Earlier this year, I was asked to run a workshop on ‘Communicative Improvisation’ for the University of Edinburgh as part of their ‘Innovative Learning Week‘. I have led many workshops on improvisation in the past, some focussed specifically on jazz, some on pop/rock, some on free-improv or improvisation for dance, for example, but never on ‘communicative improvisation’. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of exactly what this meant or how I would approach it. Also, when I agreed to do it, the only information about the participants was that they could could be from anywhere in the whole university (not specifically for music students) and that they may not even have any previous practical musical experience. As it turned out, the group comprised a range of people who had never played an instrument before , people who were professional musicians and everything in between.
Thinking About Music is a new multimedia blog for people who are interested in the academic study of music, in the widest and most inclusive sense of the term.
The ethos behind this site is one of communication, collaboration and exploration. It is intended to be a hub for academics and practitioners interested in the study of music to present, discuss and develop ideas – a place to share new and interesting work in an informal setting. This is particularly valuable as, on one hand, it affords the opportunity for contributors to explore new ideas, report on work that may be in its early stages and to receive feedback from colleagues and other readers who may not typically engage with such work. On the other hand, this site will prove to be an interesting repository of information for those interested in reading and getting involved in discussion about new research and practice in music.
Posts will take the form of video presentations and text-based articles and will cover many varied and diverse topics and, importantly, content will not be limited to any specific areas of musical study. Our aim is to be informative yet entertaining, scholarly yet accessible and, most importantly engaging. Please comment, discuss, support the authors and spread the word. Also, if you have something that you’d like to contribute, then let us know.