Improvisation In Classical Music

As I wrote, best classical improvisers on a given theme are classical organists. It is a part of their formation and that’s their job.
The funny thing is that, now, during their studies in CNSM (Paris) id that they are given any kind of style or themes including jazz classics…

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That was awesome!
This reminded me that my organ tutor and I sometimes did a joint improve together.:musical_keyboard::musical_keyboard: Big church organs are such fun instruments to play and wonderful for fuelling the imagination. One lesson we improvised round the James Bond theme. They are also very difficult to play. Although I’ve played church organs I am not an organist. I admit to struggling with two hands and two feet. I’ve got the music for this prelude and fugue. It’s very chromatic. Think I’ll look it out and listen again. Thanks for posting this. I’m inspired now.

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With this discussion I wanted to show that improvisation on a theme is possible in any style and instrument (baroque, classical, contemporary, jazz, latino, rock, pop or ethnic…)

all these musicians are really good in harmony (not only european one), have a really good technique… and talent

harmony, technique, expression, presence and talent )))) the problem is is get a little bit of all this ))) need 200 years for me)))

Another technique is free improvisation. You are given a non Musical theme or idea to work around eg. A Haunted house or footprints in the snow. The improvisation still needs structure to it but you can create your own structure, style and harmonies or perhaps it’s atonal. I call it ‘creating a sound picture’.


good :wink:
so… let’s give a goal
“using Tenderly structure and bossa rythm + Eroll gardner mambo style, express the sensation of being bored by bad weather. this should end by hope of having funny hollidays.
ps : you have the right to include a double fugue or contrepoint theme based on a chet baker lick”
you have 25 minutes of preparation (without a piano)

I promise to do this for Christmas in 2143 )))

Brilliant. I’m never frightened by a challenge.

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Just read thru this whole thread and learned a TON! I’m not a classical pianist in anyway, so improvising on it seems particularly challenging to me. But what I wouldn’t give to hear Bach improvise a fugue; I read he did it quite often as a party trick. And also liked to spell his name out in the notes. Once they invent the time machine, that’s one of the first time/ places I’m going. This Time Machine would also be helpful to give my self a few more 100 years to practice, so that I could become an improvising classical pianist as well:) Regardless, I’m inspired to work more on the muscle memory and fingering for rootless ii V I’s, as well as do a sound picture improvisation on “Time Machine”. Thanks guys!


welcome to the club of those who need 100/200 years of practice ))))
good idea for the time machine to listen to impros (haendel, scarlatti, bach, Mozart, chopin, liszt, fauré, Debussy, peterson, and so many others )))


This is a Classical improvisation 1954 of Francis Poulenc, transcribed by himself.
It could have been a nice tune for jazz…

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Beautiful Marc… thanks for sharing :+1:

Thank you so much for sharing that beautiful piece. It’s very useful to have the music too. It’s quite inspiring and I think I’ll sit down at the piano with it and see what happens. I know who Poulenc is but I’ve never played any of his music. I will definitely listen to more.
I’ll also share this with my son who improvises in a classical style. I think he will love it.