Definition of improvisation in English:



mass noun
  • 1The action of improvising.

    ‘she specializes in improvisation on the piano’
    ‘improvisation is a performer's greatest creative act’
    • ‘The next evening, in the company of a local trio, he served up the perfect blend of lyricism, improvisation, swing and team work.’
    • ‘Older groups learn about various areas of the performing arts including action, voice, movement, mime, improvisation, stage combat, circus skills, dealing with text and storytelling.’
    • ‘It was a work of improvisation performed with a double quartet.’
    • ‘There was a lot to observe: how to shape material for maximum impact; timing; improvisation; how to handle unresponsive audiences or hecklers.’
    • ‘Instead, its early leaders had rapidly found themselves at the head of large empires, and a great deal of improvisation had been required.’
    • ‘Sketch comedy, improvisation, stand-up and much more will be performed in this intimate venue on Friday, September 24.’
    • ‘One suspects that like his concert performances, there's a lot of improvisation and busking.’
    • ‘The floats, although not many, were terrific, with some improvisation where wagons were not available.’
    • ‘Saadoun says: ‘I think musicians enjoy playing with me because we do a lot of improvisation, so they can express themselves.’’
    • ‘The structure of the performance is still in evidence but deftly hidden and the emphasis has moved to improvisation around themes.’
    • ‘‘Through improvisation we got to thinking about going through doors to other worlds, and so the door is very significant in this production as the main feature of the set,’ Jon says.’
    • ‘His concerts are a mixture of improvisation, passion and emotion with a candid sense of humour.’
    • ‘Additional sessions will focus on improvisation, adult group piano study, motivating teens to continue music studies, and playing and teaching by ear.’
    • ‘She is playing to a loyal audience here, but shows a good deal of humour and improvisation in her performance.’
    • ‘Two poets are involved in the scheme on the Oxford Express service: Sarah-Jane Arbury, whose speciality is improvisation, and Marcus Moore, who reads his own poetry as well as more celebrated works.’
    • ‘We were in need of either inspiration or improvisation.’
    • ‘It feels like I'm engaging with that process again, but starting from a different place, from songs and not that much improvisation.’
    • ‘There was much improvisation in the weeks preceding the implementation of the plan, and little time to practise the landings.’
    • ‘His vocal work was enormously impressive, veering worryingly towards perfection, something which improvisation never sought, expected or needed.’
    • ‘He learned to play the piano by ear, developing a talent for improvisation which, years later, he would put to good use during the filming of America: A Personal History of the United States.’
    extemporization, ad-libbing, spontaneity, lack of premeditation
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun Something that is improvised, in particular a piece of music, drama, etc. created spontaneously or without preparation.
      ‘free-form jazz improvisations’
      • ‘They have a distinctive rhythmic approach to their improvisations, and their compositions and arrangements make good use of the band's instrumental palate.’
      • ‘Night after night, musicians, critics and other cognoscenti packed the club to absorb the quartet's extended ‘free jazz’ atonal group improvisations.’
      • ‘It's a mixture of electronic pieces and guitar improvisations.’
      • ‘Those pieces you just played for the website, were they pieces or improvisations?’
      • ‘She plays original pieces interspersed with improvisations.’
      • ‘Their music arises from their improvisations at the keyboard, or whatever their instrument is.’
      • ‘Starting with in-studio improvisations and composed pieces, Swinscoe takes the finished recordings and then re-edits and remixes the sessions into new compositions.’
      • ‘They were followed by the Youth Theatre, aimed at secondary school youngsters, who showcased a variety of scripted plays and improvisations tackling social issues, along with historical dramas.’
      • ‘He was famous as a virtuoso, whose extended improvisations at the keyboard were the wonder of the musical world, but as a composer he was regarded as hopelessly of the old school.’
      • ‘In her abstractions, she strove, like many painters of the day, to create a visual equivalent for jazz's improvisations and rhythms.’
      • ‘The complexity of the rhythmic improvisations are astonishing - the eclecticism daring and wholly convincing.’
      • ‘Rap comes out of the story telling and braggadocio of the blues, the cadences of gospel preachers and comedians, the percussive improvisations of jazz drummers and tap dancers.’
      • ‘The band was renowned for its long improvisations, recalls Cale, ‘because we hated playing the same thing every night.’’
      • ‘Working for the BBC, Leigh had pioneered a way of creating dramas with no initial script, but developing stories and characters through lengthy improvisations with actors.’
      • ‘His aim is to make every participant in the class comfortable with each other as quickly as possible so that they can move onto improvisations and devising pieces of theatre within smaller groups.’
      • ‘Their wordless improvisations and clear world music influences have shattered, reconfigured and picked up lyrics, culminating in a sprawling album that comes off as some kind of art-damaged radio play.’
      • ‘Tracks three and four are engaging, likely highlights of improvisations, and are pieced together here for our enjoyment.’
      • ‘The interminable jazz improvisations have been jettisoned.’
      • ‘These guys have a sensitivity to the audience's ear subtleties, weaving their music and improvisations so that both audience and performer are engaged.’
      • ‘She even includes a couple of improvisations based on music by Bach and English composer William Byrd.’