Music Improvisation Ensembles

146:6 Fall 2001

The Improvisation class will be in Room 135 in Morrison Hall on the University of Berkeley campus on Tuesday 4:00 to 8:00 pm.

Professor: Steve Coleman
Control Number: 60502

Units:  1


Bring musical instruments for every class

I. Course Content

Small Ensemble class that concentrates on the creative rendering of traditions of music improvisation, with at least one public performance per semester. The class will focus on–although it will not be limited to–the music improvisation traditions that have emerged in the United States. Some proficiency in improvisation, performance, and music theory is required. The class is open to all instruments and the structure of the ensembles will be determined after the auditions

Focus on the basic skills recommended to build a foundation as a music improviser and spontaneous composer including some analysis of the work of master improvisers.  Emphasis will be placed on the acquisition of the skills and understanding required to participate in true improvisation.  The primary focus is on the communicative aspect of music improvisation within a group setting.

There will be a great deal of emphasis on the historical development of improvisation, specifically as developed in the United States in this century.  However there will also be some discussion of how this development relates to the development of musical thought throughout history, including but not limited to the ancient world.  Some attention will be placed on recent developments of the major African-American spontaneous composers in this century, this tradition being the most extensive and accessible of the improvisation systems available today.  In addition some material from the continent of Africa and the sub-continent of India will be analyzed as well as some of the approaches of the course instructor.