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Although there already exists a large number of theoretical and methodological works that deal with the subject of improvisation, this treatise differs from them because it focuses specifically on one major component of the improvisatory vocabulary: figuration. It explores and clarifies the importance of figuration to improvisation and demonstrates that this type of harmonic embellishment can be a powerful tool towards achieving skills in tonal improvisation. In this treatise, the term "improvisation" refers to any change, arrangement and embellishment of an extemporized or already written piece or progression. Figurations are by no means presented in an exhaustive manner. The focus is towards the techniques of their application to the harmony in an improvisational setting. This is done by: 1) giving the model of the basic technique of applying figuration to the harmony; 2) extracting rules and examples from selected historical thorough-bass methodologies; 3) analyzing written examples by Carl Czerny's from his Op. 200; 4) giving a variety of applicable examples of common figurations found in twentieth-century harmony textbooks that address improvisation.
Keyboard Improvisation Techniques, Keyboard Figurations, Keyboard Improvisation, Piano Improvisation
Date of Defense
April 4, 2008.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
James Nalley, Professor Directing Treatise; James Mathes, Outside Committee Member; Leonard Mastrogiacomo, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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