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  • Bruno Nettl,
  • Rob C. Wegman,
  • Imogene Horsley,
  • Michael Collins,
  • Stewart A. Carter,
  • Greer Garden,
  • Robert E. Seletsky,
  • Robert D. Levin,
  • Will Crutchfield,
  • John Rink,
  • Paul Griffiths
  •  and Barry Kernfeld


The creation of a musical work, or the final form of a musical work, as it is being performed. It may involve the work’s immediate composition by its performers, or the elaboration or adjustment of an existing framework, or anything in between. To some extent every performance involves elements of improvisation, although its degree varies according to period and place, and to some extent every improvisation rests on a series of conventions or implicit rules. The term ‘extemporization’ is used more or less interchangeably with ‘improvisation’. By its very nature – in that improvisation is essentially evanescent – it is one of the subjects least amenable to historical research....

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Musicological Studies and Documents
Österreichische Musikzeitschrift
Das Musikwerk
R.M.A. [Royal Musical Association] Research Chronicle
W. Apel: Geschichte der Orgel- und Klaviermusik bis 1700 (Kassel, 1967; Eng. trans., rev., 1972)
Die Musikforschung
London, British Library
Music & Letters
Yearbook for Traditional Music
Dresden, Sächsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und Universitäts-Bibliothek, Musikabteilung
Monthly Musical Record
M. Mersenne: Harmonie universelle
Journal of the Royal Musical Association
Hinrichsen's Musical Year Book
Acta musicologica
Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana
J. Hawkins: A General History of the Science and Practice of Music (London, 1776)
Revue et gazette musicale de Paris
Yearbook of the International Folk Music Council
Journal of Music Theory
Annales musicologiques
C. Burney: A General History of Music from the Earliest Ages to the Present Period (London, 1776-89); ed. F. Mercer (London, 1935/R) [p. nos. refer to this edn]
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Faenza, Biblioteca Comunale Manfrediana, Raccolte Musicali
Journal of Musicology
International Musicological Society: Congress Report [1930-]
Venice, Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello, Biblioteca
19th Century Music
Musical Quarterly
The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz
Asian Music
Miscellanea musicologica [Australia]
Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft
Mozart-Jahrbuch [Salzburg, 1950-]
The New Grove Dictionary of Opera
G. Schilling: Encyclopädie der gesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften, oder Universal-Lexicon der Tonkunst
African Music
Musica disciplina
C. Burney: The Present State of Music in France and Italy (London, 1771, 2/1773)
G. Reese: Music in the Middle Ages (New York, 1940)
Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung
Early Music
O. Strunk: Source Readings in Music History (New York, 1950/R)