Dissertation Index

Author: Spicker, Volker

Title: New Piano Improvisation

Institution: University of Giessen, Germany

Begun: June 1995

Completed: December 1997


In my final work of my studies in musicology I investigated the new forms of piano-improvisation of Cecil Taylor regarding to his stylistic features, techniques, structure and their consequences for the forms of piano improvisation in jazz. New Piano Improvisation is not only played by jazz-musicians but also by pianists of the "academic artificial" scene, such as David Tudor and Hermann Keller e.g. Next to the detailed analyses of the music the main questions I prepare to answer in my dissertation are:

- How does one improvise without a plan or given structure (e.g. changes, themes...) ?
- Which are the stylistic features who decide about the genre (jazz / New Music)?
- How do jazz musicians distinguish from the others? - Are there influences remarkable - which?
- Are there psychological, sociological or other bases for improvisation and= its stylistic features?
- What is typical for New Piano-Improvisation and what is not?

Keywords: Improvisation, Free Improvisation, Free Jazz, New Music, techniques, stylistic features, analyses of improvisation, transcription, instant composing, composing-improvising, form, stucture, material


1. Cecil Taylor
2. Alexander von Schlippenbach
3. Yosuke Yamashita
4. Joachim Kuhn
5. David Tudor
6. Irene Schweizer
7. Hermann Keller
8. Aki Takase
9. Dieter Glawischnig
and more...


Volker Spicker
Schillerstrasse 48
D-35428 Langgons

E-mail: volker.spicker@musik.uni-giessen.de
Voice: +49 6403 78075
Fax: +49 6403 78075 by app. only

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