Pronunciation: IM-pro-vize

What is Improvise?

Improvise is an act of spontaneous creative activity in musical performance, particularly prevalent and essential in jazz music, but also evident in other musical genres such as blues, rock, and jazz fusion.

Key Takeaways

  1. Improvisation is a creative activity wherein new melodies are added to a pre-existing framework or chord progression.
  2. It is most commonly seen in jazz performances but also in rock music and blues.
  3. Improvisation is also known as extemporization, which means inventing variations to the foundational song being played.

Understanding Improvise

Improvisation means you make up the music as you go along, as opposed to playing the musical composition following structured notes and chords.

Also known as extemporization, improvisations involve inventing variations on a melody, or even creating new melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. The act is often combined with communications of instrumental technique and emotion, as well as an “in the moment” response to other musicians in the band or group.

Related Terms

Comping Comping is a term typically used in jazz music, which describes the musical accompaniment of a jazz soloist. more

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