Musical Improvisation

Art, Education, and Society

Musical Improvisation

Diverse perspectives and alternate takes on musical improvisation

The Practice of Musical Improvisation

Dialogues with Contemporary Musical Improvisers

The Practice of Musical Improvisation

Over several years, Bertrand Denzler and Jean-Luc Guionnet have interviewed approximately 50 musicians from various backgrounds about their practice of musical improvisation. Musicians include both the very experienced such as Sophie Agnel, Burkhard Beins, John Butcher, Rhodri Davies, Bill Dixon, Phil Durrant, Axel Dörner, Annette Krebs, Daunik Lazro, Mattin, Seijiro Murayama, Andrea Neumann, Jérôme Noetinger, Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost and Taku Unami, as well as those newer to the field. Asked questions on topics such as the mental processes behind a collective improvisation, the importance of the human factor in improvisation, the strategies used and the way musical decisions are made, the interviewees highlight the habits and customs of a practice, as experienced by those who invent it on a daily basis. The interviews were carefully edited in order to produce a sort of grand discussion that draws an incomplete map of the blurred territory of contemporary improvised music.

In the Course of Performance

Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation

In the Course of Performance

In the Course of Performance is the first book in decades to illustrate and explain the practices and processes of musical improvisation. Improvisation, by its very nature, seems to resist interpretation or elucidation. This difficulty may account for the very few attempts scholars have made to provide a general guide to this elusive subject. With contributions by seventeen scholars and improvisers, In the Course of Performance offers a history of research on improvisation and an overview of the different approaches to the topic that can be used, ranging from cognitive study to detailed musical analysis. Such diverse genres as Italian lyrical singing, modal jazz, Indian classical music, Javanese gamelan, and African-American girls' singing games are examined. The most comprehensive guide to the understanding of musical improvisation available, In the Course of Performance will be indispensable to anyone attracted to this fascinating art. Contributors are Stephen Blum, Sau Y. Chan, Jody Cormack, Valerie Woodring Goertzen, Lawrence Gushee, Eve Harwood, Tullia Magrini, Peter Manuel, Ingrid Monson, Bruno Nettl, Jeff Pressing, Ali Jihad Racy, Ronald Riddle, Stephen Slawek, Chris Smith, R. Anderson Sutton, and T. Viswanathan.

Musical Improvisation

Its Nature and Practice in Music

Musical Improvisation


Musical Improvisation and Open Forms in the Age of Beethoven

Musical Improvisation and Open Forms in the Age of Beethoven

Improvisation was a crucial aspect of musical life in Europe from the late eighteenth century through to the middle of the nineteenth, representing a central moment in both public occasions and the private lives of many artists. Composers dedicated themselves to this practice at length while formulating the musical ideas later found at the core of their published works; improvisation was thus closely linked to composition itself. The full extent of this relation can be inferred from both private documents and reviews of concerts featuring improvisations, while these texts also inform us that composers quite often performed in public as both improvisers and interpreters of pieces written by themselves or others. Improvisations presented in concert were distinguished by a remarkable degree of structural organisation and complexity, demonstrating performers’ consolidated abilities in composition as well as their familiarity with the rules for improvising outlined by theoreticians.

Musical Improvisation for Children

Musical Improvisation for Children

Alice Kay Kanack's method focuses on enhancing the natural creative ability of children through the use of improvisation. The book begins with an introduction to the philosophies of her method, then guides the parent or teacher through a series of improvisational games to play with the child. A CD is included, with 27 different songs and games.

Musical Improvisation, Heidegger, and the Liturgy

A Journey to the Heart of Hope

Musical Improvisation, Heidegger, and the Liturgy

This book locates musical improvisation within an ontological framework, which is both scientific and Heideggerian, and ultimately encompasses the whole Christian understanding of reality. Part One deals with historical and cultural issues surrounding musical improvisation. Part Two initiates the author's philosophical and theological proposal that, from the time of foetal and infantile experience, every human person's fundamental integration with reality is inseparable from improvisatory musicality. His argument is interdisciplinary, involving music history, critical musicology, 20th-century continental philosophy, ideas from infancy studies and music therapy, and finally ideas from a Christian theology which is both ecumenical and rooted in the Catholic tradition.

Teaching Musical Improvisation with Technology

Teaching Musical Improvisation with Technology

Incorporating technology in music classrooms can take the mystery out of improvisation. What music technology does is establish a strong foundation for chord, scale, phrase, ear training, and listening exercises, creating a solid backdrop for student expression. As author and educator Mike Fein shows, technology is a valuable tool that can be used effectively to supplement student practice time while also developing the skills necessary to become a proficient improviser. Complete with notated exercises, accompaniment tracks, and listening resources, this book gives teachers methods to set their students free to make mistakes and to develop their own ear for improvisation at their own pace. Broken down into significant areas of music technology, each chapter focuses on developing a new skill and guides readers to tangible outcomes with the assistance of hands-on activities that can be immediately implemented into the classroom. In addition to these hands-on activities, each chapter provides the reader with an "iPad Connection" to various iOS applications, which allows teachers and students another, albeit significantly less expensive, medium through which to learn, share, and create art. This book will appeal to music educators of students in grades K-12. It will serve collegiate music education courses secondarily, and will also appeal to those music educators who work with improvisation and technology.

Free to Be Musical

Group Improvisation in Music

Free to Be Musical

Free to Be Musical: Group Improvisation in Music is for those who lead musical experiences in the lives of children, youth, and adults. Offering a set of experiences to inspire creative musical expression, this book will prove useful for music education majors, practicing music teachers, community musicians, and music therapists alike.