Waltz #1

FZ album(s) in which song has appeared

Other recordings:


posterguru, Ebay

Original sheet music written and signed by Frank Zappa comes with a copy of the thank you letter sent to Frank for giving such a nice present. Guaranteed original and in great condition.

Waltz #1

anonymous contributor

A midi rendition of the piece as it appears above.

Zappa!, Guitar Player Presents, 1992, p. 65, 72


"This is a 12-tone crab canon written when I was 18. There's actually another version for two guitars, so it's a double crab canon. I don't know where it is though. I'd been doing 12-tone music for quite some time before I did this, but it was the first time I'd tried to write something for the guitar. I couldn't play it, and I never got to hear it until I got the Synclavier. And because it's printed on the Synclavier, that also means I got to push the button and listen to it. It's kind of short and boring."

—Frank Zappa

Waltz For Guitar

"Waltz #1" vs. "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" 12-tone section

Michael Gula, alt.fan.frank-zappa, October 15, 2000

In the piano/vocal music, the notes which appear for the "We see in the back..." section [of "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"] are, in order: G#, G, B, A, E, D#, E, C, F#, and D. There are two "Es" there, but they belong to different octaves. The last "D" coincides with another appearance of "C". So there does appear to be a deliberate attempt to emulate the technique of the twelve-tone "style."

Biffy the Elephant Shrew, alt.fan.frank-zappa, October 15, 2000

As far as I can tell, the row is *supposed* to be G# G B Bb F A Eb E C F# C# D. Like the 12-tone "Waltz For Guitar," this passage consists of the row in its primary form over and over, with no transpositions, inversions or retrogrades.

Jon Naurin, alt.fan.frank-zappa, July 27, 2001

Subject: Re: What is FZ's "Waltz for Guitar?"

"We see in the back
Of the City Hall mind
The dream of a girl about thirteen
Off with her clothes and into his bed
Where she tickles his fancy
All night long."

Or? Discuss.

Denis Griffin, alt.fan.frank-zappa, July 25, 2001

I thought I recognized it... It does make sense. I'm comparing page 72 of (Keyboard/Guitar Player Zappa special) and page 12 of (Frank Zappa Songbook), I'm not an expert but it does look very similar. Transposed?

Biffy the Elephant Shrew, alt.fan.frank-zappa, July 26, 2001

Yep. By a half step. The "Brown Shoes" row is:

G# G B Bb F A Eb E C F# C# D

The "Waltz" row is:

G F# A# A E G# D D# B F C C#

Both pieces simply present the row repeatedly, with no transpositions, inversions or retrogrades.

Michael Gula, alt.fan.frank-zappa, July 26, 2001

I think the two sequences are different. The apparant similarities are due to the three-four meter and the lack of a tonal center. Write your own twelve-tone row in three-four and it may evoke the "City Hall Mind" sequence just as much. The "City Hall Mind" sequence is quite a bit more sophisticated than Waltz #1.

"Brown Shoes Don't Make It," 12-tone section (thanks to Denis Griffin)

Brown Shoes Don't Make It

Brown Shoes Don't Make It

Additional informant: Dennis Griffin


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