The Lost Art of Classical Improvisation

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So many of the great composers of all time from Mozart to Chopin dazzled audiences with improvised music. Because of the reverence for the legacy of scores the great composers left us, it creates the incorrect impression that everything they did was written down. It’s actually quite the contrary!

Most of the music of the great composers was played spontaneously!

We only have the written scores they thankfully took the time to write out since audio recording hadn’t been developed yet. We can only imagine what masterpieces came out on the spot from the great composers and pianists of the past!

Naturally these informal performances planted seeds for works they would craft later on. Imagine being in a salon hearing Liszt take off with flights of fancy with no predetermined musical destination!

Today, jazz artists carry on improvised music improvised music.

While most jazz is based upon previously composed music, there are some artists who delve into freeform improvisation which can be quite fascinating.

I have always enjoyed making up music spontaneously. What’s funny is that going in, often times I have no predetermined game plan whatsoever as in the accompanying video. The sound of the piano as well as my deep, inner mood (which I may be unaware of at the time!) guides the music.

It’s a little bit like being naked – being open to revealing the most intimate feelings with disregard for what they may be.

The challenge is to not judge what is being played – keeping the expression honest. Every piano inspires different music. Each day brings fresh melodies. I hope you enjoy these videos. 949-244-3729