection with the prelude. Otherwise the transition with be too much abrupt.1:53 Main song with lyrics.1:53 Theme (block) 1.- bars 10-13: phrase 1 in F Lydian. George Duke sings it in a rubato manner, along with playing the keyboard harmonies in the background. Theseharmonies are mainly a series of standard triads.- bars 14-15: beginning of phrase 2 in F Dorian. The modulation is done in a rather direct manner. Over the continuing F pedal note the G chord movesover a minor second up to a Ab chord.- the example above ends at 2:02. Theme (block) 1 continues with several more phrases.3:14 Theme (block) 2.3:55 Theme 1 returns.5:12 The instrumental prelude returns as a postlude.Here Zappa lets the instrumental theme follow more directly upon the sung end. This time the theme ends differently, because bar 7 from above doesn't return. It simply ends with the second chord from the 6/8 bar being sustained,thus sounding as a deceptive cadence. 5:39 End.Village of the sun (1974), opening (midi file).Village of the sun (1974), opening (transcription).The 1974 Helsinki version from "YCDTOSA Vol. II" also has an instrumentalprelude. It starts with a figure of two bars, played four times. It returns as a vamp for the sax solo during the interlude. It gets followed by four patternbreaking bars, before the main theme from "Village of the sun" begins. The set-up is comparable to the pattern breaking bars from "Inca roads" as playedon "One size fits all" (see the corresponding section). In the example above:- bars 1-2: the last repetition of the opening figure. It's in a 12/8 meter, or 4/4 with triplets all the time. The key is G Mixolydianwith as basic chord progression a couple of times I-IV-I, ending with one time I-VII-VI 7th. The construction of the whole is such that notes and chords get mingled.- bar 3: improvised bar with mainly Ruth on marimba.- bar 4-5: two melodic bars, played unisono or as parallels.- bar 6: a figure with chords with its rhythm being accelerated.- bar 7: a bar with an E pedal by the bass and harmonic fill-in.- bars 8-14: beginning of theme (block) 1 (F Lydian modulating to F Dorian again).As it comes to the melodic material, also here the prelude is unrelated to the sung theme. The transition in this case could go more smoothlybecause G Mixolydian and F Lydian use the same set of notes. Nevertheless Zappa chose for some intermediary bars before he lets the main theme start. It'splayed much faster as the year before.Specific for the 1974 Helsinki version is the presence of an interlude. Compared to the two Helsinki versions, the one on "Roxy and elsewhere" is the morenormal pop style version. On that album the song has an introduction by Zappa as mentioned above. On the original album edition, this intro waslisted separately as a "preamble". This time there is no prelude, interlude or a postlude. It begins normally with a few introductory bars in F Lydian, the key the sung part starts with. The lead melody from the entire theme (block) 1 can be found in the Ludwig study, page 265. Ludwig notatesit as 4/4 all through. Thus bars 13-14 in my 1973 example are notated as two times 4/4 instead of 3/4, followed by 5/4. This leads to a pretty heavybeat, including a key change, not coinciding with a downbeat. Rhythm and meter notation allow such differences. It turns out that also Zappa notated it that way(see below) and it's more in line with him calling this song a rock song. Wolgang presents these bars as an example of a syncope (page 118 of his study). If you notatethis fragment in 4/4, it's indeed a pretty strong example of a syncope.The following example is a contribution by Paul Strawser, dealing with theme 1 as played towardsthe end on "Roxy and elsewhere".Village of the sun (Roxy and elsewhere), end (midi file).Village of the sun (Roxy and elsewhere), end (transcription).His analysis of it goes as: "[...] a section of the chorus of "Village of the Sun" from "Roxy and Elsewhere" which begins at 3:34 in the song. I think this section is interesting due to the numerous key areas it moves through in a short period of time; beginning in F Dorian, measure 3 seems to then suggest F Aeolian, followed by contrary motion between the bass and vocal harmonies which move the key to D major by means of a fairly common II7(#11) jazz chord. The key then abruptly shifts back to F minor in measure 9 before completing a transition back to F Lydian, the key with which the verses begin."Other than the previous two examples, the "Roxy and elsewhere" version has no prelude.It opens with a few introductory instrumental bars, common in pop songs. This timethe introduction is directly related to the main song, because it startsin the same key theme 1 starts with. The opening bars of theme 1 are already includedin the two 1973 and 1974 bars from above. So Paul's example completes theme 1.The bar he calls F minor can be identified as Dorian as well (the D/Db thatmakes the difference is absent). In this context F Dorian fits in better,because the preceding and following bar are using D natural. Paul'stranscription stops two bars before the actual end of the song on "Roxy and elsewhere",so I've added these final bars to his example. These two bars offer yet againanother modulation, this time to G Dorian. Again this section could alsobe identified as G minor (the E/Eb is absent), but because the preceding bar isusing an E natural, I've notated this part as in Dorian. In the last bar the 4/4 metergets extended with one beat with the singers saying "Well-well", this time introducing"Echidna's arf (of you)". Thus the first example from this latter song from belowdirectly follows upon "Village of the Sun". It's done without any pause between these two tracks, as Zappa mostly does.Theme two from "Village of the sun" is made up of two phrases, that each get repeated a couple of times:- "Little Mary...": G Mixolydian.- "Where the stumblers...": E Dorian, modulating back to F Lydian at the end. In 2018 I encountered the opening pages from Zappa's own handwritten score on the net, to be auctioned.As about always the band doesn't play it literally that way, but with an amount of liberty. 2b1af7f3a8