EXTEMPORE PLAYING - online tutorial

40 Lessons in how to correctly play improvisations.

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One of the most important devices in modern music, and one which may be said to permeate the works of the great composers, is that of sequence, a simple device by which unity and variety are secured in combination. It is the plan by which any given figure is repeated at a higher or lower pitch.
There are various kinds of sequence, strict, partial, diatonic, chromatic, etc. The strict, diatonic variety is the first to consider, and consists, in reproducing the given figure exactly with regard to scale-steps, without modulat­ing, and without alteration of any part.
The extent of the figure to be treated sequentially varies to an unlimited extent, from a single chord (as in a 'sequence of sixths') to a complete tune.
At present the student should attempt only the manipu­lation of figures of one measure in length.
The general principle of the sequence is that any group of tones which is correct at first hearing may be reproduced on a higher or a lower pitch regardless of irregularities that may be thereby involved, the momentum of the start being sufficient to overcome any resistance of improbable progressions. This means that weak chords will now be available; subordinates may be used as if they were prin­cipals, but always provided that the original pattern is without fault.
Cases of sequence in which only the simplest chords are used are few. The following may be noted:
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