University Of Tasmania

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Finding the lost art : methods and use of improvisation on the violin in western classical music and its importance for revival in our current musical environment

posted on 2023-05-27, 19:40 authored by Bing, N
This research project consists of a folio of performance recordings and an exegesis. The exegesis examines the practice and pedagogy of classical improvisation on the violin and describes methods for improvised cadenza creation specifically for the first movement of Mozart‚ÄövÑv¥s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D Major, K. 218 (1775). The performance folio includes three recordings of improvised cadenzas for this movement and two recital programs of violin works which reflect forms and techniques of the tradition of improvisation in Western art music. Improvisation was an important component in Western art music performance practice prior to the nineteenth century; however, this skill has largely been lost in the modern day. There is an increasing amount of literature and research that advocate for the re-emergence of improvisation in classical music pedagogy. Still, there is a lack of resources specifically targeted at violinists who wish to develop this skill within the context of classical music. This exegesis aims to solve at least part of this problem through the introduction of a framework to develop improvisation practice techniques for the creation of a cadenza in a classical violin context. This research contextualises improvisation on violin in its historical setting. It analyses relevant written cadenzas and identifies some of the main challenges barring classically trained violinists from improvising freely. It presents simple practice techniques, examples, and parameters for overcoming these challenges based on the knowledge of other improvising violinists. Finally, it presents three recorded improvised cadenzas that demonstrate a reintroduction to the art of improvisation. Further examples of improvisation techniques (spanning a range of classical contexts) have been explored through the recital performances of important repertoire for the violin. These pieces include Bach‚ÄövÑv¥s Violin Sonata No. 2 in A minor (BWV 1003), Ysaye‚ÄövÑv¥s Violin Sonata Op. 27 No. 3 in D minor ‚ÄövÑv¿Ballade,‚ÄövÑvp Vaughan Williams‚ÄövÑv¥s The Lark Ascending, Franck‚ÄövÑv¥s Violin Sonata in A Major and Biber‚ÄövÑv¥s Sonata No. 16 in G minor, Passacaglia. Studying the skills required for improvisation in a cadenza has the potential to deepen a violinist‚ÄövÑv¥s understanding of their instrument and the music being played. This research offers an example of, and pathway to, the continuation of classical improvisation in modern times.



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