Interactivity and Improvisation

George E. Lewis

in The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199792030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Interactivity and Improvisation


The primordial human practice of improvisation is found at the uninterrogated core of common notions of interactivity as it is practiced in the digital domain. The need to exnominate improvisation here is due largely to the problematic status of improvisation, not only in the high-culture, pan-European art practice that most theorists and researchers assume as a primary cultural and historical background for art production, but also in everyday constructions of morality and integrity that are active in many Western social spheres. As improvisation becomes the subject of a burgeoning area of inquiry in the arts, humanities, and sciences, the practitioners of interactive computer music can be found in the new century situated at this core nexus of improvisation and interactivity, combining sonorous and sensuous experiences with critical spaces for considering the nature of human interaction.

Keywords: improvisation; interactivity; digital domain; pan-European art practice; art production

Article.  4461 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music

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