Event Information

  • Wed

    Online Summer Course Historical Improvisation

    Online Summer Course Historical Improvisation

    Online Summer Course Historical Improvisation in the 18th century

    Other courses:
    Baroque Ornamentation Course with Quantz
    Improvise a baroque solo: Preludes with Hotteterre

    Dates: July 17-22
    Place: Online (Amsterdam Timezone)
    Aims: Work on different forms of historical improvisation
    Format: Every day there will be a small, playful warm-up session, followed by several group sessions, a lecture or Q&A and finally some more private sessions / lessons. Every session will be a course developing throughout the week.

    13:30-14:00 Warm-up and improvisation games
    14:00-15:00 Improvise on the Folia level 1*
    15:00-16:00 Improvise on the Folia level 2
    16:30-17:30 Fenaroli partimento no. 1: writing your own piece of music*
    17:30-18:00 Lectures (tba) / Questions
    19:00-20:00  Your own cadenza according to Quantz (max 6 active participants) *
    20:00-21:00  Telemann and Partimento (max 4 active participants) *
    or after 21    Private tuition or specific topics raised by others, repeat classes for people in                                 other time zones, do let me know if you have any requests for this!

    *  These courses can also be followed through the recordings. Since they happen with microphones closed, it is basically the same as taking them at the time notated above. You can still email your questions and your work to me, so the net result is the same.

    More details about the courses, warm-up, etc. are below the application form.

    Warm up30
    Folia level 1 or 260
    Quantz-active participation120
    Quantz-passive participation60
    Telemann-active participation120
    Telemann-passive participation60
    Full moooc course * 150 (instead of 180)
    Full course (passive participation) **250 (instead of 300)
    Full (active participation) ***350 (instead of 420)
    Private lesson60 / hour
    * Full moooc course means Warm up, Lectures, Folia level 1 or 2 and Fenaroli
    ** Full course (passive) means Warm up, Lectures, Folia level 1 or 2, Fenaroli, Quantz passive participation and Telemann passive participation.
    *** Full course (active) means Warm up, Lectures, Folia level 1 or 2, Fenaroli, Quantz active participation and Telemann active participation
    Payment ideally via PayPal, but creditcard payments (through my shop) or bank transfers (especially in NL) are possible.
    Apply to the course:
    (Prices for the entire 6-day course)

    General remarks on the courses
    What was improvisation on instruments like in the 18th century? Together with my courses on ornamentation and preluding, this summer course gives an overview of different forms of improvisation, from solo improvisation, to improvisation on a ground, to cadenzas, partimento and counterpoint. Everyone will have something they might enjoy.

    You can pick and choose from these courses and even only do the warm-up (also interesting in and of itself I think). They each have their own price, but several packages can be made to make this cheaper.

    Some courses are time-specific, others can be taken at any time of the day through recordings (or live online). This last type of course is called a MOOOC and it concerns the Folia level 1 and Fenaroli courses. Following the recording will basically be the same as following the actual class, as microphones are closed for these. Recordings of the classes will go online as soon as they are finished. Your questions, own recordings and/or written work can still be sent in and will be discussed in class or in an email.

    For each course I will describe whether there is a difference between active and passive (or otherwise it’s called ‘open to everyone’), whether you need experience, and what level of improvisation this course is aimed at. All levels means that it will (hopefully) be fun for both beginners and more advanced improvisers. When it only says beginner it means that I assume more experienced improvisers will not enjoy it as much, unless to observe how I teach such an idea.

    Warm-up and improv games – Open to everyone, no experience needed, all levels Anyone can join in, no prior improvisation experience is needed. We will do some fun games all together, sometimes just for yourself with microphones off, sometimes chaotically all together and other times one at a time.

    Using ideas from theatre improvisation, we will warm-up to the idea of experimenting, that making mistakes is okay, of warming up our instruments and finding various ways to start our creative juices going. Some simple musical forms will also be used, like the pastorale, prelude or an “ABA” form (you don’t need to know what any of these words mean (yet :D)).

    Lectures and Questions – Open to everyone, no experience needed, all levelsOften in my courses students come up with very interesting questions. It would be nice for me to have some to think about answers to these, and to have a designated time to talk about these things. On top of that I will prepare some lectures on improvisation, where I will start off a particular topic with a lecture, and hope this will lead to more questions and discussions. Topics could include:
    -What is improvisation in classical music?
    -Different ornamentation practises in the 18th century.
    -How can I practice improvisation?
    -Different examples of preludes in the 18th century
    -What is right or wrong in classical music improvisation?

    Folia Course level 1 – Open to everyone, no experience needed, beginner levelThe Folia is one of the most famous and most-used bass lines in classical music. In the past people were able to improvise on it. In this course you will  learn:
    = what the bass of the Folia is
    = what simple melodies you can add to this bass
    = how you can make these simple melodies richer with rhythms, rests and ornaments
    = how to use a motif
    = how to make a few different variations

    This course will be taught like a MOOOC. You will be sent a recording of the bass and chords to practice with. During the lesson I will show you (and everyone else) how to learn these ideas and you will practice them, but with the microphone off. However, there will be the possibility to send recordings during the week outside of class and I will gladly listen to them and send some compliments and tips. Additionally all lessons will be recorded and sent to you, so you can archive them for later use.

    Folia Course level 2 – Open to everyone, advanced level (you can always watch this course of course, but as you will be presented with new ideas in score format every day it is a course for people well-versed in music)
    In this course we take the next step. After being able to do basic improvisation on La Folia, we can learn from the masters from the past by looking at some examples from written-down Folias. We can learn how composers used motifs and which ones we can steal, how you can get from one variation to the next, how to keep a balance between variation and coherence and more.

    The day before the lesson you will be sent (parts of) a written-down Folia. In the lesson I will present some ideas we can learn from this Folia, but there will also be space for people who want to share their improvisations and questions.

    Compose your own music inspired by the Naples school of teaching:

    The rule of the octave and Fenaroli Partimento number 1 – Requirement: understand the concepts in this video and be able to write music down.
    In this course we are actually going to write/compose. The rule of the octave is a super helpful kind of ‘algorithm’ to help you compose some basic structures very quickly. Especially in this case, where we will use a pre-cooked bass line from one of the most famous music teacher’s of all time: Fedele Fenaroli. By using the rule of the octave you can compose your own, simple music on top of this already existing bass line in a kind of ‘paint-by-numbers’ way. We can then make this simple music more exciting through different kinds of ornaments, motifs and forms. Some written examples from the past can show us even more options. This jam-packed course is also taught like a MOOOC. Everyone sits at their desk and learns the information during the class. Later in the day you can send in what you have done and I will look at it and send it back, potentially with commentary, if needed.

    Improvise a cadenza with ideas from Quantz and Tartini – Max 6 active participants, open to everyone for passive participation, intermediate level (understand what a chord is, be able to transpose some simple motifs)
    In this course some people (max. 6) can choose to actively participate, and others can observe and learn in their own space and time. We will spend time on two elements:
    -What information can writers from the past (with a focus on Quantz and Tartini) provide us for cadenzas today?
    -How can we apply that to a concerto (or concertante piece) we are actually playing?

    So, most ideally you would have a movement to add a cadenza to, so that we can look at themes and ideas to use in the cadenza.

    N.B.: This course is possibly not so interesting for keyboard players, as I’m not looking so much at harmonic underpinning and cadenzas for melody instruments have generally a smaller harmonic scope.

    Fenaroli partimenti book 1 based on Telemann Fantasias   (counterpoint, partimento, Telemann, style) – Max 4 active participants, open to everyone for passive participation, advanced level (some basic knowledge of counterpoint, basso continuo and/or harmony is very useful)
    In this course we will work with 4 active participants. Others can listen in if they want to and make their own work at home. This course brings together Telemann Fantasias, two-part counterpoint and partimenti by Fenaroli. We will work on:
    -Improvise your own simple fantasia inspired by the style of the Telemann flute fantasias
    -Improvise two-part counterpoint on partimenti on a melodic instrument

    night / morning     : a la carte questions / lessons / classes for people from different time zones etc.