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MYL-535 Improvisation 1
MDP-651 Studies in Improvised Musics-1
MIAM, Spring 2015
Doent Dr. Robert Reigle
Two sessions per week: 1) performance, 90 minutes; 2) seminar, 90 minutes.
Class Times: Mondays 20:30-22:00 (performance), Tuesdays 20:00-21:30 (seminar).
A free-improvisation ensemble combined with weekly seminars. During the first half of the
semester, we will examine the history of free jazz, the idiom that revolutionized improvisational
practice. In the second half of the semester we will study the genre referred to as improvised
music, which emerged during the 1960s and has become the global beacon of syncretic improvised
musics. We will look at perspectives from ethnomusicology, cognitive studies, and gesture
research. Each week one class will be devoted to performance, and at the second session we will
discuss the assigned listening and reading for the week. We will produce a concert near the end of
the semester.
This course combines critical readings/listenings/viewings with weekly performances of
improvised music. Students write papers based on the combination of those two musical
perspectives. Students participate in a variety of musical styles brought by the individual musicians
enrolled in the class. Group and dialogic concepts are developed through the practical experience
of musical creation in real-time.
Weekly listening assignments, including liner notes or commentary.
Sources for sounds:
ITU Library: compact discs (listen in the library)
ITU Library: Music Online (Internet streaming) (Internet streaming)
Inconstant Sol. (downloads)
Avax Home. (downloads)
YouTube. (Internet streaming)
Google. (Internet search)
Mazzola, Guerino, and Paul B. Cherlin. 2009. Flow, Gesture, and Spaces in Free Jazz. Berlin,
Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. [at Elif Kitap Krtasiye (#761) or]
Prevost, Edwin. 2004. Minute Particulars. Matching Tye, near Harlow, Essex: Copula. [Elif #758]
Course Reader, Studies in Improvisation-1. [Elif #759]
[The print materials are available at Elif Kitap Krtasiye, Eski Yldz Cad., Frat Han No. 1/1,
Beikta. Please call them one day in advance to place your order. (0212) 259-0839.]
Play in the weekly rehearsals.
Compose an improvisation structure.
Assignment about your influences.
Masters students: present a brief analysis of an improvised music excerpt; 4,000-word paper and
presentation, during finals week.
Doctoral students: write a 5,000-word paper on a topic concerning improvisation, and present it to
the class during finals week.
Concert performance, including preparation, promotion, and production.

Prepare the listening (listen to the recordings and read the liner notes) and readings (approximately
50 pages per week) before class; the videos (only excerpts), however, will be shown during
class, except where noted.
Plan to arrive at class five or ten minutes before the scheduled starting time, so you can set up your
equipment or organize your materials before class begins. If you arrive late, but less than 15
minutes after starting time, you will be marked late; three late marks count as one absence. If you
arrive more than 15 minutes late, you will be marked absent. Your grade will be lowered if you
miss five sessions, and six absences result in automatic failure. Medical, rehearsal, performance,
class preparation, and other excuses will not be accepted. Do not use your allowed absences just for
pleasure, as you may need them for a medical emergency.
COURSE OUTLINE (14 weeks plus final presentations)
Numbers in brackets refer to the order printed in the course reader.
Week One: February 2, 6
Session 1:
Rehearsal #1. Individuals and group.
Session 2:
Introduction to the course; group listening.
History of free improvisation.
Angeles Sancho-Velazquez. 1999. Improvisation after the Baroque.
Mazzola 2009. Preface, Chapters 1, 2.
Anton Arensky 1892R. Improvisation in E flat
Coleman Hawkins 1948R. Picasso. [3:14]
Lennie Tristano 1949R. Intuition and Digression
Chico Hamilton Quintet 1955R. Free Form
Cecil Taylor 1956R. Song. Jazz Advance. [5:15]
Ornette Coleman 1959R. The Face of the Bass Don Cherrys solo + transcription from Jost
Roach/Lincoln 1960R. Triptych: Prayer/Protest/Peace. Freedom Now Suite. [7:58]
Bill Evans 1959R. Autumn Leaves.
Cecil Taylor 1960 or 1961. Air, take 28.
John Coltrane. 1964R. Acknowledgment. A Love Supreme.
Week Two: February 9, 10
Session 1:
Attend MIAM Percussion Ensemble concert at MIAM. February 9, 8 p.m.
Session 2:
John Coltrane. Om. MIAM Library: M1366 .C65 M3 1992.
Art Ensemble of Chicago. Message to Our Folks (Mazzola incorrectly lists album as A Jackson
in Your House).
Mazzola 2009: 20-37. Chapters 3, 4. (17 pp.)
[8] Smith, Hazel, and Roger Dean. 1997. Improvisation, Hypermedia, and the Arts Since 1945.
Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers. N.b., we will look at Figures 2-4, 6-10, 12, and 1618, without reading the relevant sections in the book; their page numbers are integrated with the
reading list below.
Contents; List of Figures. v-viii; xi. (5 pp.)
A Brief Quick-time Movie of Improvisation since 1945. 12-16, 155-58, 307-08. (11 pp.)
Transcriptions and recordings of oral improvising. 102-03, 159-65, 308-09. (10 pp.)

Sun Ra. A Joyful Noise. Robert Mugge 1980. [59:19]

Roscoe Mitchell Interview (2 of 3). The Evolution of Nonaah. [5:38]
Further Resources:
Art Ensemble of Chicago. Illistrim, Fanfare for the Warriors. (Mazzola p. 27)
Art Ensemble of Chicago. Odwalla. Bap-tizum. [5:00]
John Coltrane. Out of This World, Evolution. Live in Seattle. (Mazzola p. 24)
Albert Ayler. Interview-The Army 1960, part 2 & Sweden 1962, part 1. Albert Ayler Story,
track 3. Re smeared scales, see Mazzola p. 24 re Coltrane [2:54] Spotify.
Sun Ra. Heliocentric Worlds of Sun Ra, Vol. 1. (liner notes in course reader [6])
Jost 1994: 180-99. Sun Ra. (20 pp.)
Phil Niblock and Sun Ra. Magic Sun
Week Three: February 16, 17
Session 1:
Rehearsal #2. Composition #1.
Session 2:
Ornette Coleman. Free Jazz. Music Online (Avid Entertainment, 2013).
Ornette Coleman. Change of the Century. Music Online (Hallmark, 2011).
Cecil Taylor 1966R. Unit Structures. Music Online [no liner notes].
Albert Ayler. Universal Indians. From Love Cry. Library: M1366 .A95 1991.
Mazzola 2009: 40-62. Chapters 5, 6. (22 pp.)
[8] Smith, Hazel, and Roger Dean. 1997. Improvisation, Hypermedia, and the Arts Since 1945.
Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.
Sound/Body Work. 147-54, 166-67, 309. (10 pp.)
Techniques for controlling word/body and visual/body improvisation. 184-90, 168-69, 309.
[10] Cox, Christoph, and Daniel Warner, eds. 2004. Improvised Musics. In Audio Culture:
Readings in Modern Music, eds. Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner. New York: Continuum.
A. Cox and Warner. Quotations; Introduction. Pp. x, 249-52, 411, 422, 436-38, 447.
B. Ornette Coleman. Change of the Century. Pp. 253-54.
My Name Is Albert Ayler
John Cage & Merce Cunningham video
Further Resources:
Ornette Coleman 1959. Tomorrow Is the Question!
Cecil Taylor. Nefertiti, The Beautiful One, Has Come.
John Coltrane. The Major Works of John Coltrane
Archie Shepp. The Magic of Ju-Ju.
Albert Ayler 1964. Witches and Devils
Jost 1994: 44-65. Ornette Coleman. (22 pp.)
Jost 1994: 66-83. Cecil Taylor. (18 pp.)
Jost 1994: 84-104. John Coltrane 1965-1967. (21 pp.)
Jost 1994: 105-120. Archie Shepp. (16 pp.)
Jost 1994: 121-32. Albert Ayler. (12 pp.)
Week Four: February 23, 24
Session 1:
Rehearsal #3, composition #2. Collaboration with Reubens Composing for
Instruments/Electronics class.
Session 2:
Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell. Mu.

Interview with Guerino Mazzola. Tarans Free Jazz Hour.
Mazzola 2009: 63-87. Chapters 7-8. (23 pp.)
[9] Solis, Gabriel. 2009. Genius, Improvisation, and the Narratives of Jazz History. In Musical
Improvisation: Art, Education, and Society, eds. Gabriel Solis and Bruno Nettl. Urbana and
Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Pp. 90-102, 346. (13 pages)
[10] Cox, Christoph, and Daniel Warner, eds. 2004. Improvised Musics. In Audio Culture:
Readings in Modern Music, eds. Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner. New York: Continuum.
C. Derek Bailey. Free Improvisation. Pp. 255-65.
Cecil Taylor. Burning Poles.
Week Five: March 2, 3
Session 1:
Rehearsal #4, composition #3. Collaboration with Reubens class.
Session 2:
Sun Ra. The Solar Myth Approach, Vol. 1 & 2. (liner notes in course reader [6])
Arnold Schoenberg. String Trio, Op. 45.
Mazzola 2009: 89-98. Chapter 9. (10 pp.)
[11] Pressing, Jeff. 2000 (1988). Improvisation: Methods and Models. In Generative Processes in
Music: The Psychology of Performance, Improvisation, and Composition. Oxford: Clarendon
Press. Pp. 129-78. (40 pp.)
Further Resources:
Schwitters, Kurt. Ursonate. Score.
Week Six: March 9, 10
Session 1:
Rehearsal #5, composition #4.
Session 2:
Miles Davis
Archie Shepp.
Frederic Rzewski.
Steve Lacy. Playing Monk tunes.
Muhal Richard Abrams. 1968. Levels and Degrees of Light. Delmark. Track 3 [10].
Abrams and Mitchell. 2009. Spectrum. Liner notes by George Lewis. Track 1 [12].
Roscoe Mitchell. 1966. Sound. Delmark. Track 4 [6]
Roscoe Mitchel. NoNaah. Track 1 [23]
Art Ensemble of Chicago 1970, Les Stances a Sophie, Pathe Marconi. Track 3 [4]
Anthony Braxton. For Alto. Track 4 [6]
Anthony Braxton. Live in Milan. Solo plus interview. Track 10 [35]
Mazzola 2009: 99-120. Chapters 10, 11. (20 pp.)
[10] Cox, Christoph, and Daniel Warner, eds. 2004. Improvised Musics. In Audio Culture:
Readings in Modern Music, eds. Christoph Cox and Daniel Warner. New York: Continuum.
D. Frederic Rzewski. Little Bangs: A Nihilist Theory of Improvisation. Pp. 266-71.
E. George E. Lewis. Improvised Music After 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives.
Pp. 272-84.
[13] Day, William. 2000. Knowing as Instancing: Jazz Improvisation and Moral Perfectionism.
Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 58(2): 99-111. (13 pp.)
Jazz, Episode 9: The Adventure [30 excerpt]
Further Resources:
Jost 1994: 163-79. The Chicagoans. (17 pp.)

Week Seven: March 16, 17

Session 1:
Rehearsal #6, composition #5.
Session 2:
Milford Graves. Babi.
Guerino Mazzola. Liquid Bridges.
Mazzola 2009: 122-135. Chapters 12-14. (13 pp.)
Milford Graves documentary
Week Eight: March 23, 24
Session 1:
Rehearsal #7. Composition #6. Collaboration with Reubens class.
Session 2:
Such (Iwamoto, Prevost, Tilbury). The Issue at Hand. (Liner notes in course reader [1].)
Ganelin Trio
[22] Blum, Stephen. 2009. Representations of Music Making. In Musical Improvisation: Art,
Education, and Society, eds. Gabriel Solis and Bruno Nettl. Urbana and Chicago: University of
Illinois Press. Pp. 239-262, 343. (24 pp.)
Nor Noise (excerpt)
Further Listening
Globokar, Vinko. 2004. Toucher. Mainz: Wergo, WER-6662-2. [CD and score in MIAM Library;
Liner notes also in Course Reader, #5.]
Week Nine: March 30, 31
Session 1:
Attend the Ute Wassermann workshop at 14:00 OR concert at 20:00.
Ute Wassermann. Retrospective Tribute 1984-2012.
Chaya Czernowin. Shu Hai. At Music Online, with liner notes.
Session 2:
Parker, Rowe, Guy, Prevost. Supersession.
Rowe and Tilbury. Duos for Doris.
Prevost 2004: 19-39, 119-20, 170-73. (27 pp.)
[23] Berkowitz, Aaron. 2010. Introduction, Improvised performance: Performers perspectives.
In The Improvising Mind: Cognition and Creativity in the Musical Moment. New York: Oxford
University Press. Pp. 1-12, 121-130. (22 pp.)
Derek Bailey: Improvisation, Part I
Further Resources:
Cardew-Treatise excerpt, performed by Rowe and Ambarchi
Cornelius Cardew, Treatise excerpt.
Cardew, Cornelius. 1967. Treatise. Buffalo: Gallery Upstairs Press.
Week Ten: April 6, 7
Session 1:
Rehearsal #8, composition #7.
Session 2:
Lester Bowie. Numbers 1 and 2. Art Ensemble reissue with complete tracks. Nessa. Track 305

Roscoe Mitchell. 1968. Congliptious. Art Ensemble reissue. Nessa. Track 504 [8].
Borgo, David, ed. 2005. CD accompanying Sync or Swarm. (track list in course reader [7].)
Prevost 2004: 40-59, 121-126. (26 pp.)
[24] Borgo, David. 2006. Sync or Swarm: Musical Improvisation and the Complex Dynamics of
Group Creativity. In Goguen Festschrift, eds. K. Futatsugi et al. Lecture Notes in Computer
Science 4060: 1-24. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag. (24 pp.)
Phil Minton. Four Walls
Week Eleven: April 13, 14
Session 1:
Rehearsal #9. composition #8.
Session 2:
Parker, Evan. 1999. Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. Drawn Inward. ECM. [Liner notes in course
reader, #3.]
Internet sounds with Wilmoth article [please listen from website as you read]
Rainey, Doneda, Bosetti. Places dans lair.
Prevost 2004: 60-72, 127-140. (27 pp.)
[16] Wilmoth, Charlie. 2006. Scrapes and Hisses: Extended Techniques in Improvised Music.
Dusted Magazine. (14 pp. + sounds. All links working
on 2015-02-08, except: Listen: Bhob Rainey, Michel Doneda, and Alessandro Bosetti, Placs
dans lair).
Week Twelve: April 20, 21
Session 1:
Rehearsal #10. Composition #9.
Session 2:
Joe Harriott. 1960. Free Form.
Tilbury & MIMEO. The Hands of Caravaggio.
Prevost 2004: 73-86, 141-146, 157-159. (23 pp.)
[Mats Gustafsson]
Further Resources:
Joe Harriott. 1961-62. Abstract.
Joe Harriott. Documentary. Jazz File. BBC.
Week Thirteen: April 27, 28
Session 1:
Rehearsal #11. Composition #10; Concert rehearsal #1.
Session 2:
Krukowski, Damon, ed. 2006. Music Overheard. Introduction by Krukowski, and notes to CD 1,
curated by Bhob Rainey. Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art. (Liner notes in reader [4].)
Keith Rowe. 1989. A Dimension of Perfectly Ordinary Reality. (Liner notes in reader [2].)

Prevost 2004: 87-95, 160-169. (19 pp.)

David Sylvian. Amplified Gesture
Week Fourteen: May 4, 5
Session 1:
Rehearsal #12. Dress rehearsal for concert.
Session 2:
Derek Bailey
John Zorn. 1991P. Cobra. HatArt CD 2-6040. (See Course Reader p. 59)
Prevost 2004: 96-110, 147-156. (25 pp.)
[15] Parker, Evan. 1992. De Motu. <> Accessed 18 March
2007. (6 pp.)
Derek Bailey: Improvisation, Part III
12 Short Films about John Zorn
Improvisation Concert: May 11, 20:00
Finals Week #1: May 12
Final Presentations 1-5
Finals Week #2: May 18 (May 19 is Youth Day)
Final Presentations 6-10

Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones). 1963. Blues People. ML3556 .B37 1980.
Baraka, Amiri (LeRoi Jones). 1963. Black Music. ML3556 .B37 1968.
Bartlett, Andrew. [re Cecil Taylor and the body.] in Perspectives of New Music.
Belgrad, Daniel. 1998. Bebop. The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar
America. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Pp. 179-95, 298-303.
Benson, Bruce Ellis. 2003. The Improvisation of Musical Dialogue. ML3845 .B46.
Berliner, Paul. Thinking in Jazz.
Cardew. Improvisation (10 pp.)
Childs and Hobbs. 1982/3. Forum: Improvisation. PNM 21(1/2): 26-111. (86 pp.)
(Dikeman, John.) 2004. Free as a Bird. Egypt Today. (3 pp.)
Eloy, Jean-Claude. 1970. Improvisation: Refuge, Utopia or Necessity? The World of Music 3.
Gulda, Friedrich. 1971. "Befreiung durch Improvisation /Liberation through
Improvisation/Libration par improvisation." The World of Music. 13:3.

Heidkamp. End of Jazz. Trespassing Borders. 41-57, 156 (18 pp.).

Johnson, Tom. The Voice of New Music <>.
Jost, Ekkehard. 1994 (1974). Free Jazz. New York: Da Capo Press.
Karkoschka. Group Improvisation. (6 pp.)
Kubik, Gerhard. 1999. Africa and the Blues. ML3521 .K83.
Kublin, Nikolai. Free Music.
Litweiler, John. 1984. The Freedom Principle: Jazz After 1958. ML3506 .L58.
Monson, Ingrid.
Nettl, Bruno. 1998. An Art Neglected in Scholarship. In The Course of Performance: Studies in
the World of Musical Improvisation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Pp. 1-26. (26 pp.)
Porter, Eric. 2002. What Is This Things Called Jazz?. ML3508 .P67.
Pressing, Jeff. 2000 (1988). Improvisation: Methods and Models. In Generative Processes in
Music: The Psychology of Performance, Improvisation, and Composition. Oxford: Clarendon
Press. Pp. 129-49 ONLY.
Prevost, Eddie. Minute Particulars.
Prvost, Edwin. 1995. No Sound Is Innocent: AMM and the Practice of Self-Invention. Matching
Tye, near Harlow, Essex: Matchless Recordings and Publishing.
Rainey, Bhob, ed. 2011. Manual.
Rainey/Nmperign interviews (9 pp. plus 1 p. bio)
Sancho-Velasquez, Angeles. Improvisation After the Baroque: A Case of Historical
Wilmer, Valerie. As Serious as Your Life.
Wright: Consummate Improviser (10 pp.)
Essays (10 pp.) from his website
See Restructures website (below) for a list of links.
Cryptoradio (see link at
Resonance 104.4 FM
WNUR 89.3 FM
Albert Ayler.
*All About Jazz - The Definitive Resource for Jazz Music.
Alliance for Improvised Music
AIM is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting improvisational music.
Church Number 9. MP3s of rare albums.
*Critical Studies in Improvisation
Destination Out. Postings of rare albums for two weeks.
Downtown Music Gallery. Informed reviews of new releases and reissues.
Dusted Magazine
*European Free Improvisation
Multimedia encyclopedia on free improvising musicians with biographies, discographies,
photographs, mp3 audio clips, video clips and information on records.
Forced Exposure. Retailer with good descriptions of avant-garde musics.
Gizmo. Volkan Terziolus website.
Heffley, Mike.

*International Improvised Music Archive
Permanent archive for texts on improvised music. ... Freeware compositions. Articles and a
large bibliography of (writings on) improvised music and related. ...
*International Society of Improvised Music
promotes performance, education, and research in improvised music, and illuminates
connections between musical improvisation and creativity across fields.
*INTUITIVE - mixed site on intuitive music, improvised music and related topics - including
Denmark's Intuitive Music Conference, Quotation of the Month ...
Jump Arts Journal
London Musicians Collective is a charity and membership organisation devoted to contemporary
music, including improvised and experimental music.
Restructures. Excellent links to sounds and video; has classical composers.
Signal to Noise
Links from Destination Out
Jazz Corner
Jerry Jazz Musician
One Final Note
Paris Transatlantic
Perfect Sound Forever
Pitchfork Media
Point of Departure
David Borgo and Robert Reigle duet, from ISIM Compilation CD-1, Spring 2006
Sun Ra-Black Mass
New York Art Quartet (ESP)
Don Cherry 1965R. Complete Communion + sound guide from Jost [21]
Don Cherry-Swedish Documentary
*Recommended because of full-text content, multimedia links, or breadth of coverage.