Chromatic Function Analysis- An instrument for improvisation

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Högskolan för scen och musik

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this investigation is to become a better improviser at the organ. I will use, The Chromatic Function Analysis Model, abbreviated as TCFAM, as a method to deconstruct material and later reconstruct material, on which I will make improvisations. I want to see how well TCFAM can support improvisation and, in the process, become a better improviser. The method is applied to describe harmonic relations in music, music that is built on harmony. By using this method, that works with describing harmony, it’s possible to make statistics. The statistics will show how common certain chord progressions are, how often chords are applied and what relations chords have to each other. A limitation is that this method is only intended to address harmony. The method will be applied on various organ music, organ repertoire, that is strongly linked to improvisation and transcribed improvisations. The repertoire is chosen from different epochs and to cover different usage of harmony from different time eras. This will show how well the method applies to different genres depending on the certain time era. Apart from existing repertoire, the method will also be applied on transcribed improvisations to explore how various organists work with improvisation. To me, improvisation could be thought of as live composition, like a game of chess in which sometimes a progression of moves is custom but depending on what game you play; you must change your move within the structure. The method allows me to create the many structures, that will be applied for improvisation. TCFAM will be one possible way to approach improvisation and I will investigate if the method can support me in improving my artistic improvisation skills by addressing following questions: 1. Will the data collected and processed through TCFAM support my creativity in the process of improvising? 2. By using this method what do I learn? 3. Can TCFAM be an instrument for analysis of transcribed improvisations or compositions to work as a generating principle/tool for improvisation? In this thesis TCFAM will be used to study what harmonies improvisers and composers use and from the collected data construct blueprints, allowing me to approach improvisation. By using this method, I made fourteen improvisations in different styles, which demonstrate how the method can work as a tool to approach improvisation. The intent is not to copy someone else but to be able to deconstruct a style of music and be able to generate a musical language that I can use in my own artistic practice. I learned that this method can work as a method to support improvisation. Other affordances that this method can give is its possibility to find patterns. By patterns I mean a harmonic sequence of any sort that is repeated somehow throughout the piece. An analogy would be the jazz pianist improvising at the piano. He uses the same chords as an underlying structure but by using scales, motives and other concepts the improviser hides the harmonic structure, so even though much is going on, the framework being the harmony, is the same. Another affordance is the method’s possibility of collecting data on harmony. The data could be applied to verify music which author is unknown to known material, showing the content’s probability of being by the same author. In this case the method could be applied as a tool to show probability.

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