An Instant Piece

I was always impressed how someone can come on stage and create an instant piece of music.

“The Köln Concert” called is an album by pianist Keith Jarrett, when he was touring Europe playing improvised concerts. That’s a good example, I think.

Also, now and then I hear “classical” guitarists doing something close to that – create an instant piece in a concert. Roland Dyens is one example. Each time I went to his concert, he used to play a piece of his as a starter for a concert.

Jazz musicians do it more often. But why? Why are classical musicians left aside?

One of the reasons is that already for about 150 years they are taught only to follow what is written on a paper by another person (composer). Their hands are tied and they are prisoners of that paper. Most of them cannot perform a piece if they forgot one bar. While jazz musician easily find his way.
When you follow the way jazz musicians practice you will see the enormous difference in approach. Their scores are “incomplete”, they have to figure out many things on their own. So their creative thinking is always on! Usually in their score there is a melody with its rhythm (sometimes indicated that “the melody’s rhythm can be interpreted freely”) and chords. In which octave you play, with which instrument, what accompaniment you choose – all these things most of the time are left to decided to an interpret. Sometimes even the structure of chords can be varied a lot!

Long ago classical musicians also had scores looking like that. But nowadays it is pretty much forgotten practice for them.

Today I finally decided to lay down some of the ideas how to create an instant piece and start more seriously practicing that. As well as prepare a lecture material on the topic.