Hidden principles of improvisation

  • Jacques Coursil Sophienstrasse 1, 52070 Aachen
Keywords: creativity, musical semiotics, non-premeditation of speech, semiotics of novelty, specious present, synchronous point


On the basis of the principle of non-premeditation of speech, we argue that the synchronicity of hearing shared by everybody present is incompatible with a division of time between a sender and a receiver of a message. The act of speech brings the participants together in a single moment of perception called a synchronous point. Both the act of speech and music do not appear through time; rather, speech and music create time. The present time of our casual experience always contains a part of radical novelty, probable a posteriori, yet never predicted. Despite our capacity to predict many things and repeat procedures, in the advent of a given moment, the present will always show its uniqueness. Thus, improvisation is based on two principles of uncertainty: the non-premeditated occurrence of speech and the non-predicted part of present time.


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