Conducted Improvisation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Musikhögskolan i Malmö

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis Conducted Improvisation is to study how a musical sign language can effect creativity, musical interaction and sense of freedom in ensemble playing by analyzing Extemporize, a sign system I have developed, with the further goal to explore the pedagogical potential in this practice. The research questions that drive this study are: In what ways does the sign system effect creativity and playfulness in improvised performance? In what ways does the sign system affect the sense of freedom in ensemble performance? In what ways does the sign system effect musical interaction? The material for the survey has been acquired through video documentation of rehearsals and concerts and interviews with the participants. 15 musicians took part in this study whereof 10 of them were interviewed. The results of the study indicate that sign language is effective in working with improvisation in ensemble and can have an impact on both freedom and constraint, it has the possibility to strengthen the voice of the musicians and push them in other musical directions than normally. But conducted improvisation can also create frustrations in the musicians, especially if the sign system is not rehearsed enough.

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