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date: 18 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the many meanings of improvisation and free improvisation in Western classical music from 1950 to 1980 and examines criteria for improvisation, composition, and performance. It investigates concepts related to improvisation such as indeterminacy, chance, aleatory, open form, minimal music, and experimental music. Discussion focuses on the terminology, ideas, and selected works of Anthony Braxton, André Boucourechliev, Pierre Boulez, John Cage, Cornelius Cardew, Alvin Curran, Franco Evangelisti, Vinko Globokar, Roman Haubenstock-Ramati, Joëlle Léandre, Witold Lutosławski, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Richard Teitelbaum, Frances-Marie Uitti, La Monte Young, and Pamela Z. Finally, it considers the role of composers and performers works involving improvisation, the improvisers’ relationship to the audience, and role of listeners in performances of improvised music.

Keywords: improvisation, free improvisation, indeterminacy, chance, aleatory, open form, minimal music, experimental music

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