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In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the Course of Performance is the first book in decades to illustrate and explain the practices and processes of musical improvisation. Improvisation, by its very nature, seems to resist interpretation or elucidation. This difficulty may account for the very few attempts scholars have made to provide a general guide to this elusive subject. With contributions by seventeen scholars and improvisers, In the Course of Performance offers a history of research on improvisation and an overview of the different approaches to the topic that can be used, ranging from cognitive study to detailed musical analysis. Such diverse genres as Italian lyrical singing, modal jazz, Indian classical music, Javanese gamelan, and African-American girls' singing games are examined. The most comprehensive guide to the understanding of musical improvisation available, In the Course of Performance will be indispensable to anyone attracted to this fascinating art.

Contributors are Stephen Blum, Sau Y. Chan, Jody Cormack, Valerie Woodring Goertzen, Lawrence Gushee, Eve Harwood, Tullia Magrini, Peter Manuel, Ingrid Monson, Bruno Nettl, Jeff Pressing, Ali Jihad Racy, Ronald Riddle, Stephen Slawek, Chris Smith, R. Anderson Sutton, and T. Viswanathan.

Synopsis:

In the Course of Performance is the first book in decades to illustrate and explain the practices and processes of musical improvisation. Improvisation, by its very nature, seems to resist interpretation or elucidation. This difficulty may account for the very few attempts scholars have made to provide a general guide to this elusive subject. With contributions by seventeen scholars and improvisers, In the Course of Performance offers a history of research on improvisation and an overview of the different approaches to the topic that can be used, ranging from cognitive study to detailed musical analysis. Such diverse genres as Italian lyrical singing, modal jazz, Indian classical music, Javanese gamelan, and African-American girls' singing games are examined. The most comprehensive guide to the understanding of musical improvisation available, In the Course of Performance will be indispensable to anyone attracted to this fascinating art.

Contributors are Stephen Blum, Sau Y. Chan, Jody Cormack, Valerie Woodring Goertzen, Lawrence Gushee, Eve Harwood, Tullia Magrini, Peter Manuel, Ingrid Monson, Bruno Nettl, Jeff Pressing, Ali Jihad Racy, Ronald Riddle, Stephen Slawek, Chris Smith, R. Anderson Sutton, and T. Viswanathan.

About the Author

Bruno Nettl is professor of music and anthropology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He is the author or editor of nineteen books, including Folk and Traditional Music of the Western Continents and The Study of Ethnomusicology. Melinda Russell is instructor of music at Carleton College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: An Art Neglected in Scholarship by Bruno Nettl

The Concept and Its Ramifications

1. Recognizing Improvisation by Stephen Blum

2. Psychological Constraints on Improvisational Expertise and Communication by Jeff Pressing

3. Do Javanese Gamelan Musicians Really Improvise? by R. Anderson Sutton

Improvisation as Music and in Culture

4. Improvisation, Ecstasy, and Performance Dynamics in Arabic Music by Ali Jihad Racy

5. Go On, Girl! Improvisation in African-American Girls' Singing Games by Eve Harwood

6. Improvisation in Latin American Dance Music: History and Style by Peter Manuel

7. Oh Freedom: George Russell, John Coltrane, and Modal Jazz by Ingrid Monson

8. Improvisation and Group Interaction in Italian Lyrical Singing by Tullia Magrini

9. Exploding the Belly: Improvisation in Cantonese Opera by Sau Y. Chan

10. Melodic Improvisation in Karnatak Music: The Manifestations of Raga by T. Viswanathan and Jody Cormack

Studies of Individual Artists

11. Setting the Stage: Clara Schumann's Preludes by Valerie Woodring Goertzen

12. A Sense of the Possible: Miles Davis and the Semiotics of Improvised Performance by Chris Smith

13. The Improvisation of Louis Armstrong by Lawrence Gushee

14. Keeping It Going: Terms, Practices, and Processes of Improvisation in Hindustani Instrumental Music by Stephen Slawek

15. Taqsim Nahawand Revisited: The Musicianship of Jihad Racy by Bruno Nettl and Ronald Riddle

Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226574103
Editor:
Nettl, Bruno; Russell, Melinda
Editor:
Russell, Melinda
Editor:
Nettl, Bruno; Russell, Melinda
Editor:
Nettl, Bruno
Editor:
Russell, Melinda
Author:
Nettl
Author:
Russell, Melinda
Author:
Nettl, Bruno
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
Composition
Subject:
Improvisation (music)
Subject:
Instruction & Study - Composition
Subject:
Music-Theory and Composition
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology
Publication Date:
19981231
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
6 halftones, 3 line drawings, 80 musical
Pages:
424
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Ethnomusicology
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Composition

In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology) New Hardcover
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Product details 424 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226574103 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
In the Course of Performance is the first book in decades to illustrate and explain the practices and processes of musical improvisation. Improvisation, by its very nature, seems to resist interpretation or elucidation. This difficulty may account for the very few attempts scholars have made to provide a general guide to this elusive subject. With contributions by seventeen scholars and improvisers, In the Course of Performance offers a history of research on improvisation and an overview of the different approaches to the topic that can be used, ranging from cognitive study to detailed musical analysis. Such diverse genres as Italian lyrical singing, modal jazz, Indian classical music, Javanese gamelan, and African-American girls' singing games are examined. The most comprehensive guide to the understanding of musical improvisation available, In the Course of Performance will be indispensable to anyone attracted to this fascinating art.

Contributors are Stephen Blum, Sau Y. Chan, Jody Cormack, Valerie Woodring Goertzen, Lawrence Gushee, Eve Harwood, Tullia Magrini, Peter Manuel, Ingrid Monson, Bruno Nettl, Jeff Pressing, Ali Jihad Racy, Ronald Riddle, Stephen Slawek, Chris Smith, R. Anderson Sutton, and T. Viswanathan.

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