NEW ARTICLE (ENG): "The Essentials of Organ Improvisation”, in: "The Organ”, No 405, Aug-Oct 2023
Szostak, M. (2023) ‘The essentials of organ improvisation’, The Organ, 405(August-October 2023), pp. 4–17.
Abstract: Organ improvisation is a practical, noble, respectable art with an intense history and remarkable achievements. Although the results of practising it are ephemeral, the theoretical descriptions and volumes written about it allow us to conclude that it is an essential phenomenon for humanity in music. Depending on the adopted optics, a look at organ improvisation will be characterised by issues and cognitive apparatus characteristic of a given discipline. Following and developing concepts presented in my article, ‘The Art of Stylish Organ Improvisation’ published in issue 390 of “The Organ” (Szostak, 2019) and my paper, ‘Creativity and Artistry in Organ Music’ from issue 391 (Szostak, 2020), in this current study I should like to look at the phenomenon in an interdisciplinary manner, from three seemingly distant perspectives: 1) instrumental studies – as the primary field, on which, from the practical side, every musical improvisation takes place; 2) aesthetics – as a theoretical science on art and beauty derived from philosophy, and 3) management – as a field both theoretical and practical, combining the components of science (knowledge) and art (skills), and dealing with the efficient implementation of goals. This article aims to answer the following research questions: first, How can aesthetic theory broaden our view of the improvisation process? And second, What is the difference between virtuosity, artistry and creativity in improvisational activities? The following research methods were applied to answer these questions: a critical analysis of the literature in the field of instrumental music, aesthetics and management, as well as the autoethnography of an organist with over 20 years of experience, a university professor and researcher in the field of management aesthetics, creation and creativity.
Full text: here.