EXTEMPORE PLAYING - online tutorial

40 Lessons in how to correctly play improvisations.

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Conclusion                                  137
Truly, poets are born, not made; so are composers; so are extempore players. But this does not make the course of work here set forth unnecessary. A poet, before he can display his genius, must first learn the meaning of words, then their association and grammatical connection. So the musician must be familiarized with the structure of chords, their connections and successions, with the form­ation of melodic outlines, and with all the various formal groundwork upon which a musical structure is built, and without which it cannot exist. Inspiration will follow, if it is to come at all; it certainly cannot be displayed without a medium, and that medium is found in the habits formed by such a course as is here presented to the reader.
Let one final word of advice be given. Do not strive after great and complex things; aim at clearness and sim­plicity. Although this book gives a by no means exhaustive store of possible material, it yet contains a mass which can­not but suggest confusion, when regarded as a whole. The student, after having studied it all, should fall back upon simplicity. All the material may be used sometimes, but only in its right place. Commence with an idea suggested by any device, and continue in the same style, working it out as well as you can. It may be that you choose some plain diatonic chords, some striking rhythm, some chromatic progression, or other characteristic. Whatever it be, aim at unity. Read the first twenty-three verses of Horace's "De Arte Poetica," and ever bear in mind his advice: "Whatever subject you choose, be careful to preserve sim­plicity and unity of design." ("Denique sit quod vis sim­plex duntaxat et unum.")
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