Chapter

Learning to improvise: Learners’ perspectives

Aaron L. Berkowitz

in The Improvising Mind

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590957
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191594595 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590957.003.0004
Learning to improvise: Learners’ perspectives

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This chapter explores learning to improvise from the perspective of the improviser, presenting accounts drawn from interviews with pianists Robert Levin and Malcolm Bilson about how they learned to improvise in the classical style. Their experiences are compared with accounts of improvisers from a wide variety of musical cultures. Three aspects of the learning process are explored: incubation/internalization/assimilation, rehearsal, and further development of improvisational skill through the act of performance.

Keywords: improvisation; musical learning; Robert Levin; Malcolm Bilson; cross-cultural comparisons

Chapter.  6355 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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