Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Smith, Christopher. "'Broadway the Hard Way': Techniques of Allusion in Music by Frank Zappa." College Music Symposium 35 (1995): 35-60.

The album Broadway the Hard Way is a prime example of Frank Zappa's use of quotation and allusion to generate and alter meaning within his works. Zappa accomplishes this by invoking what he refers to as "Archetypal American Musical Icons." These icons are commonly known, readily recognizable material from American mass culture, such as the theme from The Twilight Zone or The Battle Hymn of the Republic, and carry with them connotations and associations that Zappa then manipulates to expressive ends. The associations carried with "Archetypal American Musical Icons" are deliberately invoked to create a subtext within a song that supplements and generates meaning. Zappa will also often alter a song's original meaning by adding style allusions and quotations to create a new subtext, a procedure referred to as "putting the eyebrows on it." An appendix outlines borrowings and allusions in portions of Rhymin' Man,Promiscuous, and Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk.

Works: Zappa: Dickie's Such an Asshole (40-41), When the Lie's So Big (42), What Kind of Girl? (42), Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk (43-44, 57-58), Rhymin' Man (44-48, 53-54), Promiscuous (49, 55-56).

Sources: William Steffe: Battle Hymn of the Republic (40-44); Marius Constant: Theme from The Twilight Zone (44-48, 53, 57); Lalo Schifrin: Theme from Mission Impossible (44-48, 53); Hava Nagilah (44-48, 54); Hail to the Chief (44-48, 54); La Cucaracha (44-48, 54); Julius Fucík: March of the Gladiators (44-48, 54, 57); Milton Ager: Happy Days are Here Again (44-48, 54); Frère Jacques (53-54); Ennio Morricone: Theme from The Untouchables (53); Berton Averre and Doug Fieger [The Knack]: My Sharona (54); Rock of Ages (57-58); Dixie (57-58); Richard Berry: Louie Louie as peformed by The Kingsmen (58).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz, Popular

Contributed by: Sarah Florini

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