Modernizing European Higher Music Education Through Improvisation

Series 3, Part 2 - Connecting further with the structure’s expressive power

David Dolan |Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London

Connecting further with the structure’s expressive power

Exercise 1

Beethoven’s structure is kept but performed tonally-free extempore. The quartet aims to feel every bar of the tonally-free extemporisation ‘synched’ with its equivalent in the actual score.

Exercise 2

Acting the text vocally, as actors/story tellers, while searching for their expressive narrative, following the score’s harmonic rhythm. Then performing a 2nd tonally free version inspired by the story they have just told. Note the difference between the two tonally-free versions.

Exercise 3

Similar to the previous exercise plus adding a dialogue with a singer, developing expressive motivic exchanges (within Beethoven’s structure). The goal is to internalise the structure and its expressive elements by connecting with intuitive gestures of expression.

Exercise 4

The 2nd violinist and the singer in vocal dialogue, while the three other string players perform instrumentally. Beethoven’s structure is kept while the singer & 2nd violinist dialogue freely within it. Note the enhanced expressive power and enjoyment despite the augmented risk, and the spontaneous feedback & reflection that follows.

Author David Dolan

Institution Guildhall School of Music & Drama - London

Players Animato string quartet

Date of recording 04.03.2017

Editor Mark Rainbow (GSMD)