This project deals with one of the key issues of European music in the modern and contemporary eras:
the relationships between improvisation and composition.
The research team investigates the relationships between improvisation and composition from the early 17th century to our days on different levels: studying the treatises on composition and performance, ascertaining traces of improvisatory practice in sketches and drafts, analyzing audio and video documents, confronting theories of improvisation from different areas of the humanities, comparing the approaches of theatre and music.
The research benefits from the virtuous circle between theory and practice, which originates in workshops dedicated on particular historical phases or specific topics: on the one hand, the experience of teaching and playing has positive repercussions on the elaboration of historical sources and theoretical concepts; on the other hand, the inputs of the musicologists can contribute to a growing consciousness of the premises and implications of today’s improvisatory practices. Our readers and listeners will find documents from the crucial phases of the workshops and be exposed to the process of musicological reflection on these practices.
Improcomp.org is the digital platform, designed by the research group, which will also function as a research tool, a virtual place for research and a result of the research itself. This digital platform will host written and multimedia research contributions, online music education initiatives, and artistic performances.
– The Improcomp Research Team