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The Piano Improvisation Handbook

"The Piano Improvisation Handbook" offers a comprehensive overview of the practical skills and theoretical issues involved in mastering all forms of piano improvisation. It explores a wide range of styles, including classical, jazz, rock and blues. Whereas other books on improvisation typically offer little more than models for imitation and exercises for practising, this one adopts an approach specifically designed to encourage and enable independent creative exploration. The book contains a series of graded tutorial sections with musical examples on CD, as well as an extensive introductory section detailing the history of keyboard and piano improvisation, an appendix listing useful scales, chords, voicings and progressions across all keys, a bibliography and a discography. In addition to sections outlining how melody, harmony, rhythm, texture and form work in improvised piano music, there are sections devoted to explaining how ideas can be developed into continuous music and to exploring the process of finding a personal style. A key feature is the distinctive stress the author puts on the interconnectedness of jazz and classical music where improvisation is concerned. This book is best suited to those with at least some prior experience of learning the piano. However, the rudiments of both music theory and piano technique are covered in such a way that it can also serve as an effective basis for a self-sufficient course in creative piano playing.
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About the Author

Carl Humphries is the author of the bestselling Piano Handbook. He was born in London, England, in 1966, and studied piano and composition in London, Berlin, and Turin, pursuing theoretical studies at the University of Cambridge. He works as a pianist, teacher, and composer, specialising in the relationship between theory and performance. His lectures and workshops are in demand at universities and music conservatoires in European countries and in the United States, and he has performed at a number of major classical and jazz venues, as well as for television. He has written extensively on music education, contemporary music, and the philosophy of music.

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