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The purpose of this treatise is to assemble a performer's guide to the subject of baroque ornamentation and free improvisation, the cadenza in the classical concerto, and the aleatoric, indeterminate and improvisatory music of the late twentieth century, for players of bowed string instruments. The result is a handbook illustrating the basic techniques of improvisation in the above genres. Primary sources were drawn from treatises and from the repertoire, in addition to contemporary books, articles and scholarly editions, and were selected in order to represent a summary of the practice of improvisation with an emphasis on those concepts that can be most readily applied by performers. The first chapter examines ornamentation and improvisation in the Baroque Era, roughly defined as the period extending from c. 1600-1750. Following the introduction, the primary ornaments and their applications are discussed using examples derived from both didactic and performance sources. A brief survey of the freer techniques of improvisation encountered in the so-called "Italian Adagio" follows. The second chapter examines the cadenza and other improvised cadential embellishments that persisted in the Classical Era, c. 1770-1830. The third chapter discusses the twentieth century phenomena of free improvisation, indeterminacy and the role of the performer in the realization of unconventional scores. The art of improvisation has played a vital role in the development of western art music, and this treatise is intended as both an introduction and a practical guide to the subject, in the hope of encouraging further experimentation and investigation.
A Treatise Submitted to the School of Music in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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