To improvise — to invent without preparation is the ability to imagine sounds in advance. The sonorous image is a preoccupying concern of the improviser. ln that phrase we include beauty and roundness of the tune; its warmth, its depth, its edge, its balanced mixture with other tones, and its acoustical properties in any given environment. The creation of a satisfactory aural image is not merely a matter of musical talent or technical adroitness; imagination plays a large role here! The improviser can not produce beautiful sonorities or combination of sonorities without first hearing the imagined sound in “the inner ear”.
Composers have always regarded improvisation as central to the exercise of the musical imagination. The ability to improvise depends much upon the quickness of invention as well as quickness of hand. Itis true that invention is a gift of nature, but much improved by exercise and practice. Good teaching can encourage sometimes quickness of invention.
© Tomas Willstedt