imaginations (under construction)

Imagination is an indispensable aspect of improvisation. According to the piano method Méthode des Méthodes, Op.98 (1837) by the famous pianist Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870) and composer François-Joseph Fétis (1784-1871), "a free and bold fantasy in our thoughts" is essential for improvising. Every child or person has the ability to use his imagination, since it is a basic human skill.

To train the imagination while playing an instrument, this platform offers a series of exercises, called Soundtrack, which starts from an imaginary situation.

SOUNDTRACK

Soundtrack is an improvisation taking place in an imaginary situation of 'image without sound'. The pianist may imagine, for example, a live TV broadcast with a malfunctioning microphone, so the sound is not transmitted along with the image. So, while they are genuinely playing, the sound produced is not the main focus. Through their gestures, the pianist must give the impression that they are a good pianist, and use their imagination to tell a short musical story. The score gives suggestions, but they are not obligatory. There are no rules about the duration, but since preludes are in general short pieces, I recommend that a single performance last no longer than 30".

soundtrack_score.jpg

(Score: Piano No(w) published by Matrix)

DEVELOPING SOUNDTRACK IN 5 STEPS

To further develop the skills practised in the above exercise, it's important that the pianist become comfortable first with the basic version, so that a certain ease and playfulness arise, and any uncertain feelings disappear. After the original version of Soundtrack has become familiar, it can be further developed in several steps.

1. For the original version no specific musical elements are needed, time and space are the only parameters. 

​2. A second version contains a specific musical element: a short melody, an arpeggio, a chord, a rhythmic element, etc.

​3. In a third version, this musical element can be experimented with so that it can be developed during the performance.

​4. A fourth version contains several contrasting elements.

​5. In a fifth version, a structure (for example ABA) can be worked out.

In all versions the basic version must be respected.

The principle of 'image without sound' can also be reversed to 'sound without image'. Have the listeners close their eyes or place the pianist out of sight of the listeners.