Classical Improv Jam #2 – (video) Drone + Harmonic Series

This time Lin and I trade solos over a drone; the soloist’s notes are limited to the notes of the natural horn, i.e. the harmonic series.


Classical Jam #1! (improv Video)

My book Improvisation Games for Classical Musicians (354 p,. 2008, GIA Publ.) has been out for a while and has enjoyed a certain modest success among classical musicians who would like to start creating their own music (aka improvising). But it has lacked one thing: video/audio examples of what this classical improv thing is. There is of course no one right answer – what it sounds like will depend on whose playing, and even the same players may have wildly different versions of any particular game. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have some examples of a few possibilities of some of the games.  Continue reading


Improv and Young Musicians

One of my favorite blogs is Dr. Noa Kageyama’s The Bulletproof Musician – he hits it out of the park just about every time. His latest post and one that I highly recommend you read – now – is “Why Improvisation Should Be Part of Every Young Musician’s Training. Wonderful article with some excellent research backing it up. I have only two qualms about it: improv needs to loosen its common association with jazz, as in improv=jazz; improv can take many forms – jazz is just one. And: Improv should be part of not just young musician’s training, but part of the life and continuing training of every musician of any age and instrument.


Santana on Improvisation

English: its an image of Carlos Santana Españo...

Certain people are very mental. They need to have rules and concepts and directions and scales and theory in order to play. But that’s not what music is about. Music has the same significance as beams of light coming out of the clouds and giving information to plants. Every note should be like a beam of light. You’re giving information to the listener, and you’re reminding them they also have light and significance. That’s improvising to me. The other stuff is just like going ‘da-da-da-da-da.’ It’s nothing” – Carlos Santana


Improv Game of the Day: Mouthpiece Rounds

2-4 brass players. Using only mouthpieces, play familiar rounds such as Heigh Ho, Scotland’s Burni...

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Tag: brass-players, improv-games-2, improvisation, rounds

Paths Become Lines (Sirius Quartet - video)

New discovery (for me): the Sirius [string] Quartet. From their web site: "Born and bred in the d...

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Tag: classical-improvisation, classical-music, improvisation, sirius-quartet

Improv Quote of the Day: Free to Listen

Improv Quote of the Day: Free to Listen

Free form expression/improvisation and the removal of musical notation opens an avenue into an in...

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Tag: edward-lisk, improv-quote, improvisation, listening

Improv Quote of the Day: Only Then....

Improv Quote of the Day: Only Then....

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180"] (Photo credit: cseeman)[/caption] No [student] could...

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Tag: improv-quote

Improv games that we've been playing in class lately

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="240"] (Photo credit: Sebastià Giralt)[/caption] Accompani...

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Tag: improv-games-2, improvisation-class