Norman Harper Improvisation Workshop at St John’s, Shirley

In October 2017, at St John’s Shirley, Norman Harper continued his popular series on how to improvise.

This event, using the wonderful Frobenius organ, desmonstrated how music can flow easily when listening to and being guided by the initial ideas of a couple of non diatonic chords.

Pieter Shaw was already trying out the organ as people arrived, so Norman capitalised on Pieter’s unusual harmonic progressions by showing how those could could be made to go further by repetition, transposition, and by allowing just one part to continue, giving others a rest. No changes of registration were required to make the music sound effective.

Andrew Chadney improvised in a quasi medieval style after which ideas about contrast were shown.

William Gardner improvised a long, lyrical elegiac melody with gently syncopated accompaniment, almost like Rachmaninov in style.

Norman showed how to give a sense of direction by incorporating contrast, and repeating the original melody.

Following these excellent demonstrations, a lengthy discussion about improvisation followed and those attending valued the diverse nature of this conversation.

Richard Pilliner made the group most welcome, including refreshments at the end.

Marilyn Harper

Previous Improvisations Workshops by Norman

First Improvisation Master Class run by Norman Harper  2015

Norman Harper second Improvisation Workshop 2016