MUGC 4890/5890 — The Music of Frank Zappa: Course Archive
This page contains materials from previous offerings of the course, including final project topics, photographs, and recorded media.
A complete list of final project topics from past semesters is listed below:
Final Project Topics — Spring 2009
Luke Angle: “Obsessive Creativity” (Comparison of MF Doom and Frank Zappa)
Alec Bart: “Frank Zappa’s Musicians”
Jason Bennett: “Frank Zappa’s Guitar and Gear: Up Close and Loud”
Graham Black: “The Necessary Contradictions of Frank Zappa”
Andrew Dittman: “The Adventures of Frank Zappa and Huckleberry Finn”
Stephen Estes: “Dominus Vo’ Bisque ‘em Et Come Spear a Church of Appliantology: Zappa and Religion”
Cody Forrest: Chasing Squirrels (an original composition styled after Frank Zappa)
Michael Garman: “The Frank Zappa Secret Riff Collection”
Jordan Gheen: “The Horn Players of Frank Zappa”
Michael Giulietti: “Frank Zappa From A Progressive Perspective”
Grant Goldberg: “Frank Zappa’s Unacknowledged Legacy”
William Green: “Frank Zappa’s Social Commentary”
Colton Harmon: “The Political and Social Views of Frank Zappa”
Allie Harris: “Stevie’s Spanking” (a biography of Steve Vai)
Jake Haygood: “Over-Nite Sensation: the Band’s Contribution”
Colin Hinton: “The Influence of Frank Zappa’s Drummers on his Music”
Adam Lockhart: “Frank Zappa: The Artist”
Brooks Martin: “Not-so Lone Rhinoceros: Adrian Belew’s Performance and Conceptual Continuities”
Derek Molacek: “Why Don’t You Like Me? The Critics’ Reactions to Frank Zappa and Frank Zappa’s Reaction to the Critics”
Brady Morrison: “How Much Chance Did Zappa Partake In?”
Ramon Muzquiz: “Frank Zappa: Punk Friend or Foe?”
Manuel Oyarce: “Where Does Frank Get Off?”
Brady Pitcher: “Breaking the Mold: How Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention Began Desensitizing Mainstream America”
L. Scott Price: “Time and Macro-Rhythms within the Project/Object”
Colby Schreck: “Frank Zappa's Drummers”
Hamilton Skrabanek: “The Guitar Wizardry of Frank Zappa: An Exploration in the Evolution of Tone and Technique”
Erik Stolpe: “Anything, Any Time, Anywhere – For No Reason At All: Frank Zappa’s Anti-Standard”
Tyler Thomas: “Zappa vs. the Audiofetishists: An In-Depth Look At Zappa’s Revisionism to We’re Only in it for the Money and Crusin’ With Ruben and the Jets”
Colton Harmon: “The Political and Social Views of Frank Zappa”
Danika Trierweiler: “Religion in the Life and Work of Frank Zappa”
Simon Weaver: "The Roxy Band"
Ashley Witherspoon: “Frank Zappa as a Teacher”
Final Project Topics — Summer 2007
Paul Thomas: “Lumpy Gravy: Investigation and Analysis”
Richard Dale, Jr.: “Frank Zappa the Guitarist"
John Guari: “I Hear That Beat, I Jump Outta My Seat: Rhythm and Meter in Frank Zappa’s Music”
Matthew Hough: “Zappa Guitar Muffin Cheese Compressor”
Thad Bonduris: “Structural Improvisation as We Know It: Frank Zappa’s Aversion of Group Democracy”
Oren Bruton: “Frank Zappa and the German Connection”
Dane Ernst: “Zappa’s Credo”
Sungjoon Lee: “Frank Zappa vs. Lou Reed”
Chaz Underriner: “Frank Zappa in 1967: A Broken Satirist”
Carolina Calvache: “Transcription of an Excerpt from ‘Inca Roads'”
Sarah Hruzek: “The Sociological Perspectives of Frank Zappa”
Gred Dixon: “Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart"
Gabriel Arreola: “Frankie Z and the Wacky World of Drugs”
Final Project Topics — Summer 2006
Levi Howard: "An Analysis of The Lyrics of Joe’s Garage as Postmodern Literature”
Mark Douglass: “Joe’s Garage and A Clockwork Orange: Shock Value for a Higher Cause?”
Joe Holmes: “FZ’s Methods of Surprise”
Emily Crow: “An Analysis of High and Low Culture in Franz Zappa’s Lyrics”
Adam Strange: “The Personal Side of Frank Zappa: FZ as a Husband/Father”
Laura Marrero: “Unity of Rhythmic Motives Throughout Frank Zappa’s Sheik Yerbouti”
Chris Douglas: “Zappa’s Percussionists”
Tim Mabrey: “Zappa and Censorship” Bret Crow: “Orchestral Maneuvers and Approaches”
Tyler Huffman: “The Studio Genius of Frank Zappa”
Jason Harron: “The Crux of Conceptual Continuity”
Brian Felker: “Zappa’s Minstrel Show” Steve DeCrow: “Zappa and Censorship”
Nick Groesch: “Frank Zappa vs. The Herd (in the Nietzschean sense)”
Dennis Pitman: “Zappa, Politics, and Government”
Tony Spiro: “Zappa the Rhythmic Fetishist”
Stephen Lucas: “The Symbolic Context of Vegetables in the Music of Frank Zappa”
Adam Lockhart: “Frank Zappa: An Artful Balance of Vernacular and Non-vernacular Musics”
Brandon James: “Being Frank About Frank”
Final Project Topics — Summer 2005
Hiro Ueno: "FZ & Captain Beefheart"
Jeff Hodges: "Xenochrony and Postmodernism"
Pete Saleh: "FZ’s Drummers"
Mark Scott: "Analysis of 'The Dog Breath Variations' and 'Envelopes'"
Tammy Walker: “Sheik Yerbouti and Broadway The Hard Way as Narrative Objects”
Sarah Renfro: "1985 Senate Hearings (FZ and PMRC)"
Clayton Freeman: "FZ and the Recording Studio"
Eric Rodis: "FZ’s Satirical Legacy"
Shannon Brady: "FZ’s Violinists"
Final Project Topics — Summer 2004
Chris Cowart: “The [Studio] Wizardry of FZ”
Jessica Leza: “My Elected Officials Want to Censor Your Mama”
Isaac Lausell: "Analysis of 'Watermelon in Easter Hay'”
Yvonne Canales: “FZ as Father and Husband”
Steve Sayed: “Frank Zappa vs. the PMRC”
Jake Vaught: “The Drummers of Frank Zappa”
Jocelyn Hund: "Analysis of 'King Kong'”
Jake Montgomery: “Zappa’s Influence on the Pop Careers of His Musicians”
Rhett Butler: “Genre-crossing, Creative Control, and Artistic Independence”
Eric Phelan: “Frank Zappa and His Involvement with Film/Video”
Matt Nicholson: “The Zolo of Zappa”
Kayo Momokawa: "FZ’s Thing Fish”
Ara Weller: “Zappa for President 2004”
Final Project Topics — Summer 2003
Jeremy Thorn: FZ’s use of quotation
Jack Forbis: Influences on FZ
Bob Lanzetti: FZ’s Synclavier compositions
Chad Wilbur: Influence of contemporary classical music on FZ
Aki Hayakawa: FZ covers done by musicians from different genres/styles
Rex Emerson: Relationships of FZ’s bandmates’ influences/styles and music
Zack Rothenbuehler: FZ’s use of other styles
Marjorie Owens: Influence of black culture on FZ
Lynnea Edwards: Use of meter in FZ’s compositions
Tim Hicks: PMRC hearings and FZ
David Hall: FZ’s influence on his performers
Ian Kelso: Recording techniques and equipment
Tim Disen: FZ’s stunt guitarists: Vai and Keneally
Lars Larson: Discussion of four albums from different periods
Final Project Topics — Summer 2002
Doug Smitherman: "Comparison of FZ’s Joe’s Garage with The Who’s Tommy and Pink Floyd’s The Wall"
Joe Ayoub: “Zappa and Dadaism”
Dallas Morris: “The Elliptical Essence of Progress as Manifested in the Work of FZ”
Lily Maase: “The Zappa Phenomenon: Analysis of Natural and Manufactured Irony in the Life and Works of Frank Zappa”
Stefan Treber: “An Analysis of 'DuPree’s Paradise' by Frank Zappa”
Todd Markey: “Arranging Zappa: Determining a Basis for Arranging 'Toads of the Short Forest'”
Jorge Valenciano: “Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention: …And Re-Invention…and Re-Invention (Yet Again)”
Final Project Topics — Summer 2001
Pamela D. Ward: “Sounds Like an Ugly Guy”
Greg Turcotte: “The Fake Night Club”
Parker Trevathan: Survey of FZ band lineups
Thor F. Sanderson: FZ’s early popular music and his influence on other musicians
Danny Smolenski: “Thing-Fish versus Broadway”
Zappa Unlocked: The Mars/Barrow Connection
A program of works by Frank Zappa, performed by guest artists Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards), with performars from the Music of Frank Zappa class; University of North Texas Voertman Hall, 16 April 2012.
Zappa Band Members Do Q&A at UNT
Video interview with guest artists Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards), and composition professor Joseph Klein, for The Dallas Morning News website, 16 April 2012.
Shimamoto, Ken: “Heads Up, Zappaphiles: 'Zappa Unlocked' Comes to UNT”
Dallas Observer article regarding UNT residency by Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars, 02 April 2012.
Rossetti, Ellen: “Two Former Zappa Band Members Unlock the Music at UNT”
UNT news release regarding residency by Arthur Barrow and Tommy Mars for the Music of Frank Zappa course, 22 March 2012.
Rossetti, Ellen: "Zappa University"
Article from The North Texan magazine featuring NT alumnus and FZ bassist Arthur Barrow (with sidebar on The Music of Frank Zappa course), Winter 2007.
Breeding, Lucinda: "Deconstructing Zappa"
Article from Denton Record Chronicle regarding The Music of Frank Zappa course, 6 August 2006.
"The Other Side of the News" with Mike Rogers
Radio interview with Joseph Klein on The Music of Frank Zappa course, broadcast on KRLD-AM (Dallas, TX), 28 July 2006.
Sayres, Scott: "UNT Class Explores Life of Frank Zappa"
Television news spot featuring Joseph Klein and The Music of Frank Zappa course at UNT, Fox 4 News (Dallas, TX), 19 July 2006.
Rossetti, Ellen: “University Students Soak Up Zappa This Summer”
Article from UNT News Service regarding The Music of Frank Zappa course, 18 July 2006.
Senft, Michael: “Frankly Zappa”
Article from The Arizona Republic regarding Zappa plays Zappa tour, 18 June 2006; includes comments by Joseph Klein.
Senft, Michael: “Zapping Politics and Society"
Article from The Arizona Republic regarding Frank Zappa, 18 June 2006; includes comments by Joseph Klein.
"90.1 @ Night" with host Paul Slavens
Excerpt from an hour-long radio interview with Joseph Klein on the music of Frank Zappa, KERA-FM (Dallas, TX), originally broadcast on 12 December 2004.
Residency with former Zappa musicians Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards), with students in the Music of Frank Zappa class (Spring 2012):
Former Zappa bassist Arthur Barrow working with students in the Music of Frank Zappa class during his Spring 2009 residency:
Bust of FZ to be donated to the city of Baltimore by Lithuanian artists and intellectuals (May 2008).
Frank-Zappa-Straße, dedicated in Berlin, Germany (August 2007):
Photos from Summer 2007 class:
stills from video by Chuck Weatherall
Photos from Summer 2006 class:
photos by Flossie Barnes
Bust of Frank Zappa in Bad Doberan, Germany, site of the annual Zappanale festival (1989- ):
Bust of FZ in Vilnius, Lithuania, created by sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas (1995):