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 Quote of the Day: Another Reason for Classical Improvisation

It’s extremely demanding to originate a cohesive melodic idea while asking the brain to pump o...

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Tag: improv-quote, improvisation, julie-lyonn-lieberman

Improv Quote of the Day: The Oldest Music Making

Improv Quote of the Day: The Oldest Music Making

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="160" caption="(Photo credit: david-o.net)"][/caption] Free...

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Tag: derek-bailey, improvisation

New Web Site: Composition Insights

This post is to announce that I have started a new blog: Composition Insights (http://compositio...

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Tag: composing, composition, composition-blog, composition-insights

3 Small Quotes

3 Small Quotes

The improvising orchestras of the seventeenth century… would have felt their skills were being...

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Tag: improv-quote-christopher-small-musicking

Semester Course in Improvisation for Classical Musicians

The first time I gave a semester course in improvisation for classical (traditionally trained) music...

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Tag: classical-improvisation, improv, improvisation, listening, percussion, semester-course-in-improvisation, teaching-improvisation