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Improvisation Feedback

Playing or learning the organ, hints, tips and tricks, registrations, techniques, fingerings, ...
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Improvisation Feedback

PostSun May 15, 2022 6:24 am

Hello everyone,

I think it is quite difficult to rate my own improvisation. There are no notes or sheet music which could be wrong. That's why I want to ask you for feedback on one of my improvisations. Here is a Link:
Currently, I have only one Keyboard available, but my organ console has already been ordered.

Thank you very much
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  • Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA

Re: Improvisation Feedback

PostTue May 17, 2022 3:57 pm

I didn’t respond to your post right away because I didn’t know whether I could comment constructively about your improvisation. However, since you would like some feedback and no one else has jumped in, here are a few thoughts.

My musical training has focused on works that demand the attention of their audience, as opposed to less obtrusive ambient music. In fact, most ambient music leaves me cold — I just feel there isn’t enough there to hold my interest.

While it would be unfair to criticize your work for failing to do what you never intended it to do, I do think that you could make it more interesting to a larger audience if you infused it with more unity and structure. I think, for example, of Eric Satie’s Furniture Music, Brian Eno’s Ambient albums, some of Vangelis’s more minimal soundtrack works — all ambient but still clearly exhibiting focus, repetition, structure, and theme.

On your YouTube post you mention that you love classical organ music. There are many resources that would help you explore improvisation in that tradition if you are so inclined, but that goes beyond what you have requested here.



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Re: Improvisation Feedback

PostThu May 19, 2022 2:13 pm

I trained as a classical pianist and organist – in that order – though I enjoy lighter music as well (especially theatre organs). I wonder whether the reason you’ve received little response as yet is because this sort of advice is difficult to give remotely. Is there a musician in your home area who could help with constructive criticism? Not necessarily through a formal course of lessons, but a session from time to time – as former piano teacher I’ve always been open to requests of this sort. I too feel you need more structure – a few motifs of melodic interest which then develop in various ways. Paul Fey’s demonstrations of Hauptwerk sample sets seem mainly to be extemporised, and you might find them worth studying e.g.

Some of Messiaen's organ music is slow and mystical; often complicated harmonically, often difficult to play, but this is manageable, and includes a score as well as analysis (be sure to look at the comments BELOW the video as well as within it:

I hope this helps a bit, and good luck!

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