- The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies
- Contributors to Volume 2
- Introduction: On Critical Improvisation Studies
- Improvisation Technology as Mode of Redesigning the Urban
- Lots Will Vary in the Available City
- Improvising the Future in Post-Katrina New Orleans
- Billy Connolly, Daniel Barenboim, Willie Wonka, Jazz Bastards, and the Universality of Improvisation
- A Computationally Motivated Approach to Cognition Studies in Improvisation
- A Consciousness-Based Look at Spontaneous Creativity
- In the Beginning, There Was Improvisation
- Landmarks in the Study of Improvisation: Perspectives from Ethnomusicology
- Saving Improvisation: Hummel and the Free Fantasia in the Early Nineteenth Century
- Negotiating Freedom and Control in Composition: Improvisation and Its Offshoots, 1950 to 1980
- Musical Improvisation: Play, Efficacy, and Significance
- Improvisation in Freestyle Rap
- Speaking of the I-Word
- Modernist Improvisations
- Diversity and Divergence in the Improvisational Evolution of Literary Genres
- Improvisatory Practices and the Dawn of the New American Cinema
- Brilliant Corners: Improvisation and Practices of Freedom in Sent for You Yesterday
- Improvisation in Contemporary Experimental Poetry
- Subjective Computing and Improvisation
- Improvisation and Interaction, Canons and Rules, Emergence and Play
- Imposture as Improvisation: Living Fiction
- Role-Play, Improvisation, and Emergent Authorship
- Bodies, Border, Technology: The Promise and Perils of Telematic Improvisation
- She Stuttered: Mapping the Spontaneous Middle
- Live Algorithms for Music: Can Computers Be Improvisers?
- Improvisation of the Masses: Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Music
Abstract and Keywords
Historically, research on improvisation has been related to the discovery of non-Western musics, folk music, and jazz, and has depended on the development of recording techniques for its principal kinds of data. The concept of improvisation is not unitary, but includes many vastly different kinds of un-notated music-making, which casts some doubt on the efficacy of the term itself. In the history of Western art music, improvisation was originally ignored or seen as craft rather than art, but since ca. 1980 it has occupied increased attention. The association of improvisation with oral transmission has sometimes been misunderstood. The most successful standard research study has been the comparison of performances based on a single model, for example, raga in India, maqam and dastgah in the Middle East, or a series of chord changes or a tune in jazz. Improvisation as a concept—for example, as a metaphor of freedom—has been important in recent research.
Bruno Nettl received his Ph.D. at Indiana University, and spent most of his career teaching at the University of Illinois, where he is now professor emeritus of music and anthropology. His main research interests have been ethnomusicological theory and method, music of Native American cultures, and classical music of Iran. He has recently been concerned with the study of improvisatory musics, and with intellectual history of ethnomusicology. The following publications are representative: Blackfoot Musical Thought: Comparative Perspectives (1989), Heartland Excursions: Ethnomusicological Reflections on Schools of Music (1995), The Study of Ethnomusicology (rev. ed. 2005), and Nettl's Elephant: On the History of Ethnomusicology (2010). He has served as president of the Society for Ethnomusicology and editor of its journal, Ethnomusicology. He has been active in the American Musicological Society and the International Society for Music Education, and he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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