Week 2 readings

I feel like Paul and Vijay are having a dialogue to try and build an understanding and definition of improvisation especially . It took me a while to realize that they were having a dialogue in the paper. Vijay talks seems to have a very broad meaning of what improvisation is. He first compares improvisation to human experience. Paul mentions how people understand they are organizing human experience through Rhythm structure and cadence.  He also discusses how technology ties into music, because you can’t write music for something that doesn’t exist.  He uses two examples of film makers were improvising because they were not sure how people would react. Paul says he sees improvisation more about looking at music not as music but as information.

The way that Bruno Nettl addresses improvisation is very reminiscent of our discussion last week where Samir mentioned how the paper tying in racism and socio-economic factors into the coloring of how improvisation is perceived didn’t really address the long history of improvisation. I also noticed what Devanche mentioned with regards to Indian music where much of it was improvised based on preexisting themes. I do understand Bruno’s point that improvisation should probably not have been coined, because it doesn’t really seem to be address everything that is being addressed. I found that there was a very nebulous definition and understanding of improvisation across all the papers. I didn’t feel like they were always talking about quite the same thing.

Wessek and Wright discuss how there is a difference between acoustic music and computer generated music. I have definitely noticed that there is a performative aspect to acoustic music that doesn’t always exist in computer generated music. There was that meme of Skrillex playing solitaire on his computer during one of his concerts. This paper brings up some of the difficulties I’ve been having with Max. I’ve only ever played acoustic instruments, so all the more technical words don’t mean anything for me. Though they were talking about how to use software to create music.

I feel like one of the articles we read last we also from George Lewis. He is still using improvisation to bring up racial differences and issues. He discusses the passing of culture through music.  I’m wondering if he is using European as interchangeable with caucasian, or if he actually means people in Europe.

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