Improvisation with Year 9

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines improvisation as ‘the extemporaneous composition or free performance of a musical passage, usually in a manner conforming to certain stylistic norms but unfettered by the prescriptive features of a specific musical text’. Having unpacked that, Year 9 decided that improvisation could be more succinctly described as ‘composing on the hoof’. They discovered that it can actually be found in music ranging from the Baroque period to the present day, from jazz and rock to African pop. Inspired by one of Keith Richards’ improvised solos with The Rolling Stones, the students went away to devise their own pieces of music involving improvising over a repeating chord pattern. This is a taste of their final performances:

 

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