Walter Prati’s Book on Improvisation Reviewed

Source: Perfect Sound Forever.

As Milanese cellist, electronics artist and composer Walter Prati points out early on in his brief but insightful book, improvisation is an essential–indeed, an ineliminable–element in virtually every kind of music. He notes that virtually all types of music contain at least some element of improvisation, whether in the form of jazz’s melodies extemporized over chord changes, folk’s invention of structures within an oral tradition, or classical music’s allowance of a degree of interpretive freedom to the performer of a written score. One might even go so far as to say that music originates in improvisation: even a fully scored work has to start somewhere, and that somewhere may as often as not be an improvised melody or harmonic sequence.