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The purpose of this treatise is to develop a comprehensive method for teaching improvisation to orchestral double bass players in modern conservatories and music schools. In addition, this treatise will explore the current and historical significance of improvisation for contrabass string instruments in Western music. The research will prove that not only is improvisation an important part of music history, it will also greatly enhance the overall performing ability of every orchestral bassist. The introduction will present the argument of why orchestral bassists should learn improvisation. It will be argued that improvisation is no different than any other developed musical skill, and that orchestral double bassists have all the tools necessary to pursue this art form. The first chapter will examine the role of improvisation in the history of Western art music, providing extensive evidence of its use and importance over a period of several hundred years. The second chapter will present a method for teaching improvisation, specifically to those who have no previous experience in learning it. The method is designed for use with players of all ages, although the musician must have at least a certain amount of proficiency for this system to be most effective. Improvisation is an integral part of all Western music, past and present. This treatise is intended to provide orchestral bassists with a means to learn this art form, as well as understand its historical and current significance.
A Treatise submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Melanie Punter, Professor Directing Treatise; Mathew Shaftel, University Representative; Gregory Sauer, Committee Member; Rodney Jordan, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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