EXTEMPORE PLAYING - online tutorial

40 Lessons in how to correctly play improvisations.

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112                           Extempore Playing
modulation, in order that the voices may always feel a definite support.
(i) The note of the monotone will be either the tonic or the dominant of the prevailing key. The dominant gives most freedom of movement, for it allows the chord-progression V-I to be used freely. It will be noticed that, if the tonic is taken as the monotone, the V chord cannot be used at all, except in a very fleeting way.
(2)   The time may be duple, triple, or quadruple.
(3)   The pace may vary greatly, according to the sub­ject-matter of the words.
(4)   The style should be suggested by the words. For instance, the General Confession will require solemn and quiet chords; the Lord's Prayer will indicate more con­fidence; the Creed should be expressed by firm and decided music.
(5)   The texture need not always be harmonic. Single tones and points of imitation may be freely used.
(6)   Though diatonic harmonies, with passing-notes, suspensions, etc., will prevail, occasional chromatic chords may be extremely effective.
A few impromptu illustrations will be helpful, though • there is no doubt that some of the spontaneity of this kind of music evaporates when written notes are employed.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III