Keyboard improvisation is often considered the domain of the musical genius, a perception created no doubt by masters from Bach and Mozart to Liszt.
The capacity to express one's musical thoughts spontaneously and coherently, however, presumes neither a virtuosic command of the instrument nor a sublime command of compositional theory.
Assuming only an elementary background in harmony, each of Overduin's 32 lessons focuses on a specific harmonic, melodic, or structural topic designed to provoke experimentation and to develop improvisatory skills, starting with simple melodies and improvising on one or two chords. Subsequent exercises expand the harmonic vocabulary and incorporate a range of techniques including variation, ostinato, sequence, ornamentation, and figuration.
This is a guide for organists revealing that improvisation is within the grasp of all students, even for those with minimal keyboard skills.
The book is organized in a loosely graded fashion with exercises that are not only simple and useful, but musically satisfying from the very start.
Written in an engaging and readable manner, this text will work well in both the classroom and the private study setting and can serve as a prerequisite text to Gerre Hancock's Improvising: How to Master the Art.
236 pages, 279x214mm
04 March 1999