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Improvisationlocked

  • 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

Extract

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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