In the Course of Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation / Edition 2

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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: 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 T. Viswanathan

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226574103
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 424
  • Sales rank: 1,571,275
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet 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.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: An Art Neglected in Scholarship 1
1 Recognizing Improvisation 27
2 Psychological Constraints on Improvisational Expertise and Communication 47
3 Do Javanese Gamelan Musicians Really Improvise? 69
4 Improvisation, Ecstasy, and Performance Dynamics in Arabic Music 95
5 Go On, Girl! Improvisation in African-American Girls' Singing Games 113
6 Improvisation in Latin American Dance Music: History and Style 127
7 Oh Freedom: George Russell, John Coltrane, and Modal Jazz 149
8 Improvisation and Group Interaction in Italian Lyrical Singing 169
9 Exploding the Belly: Improvisation in Cantonese Opera 199
10 Melodic Improvisation in Karnatak Music: The Manifestations of Raga 219
11 Setting the Stage: Clara Schumann's Preludes 237
12 A Sense of the Possible: Miles Davis and the Semiotics of Improvised Performance 261
13 The Improvisation of Louis Armstrong 291
14 Keeping It Going: Terms, Practices, and Processes of Improvisation in Hindustani Instrumental Music 335
15 Taqsim Nahawand Revisited: The Musicianship of Jihad Racy 369
Contributors 395
Index 399
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