Improv games that we’ve been playing in class lately

Mosaic dels gladiadors (detall): músics tocant...

(Photo credit: Sebastià Giralt)

Accompaniment Interval (described in a recent post in this blog). We had some interesting combinations: #1: piano: minor 3rd + tuba: tritone. The bassoon soloed over this. #2: Tuba: minor 3rd. Bassoon: Perfect 5th. Flute solo. #3: Bassoon: Whole step. Flute: Perfect 4th. Horn solo. #4: Flute: major 3rd. Horn Perfect 4th. Trumpet solo.

Atonal/Beautiful. The idea was to be as atonal as possible while making the music as beautiful as possible. Beauty + Beast. It makes an interesting discussion to figure out what can we do to make something sound beautiful (in spite of beastly pitch sequences)?

This idea worked well when we added styles:

Atonal March

Carribean rhythms

Atonal Fanfare

Name Rhythm Plus. Each player improvised using (mainly) the rhythm of their name, but also had to either remove part of the instrument or use only extended techniques.

Long Tones Only. The accompaniment was required to use only notes of a half not or longer. The soloist (over this) was free to choose a style.

No 2nds, Please. Everyone was required to exclude major seconds (whole steps) from their interval choices, which made from some interesting sounds and voice leading.