Critical Studies in Improvisation

"An Invitation for Disaster"—Embracing the 'Double Failure' of Improvisation
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

In this paper I consider the representational and relational aesthetics of 'improvisational moments,' a term I am using to encompass both the moments of encounter between improvisers and audience members and the art that arises from these encounters. These moments ...

Productive Ambiguity: Fleshing out the Bones in Yolŋu Manikay "Song" Performance, and the Australian Art Orchestra’s "Crossing Roper Bar"
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

This paper examines the place of creativity amid orthodox musical elements in the manikay (public song) tradition of the Yolŋu people of Northern Australia, particularly the song repertoire belonging to the Wägilak clan from Ŋilipidji. Beginning with the Yolŋu metaphor ...

Improvisation's Ebb and Flow
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

Editor Frederique Arroyas presents the editorial for Issue 9.2 with her thoughts on the issue's submissions and topics.

Living With the I-Word: Improvisation and its Alternates
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

The word improvisation is burdened with limitations placed on it by changes occurring in Europe in the 19th century, the period when the model of the hyphenated performer-composer prevailing in Europe up to that point was being split into two ...

Reading Ascension: Improvisation, Text, and Analysis
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

Feedback analysis has been a useful tool for ethnographers to get deeper into the contours of how expressive culture is meaningful for those involved in its production. This paper looks at how feedback analysis might work in the case of ...

“Comprovisation or Imposition?”: An Improvised Composition on a Life of Improvisation
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 2

In this essay, originally delivered as the opening keynote address at the 2012 edition of the Guelph Jazz Festival, improvising percussionist and improviser Jesse Stewart reflects on his own experiences as both a student and teacher of improvised music, using ...

'Improvisation' in Corporations and Creative Music: What Are We Really Talking About?
Critical Studies in Improvisation (2013) Vol. 9, No. 1

This piece is a reflection on the December 2012 ICASP conference, Making the Changes: Ethics and the Improvising Business, by a member of the conference's musicians' panel.


While improvisational music has historically been analyzed within specific musical disciplines, what distinguishes the research profiled in CSI/ECI is its emphasis on improvisation as a site for the analysis of social practice. We contend that improvisation demands shared responsibility for participation in community, an ability to negotiate differences, and a willingness to accept the challenges of risk and contingency. Yet improvisation is a contested term. Its cultural significance is in dispute both in the academy and in the broader public understanding. CSI/ECI seeks to reveal the complex structures of improvisational practices and to develop an enriched understanding of the social, political, and cultural functions those practices play.

Publisher University of Guelph
Country Canada
ISSN (Print) 1712-0624
Year started 2004
Indexed 189 articles
Licence Open Access

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