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Thesis 1

Thesis Title: Improvisation: Playing within the space of musical structure
Degree Type: Other
Degree Specialism: Musicology
Supervisor(s): Siobhan Kilkelly
Thesis Status: Accepted
Date Submitted / Accepted: September 2011
Institution Submitting / Submitted To: Dublin Institute of Technology
No. of Volumes (no. of pages): 1 (41pp.)
Thesis Location / Link: DIT Conservatory of Music & Drama Library
Abstract: While researching the practical nature of jazz improvisation, several skills presented themselves as being particularly useful; when integrated into the classical music performance skill set. Keeping instrumental technique under control and learning to read notation are considered highly important within classical music, but improvisational skills such as transcriptional and cyclic modulation can be outside the remit of musical study. It will be shown that the skills required for performance participation in both classical music and improvisation overlap and that by introducing improvisation into musical training it will encourage experimentation and thereby enable the classical music performer to extend their artistic toolbox. It shows that the benefits of improvisation are both aural centric and personal.
In developing this research a background outline is presented of how improvisation has been used throughout musical history and different areas of creative expression and inspiration are discussed. I will not move to show that these practices can be added to the current musical educational structure quite easily, highlighting various systems that are used in other artistic genres, which also encourage a broad approach to creativity. I examine systems thinking, presenting links between jazz education and systems, montage and lead sheets, syntax and the development of stylistic traits.

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