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Word of the day

improvisation

Term referring to the spontaneous performance of music without previous preparation or any written notes. Improvisation can be seen in music of the Medieval era, where singers were trained to improvise additional lines to liturgical chant while it was being performed, in the Renaissance era  where a musician would improvise over the written chords usually on a keyboard instrument or on a viol, in the Baroque, where ornamentation and realization of figured bass was common, in the Classical and Romantic eras, where cadenzas of concertos were expected to be improvised, and in 20th century jazz.