CONTENTS (Improv for Singers & Instrumentalists)


Part One: Rhythmic Freedom

1. Anticipating & Delaying Phrases

Part Two: Melodic Ornamentation

2. A Starting Place—Notes of Approach

3. A Starting Place—Notes of Departure

4. Connecting Melody Notes

Part Three: Melodic Re-Design

5. Replacing, Subtracting, Inverting Melody Notes

6. Tension Notes—The Appoggiatura

7. Projects

Part Four: Improvising Stylistically

8. Embellishing with the Pentatonic Scale

9. Blue & Hot: Basics of Blues & Gospel

Part Five: Extended Melodic Elaboration

10. Achieving Continuity through Sequences

11. Creating New Lines, Echoes

12. Reshaping Phrases, Paragraphs, Whole Pieces

13. Free Improvisation

Appendix 1: Chord Catalogue

Generated by Drs Barry Liesch and John Curtis Browning

Draft,  March 15, 2011

13 Free Improvisation S&I

The process of improvising: (1) learn chords thoroughly (or choose a progression like the circle of fifths); invent a motive; stick to one style (don’t drift into others); gradually introduce more syncopation, ornamentation, rhythmic subtlety, and range.  Demonstration.

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11 Creating New Lines, Echoes, Descants S&I

Choosing the right piece, embellishing the melody, creating independent lines;  inverting, echoing, free form, and antiphonal responses.

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10 Achieving Continuity: Melodic Sequences S&I

Harmonic sequences, melodic sequences, partial sequences; improvising on Pachelbel Cannon, What Child is This? Angels We Have Heard on High. Demonstrations & exercises.

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08 Pentatonic Scale Embellishment S&I

Chapter on major & minor pentatonic scale; pentatonic fills have a gliding feeling; practice playing over or through chord changes.  Pentatonic scale is universal, appearing in almost all cultures–easy to sing.

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06 Tension Notes—The Appoggiatura S&I

Appoggiatura: leaps above the target note & resolves by step; colorful, emotional, creates tension; rising & falling appoggiaturas; the preparation. Examples, assignments. The appoggiatura (leaning note) occurs frequently (especially) in sax improvisation, though it can be just as effective in any instrument, and vocally as well.

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