Frank Zappa (1940-1993) was an American composer, guitarist, singer and satirist. Over his 33-year musical career, he was one of the most prolific musician-composers of his era, releasing over 75 albums during his lifetime and writing music for rock bands, jazz ensembles, synthesizers, symphony orchestras, and creating many avant-garde works of music. An innovative record producer, Zappa's high-speed editing techniques were a precursor of hip-hop. An esteemed electric guitarist and improviser, his playing was rated alongside contemporaries such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck.
His music, which spanned avant-garde, rock, doo-wop, jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music, blended high art, rock opera, absurdity, scatological humor, and social satire. An instinctive post-modernist, Zappa disregarded barriers between "high" and "low" cultures. A strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion and an advocate of freedom of speech and the abolition of censorship, his skeptical views were embodied in his work through his caustic social satire.