• Improvisation

    Improvisation and the brain

    Hello Dear Reader, It is that time of year again. Undergraduates are considering whether or not to continue their higher education following the completion of their undergraduate degree. They are deciding whether to¬†pursue their Masters. Here at the University of¬†Sheffield we have been busy putting on many Open Days and Evenings, providing information, tours and advice/support for such students. Recently we held our first evening Open event at the Department of Music, providing a convenient time slot for those with full time jobs or daytime responsibilities. It was lovely to get away from my computer screen for a couple of hours and spend some time chatting with these (hopefully) soon-to-be…

  • Creativity,  Improvisation

    Improvisation in jazz

    Hello Dear Reader, Gosh it is warm in Switzerland today! The spring burst of colour that began last week is now in full flow thanks to a day or so of heavy rain. Glowing primroses, cheeky crocuses and alpine daisies swing gracefully in the herb scented winds that come down from the mountains. This has to be my favourite season. All the promise of life is new. While nature is in full-on improvisation mode, it seems only right that we consider a new paper in the journal Music Perception on improvisation in jazz. The Hochschule where I work in Switzerland also has jazz specialism, and a special research project on…