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Dog Breath Variations, The

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Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa

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General Info

Year: 1967 / 1978
Duration: c. 6:00
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Munchkin Edition, through Schott
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - Rental


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Dog Breath, in the Year of the Plague first appeared on the 1969 album Uncle Meat by the Mothers of Invention.

- Program Note from Wikipedia

The Dog Breath Variations exists in arrangements for a variety of instrumental groups in addition to wind ensemble, including four-piece rock band, small electric band, and symphony orchestra. All of these versions are by Zappa.

The Dog Breath Variations is based on Dog Breath, a piece recorded by Zappa and the Mothers of Invention on the 1971 live album Just Another Band from L.A. It is the Dog Breath theme that undergoes several transformations in the variations. As in every version of these variations, Dog Breath seques into material from the 1969 release Uncle Meat, a lively and often humorous piece that display's Zappa's creative orchestration.

Both of these settings were commissioned by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note from United Mutations

Credit for bringing two of Frank Zappa's wind ensemble pieces to the attention of wind band/ensemble conductors goes to Patrick Brooks. While pursuing his D.M.A. degree in Wind Conducting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Musicin 1985, Brooks undertook a study of Frank Zappa's music and discovered that two of his works existed in versions (composed by Zappa) for winds and percussion. The main musical material used in The Dog Breath Variations (1978) dates from 1967, initially appearing in the 1968 album Uncle Meat. "It is a lively work, essentially tonal and related to Zappa's work for electric band."

The Dog Breath Variations was originally performed on a concert at UCLA's Royce Hall in 1977 by the forty-piece ensemble Abnuceals Enuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra. Later an arrangement for a smaller group of players was made and performed by the Netherlands Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note from The Winds of Change


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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Works for Winds by This Composer