A keynote at the interesting IMPCT conference in Vilnius On the self and ethics in musical improvisation: what can we learn?
There have been many attempts to draw wide-ranging conclusions on the knowledge offered by the specific type of musical practice that is summarized by the word improvisation. The fact that we in the West tend to specify improvisation as the exception to score-based music, a norm situated at the center of Western high culture, is odd considering that most music was based on improvisation long before musical notation was invented. This view contributes to the understanding of improvisation as a practice that deviates from the rule, a fringe alternative on the outskirts of other, more dominant musical practices. This is further emphasized by the structural and economic differences between, for example, free improvised music and Western classical music.