IMPROVISATION LEVEL (IL) CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM

 revised 3/03, for "Jugalbandi: 1999"

(This system has recently undergone a change: the area between levels 3 and 4, being a bit too broad, needed a further classification in order to properly encompass both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the system. So there are now 6 levels, being:)

IL1: Totally improvised- no pre-communication whatsoever

IL2: a) A few words or song title mentioned prior to starting ("let's play some funk", or "let's do something that fits 'moving towards kyoto'"), etc.; b) one player begins with an idea the others havenít heard.

IL3: Piece based around a newly composed riff, idea or chord structure- riff/idea/chords barely formed (and may remain so), arrangement and any solos improvised.

IL4: Mostly improvised piece based on a known structure/riff

IL5: Somewhat/slightly improvised piece based on a known structure/riff; composed piece w/ improvised section(s). Usually, head/improv/head structure, but variations are endless. Most jazz combos throughout the past 75 years or so improvise at this level.

IL6: Fully composed piece.

The distinction between 4 and 5 became necessary when dealing with pieces that have a set structural element but can (and often do) end up being 90% improvised, like "Uncle Sun".

 

The system used on J2K:

IL1: Totally improvised- no pre-communication whatsoever.

IL2: a) A few words or song title mentioned prior to starting ("let's play some funk", or "let's do something that fits 'moving towards kyoto'"), etc.; b) one player begins with an idea the others havenít heard.

IL3: Piece based around a newly composed riff, idea or chord structure- riff/idea/chords barely formed (and may remain so), arrangement and any solos improvised.

IL4: Composed piece w/ improvised section(s). Usually, head/improv/head structure, but variations are endless. Most jazz combos throughout the past 75 years or so improvise at this level. At one extreme, only the solos are improvised; at another, the arrangement can go completely fluid.

IL5: Fully composed piece.

 

system by Greg Segal and Hyam R. Sosnow

 

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