Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 01 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter draws on an agonistic background of Apollonian contest, judgment, and punishment to articulate a concept of improvisation impromptu. This concept is distinguished from the more familiar concept of improvisation extempore. The two concepts are drawn apart as a contribution to a critical theory that regards our lives, practices, and concepts as constantly contested. The argument interweaves ancient and contemporary philosophical discussions of improvisation (from Quintilian and Castiliogne to Schlegel, Nietzsche, Freud, Ryle, and Derrida) with discussions of the cutting contests of jazz and rap, with the cutting edge, Werktreue or perfectly compliant performances of classical musicians, and the deathly cutting down of Karaoke singers in the Philippines. Special attention is given to the 1940 film of the Harlem Renaissance Broken Strings.

Keywords: improvisation, impromptu, extempore, contest, Harlem Renaissance, broken strings, Werktreue, perfect compliance, Apollo, karaoke, jazz, rap, cutting contests

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.