Spring 2018

Improvised Music: Spectrum, Theory, and Practice

Listed in: Music, as MUSI-439

Formerly listed as: MUSI-39


Darryl Harper (Section 01)


Functioning as a combined seminar and performance workshop, this course explores the theory and practice of musical improvisation. Rather than focus on one specific musical style, we will define “improvised music” in an inclusive way that draws equally from American and European experimental musics, various approaches to post-1965 jazz improvisation, and several musical traditions from around the world that prominently use improvisation. Students will be encouraged to develop new performance practices drawn from and in dialogue with these diverse musical traditions. Reading, listening, and video assignments will help familiarize students with the burgeoning field of improvised music studies and will serve to guide class discussions. Students with any musical/stylistic background are encouraged to enroll. Two class meetings per week. Fulfills the departmental seminar requirement for the major.

Requisite: Basic instrumental or vocal proficiency and consent of the instructor. Senior seminar. Limited to 10 students. Spring semester. Visiting Professor Harper.

If Overenrolled: Priority based on class year.


Artistic Practice, Attention to Writing


2022-23: Offered in Fall 2022
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2013, Fall 2015, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2022