Specialisms Improvising Ornamentation
Nevertheless, there are many musical fields and genres that still neglect improvisation considerably. Through this conference, the European Music Council provided information about different types and aspects of improvisation. The opportunity to make some practical experiences was provided. The positive effects of improvisation was demonstrated and ideas were developed, how the recognition of improvisation can be improved.
We need a good vocabulary (knowing how to choose appropriate words) and we also need to know the context in which we are inserted, so that the words make sense. This explanation is interesting, but let’s talk about something more practical now: how do you learn to improvise after all? Well, there are some secrets to becoming a good improviser. We will talk specifically about solos here in this topic, but the concept is the same for the other aspects of improvisation in music.
César Franck was the first organist to accomplish his majestic and famous improvisations, as well as to perform his own compositions. This new Cavaillé-Coll organ built in 1859 for the church of St. Clotilde, offered different possibilities to perform new types of music, by imitating a symphonic orchestra with a lot of coloring and dynamics (Gravet, Nicole, 1996). It was considered the key instrument to performing of compositions for organ by the famous César Franck; not only because the composer gave the exact indications to use the adequate registration, and the instructions based on the possibilities of this great instrument, but also because the characteristics of construction of this grand instrument, also play an important role in his music for organ. The taste for the art of improvisation first surged for César Franck in 1840, when he joined the class of organ of François Benoist. The curriculum for the organ class was delineated to prepare the student for the annual competition of the first prize in organ. An improvisation for accompaniment was introduced in low continuo and an improvisation of a fugue for four voices (Guédon, Joseph, 1905). The performing of pieces for organ was not part of the curriculum, as three quarters of the studying was dedicated only to improvising.
Gravet, Nicole. “L´Orgue et l´art de la registration en France du XVI e siècle au début de XIXe siècle.” Editions Ars Musicae, 1996.
Guédon, Joseph. Nouveau Manuel complet de L´Organiste, Paris, Encyclopédie-Roret L. Mulo, Libraire-Éditeur, 1905.
Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by John Tyrrell and Stanley Sadie. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001.
Guide de la musique d’orgue. Librairie Arthème Fayard, 1991.