Masters Profile: Improvisation

This format is directed at performers who want to attain a broader view of rhythmical and structural fields. The rhythmical concepts of polyrhythm, polypulse and irregular groupings used in South India provide a very flexible method with which the student can experiment without trying to copy Karnatic music. All the topics are re-structured to enable the student to work only with the concepts and techniques.

Improvisers tend to be performers and creators simultaneously. Therefore, the emphasis of the specialisation lies on a combination of rhythmical techniques to improve their accuracy, along with creative concepts that can be used to compose pieces or improvise solos.

The specialisation comprises:

-Two different options as to how to deepen in the material.
-Creative output.

Depending on the choice of how to deepen in the material the student will be awarded with 30 or 35 credits for the two years. The student will be coached individually during the creative process as well as in the ensemble situation while putting the pieces together.

Ways of Deepening in the Material

1) Option A (35 credits)

  • Individual coaching: Every week  students will meet their coach to work on their student's project. Each student is free to choose the pieces to work on, in terms of style and aesthetics, etc. They are also free in how to use the coaching time: for example,  students can choose to work on improvisation during the session, or learn and apply cell and motivic development to creation, whether improvised or composed, or any other idea they might have. There is no need to think of 'fulfilling' a particular style or aesthetic. The coach's role is to help every student in his/her style and choice, including how to broaden his/her style and choice with karnatic concepts and developmental ideas.
  • Weekly sessions where the ‘roots’ of the material, as well as what other creators have done or are doing with Karnatic rhythmical concepts, will be listened to and analysed within a musical context.

The credits distribution for Option A will be as follows:

  • 15 credits from the Ensembles,
  • 15 credits from the master electives of which 10 credits replace the following of the compulsory 'Arranging' and 'Theory' courses (these credits will be allocated to the composition lessons)
  • 5 credits from the main subject (these are the credits and time allocated to the individual coaching – please see creative output below).

**** Following the composition lessons does not imply that the student have to create through-composed pieces in a classical contemporary style. These lessons are meant for the student to acquire many more creative techniques that are not imparted in the improvisation ensembles.
    
2) Option B  (30 credits)

  • Individual coaching: Every week  students will meet their coach to work on their student's project. Each student is free to choose the pieces to work on, in terms of style and aesthetics, etc. They are also free in how to use the coaching time: for example,  students can choose to work on improvisation during the session, or learn and apply cell and motivic development to creation, whether improvised or composed, or any other idea they might have. There is no need to think of 'fulfilling' a particular style or aesthetic. The coach's role is to help every student in his/her style and choice, including how to broaden his/her style and choice with karnatic concepts and developmental ideas.
  • Weekly sessions where the ‘roots’ of the material, as well as what other creators have done or are doing with Karnatic rhythmical concepts, will be listened to and analysed within a musical context.
     
  • Following the so-called ‘Improvisation Ensemble’ each year


The credits distribution for Option A will be as follows:

  • 15 credits from the Ensembles,
  • 10 credits from the master electives for the reading ensemble
  • 5 credits from the main subject (these are the credits and time allocated to the individual coaching – please see creative output below).


**** Following the reading ensemble will help the student to reinforce the main ‘building blocks’ of Karnatic rhythm as well as seeing various techniques from a completely different angle, as well as increase the reading skills of the musician.
   

Creative Output

As mentioned above, students will be coached individually in order to complete their project, whatever the nature of the project.


All pieces prepared in these two years can be used for the MA1 exam as well as the graduation recital.