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No Wayne State University improvisation chamber ensemble was organized in 1966 by Dr. Ruth Wylie. The group was originally conceived as a teaching aid but soon it was receiving enthusiastic reactions from concert audiences during the past year Dr. Wiley's Chamber Ensemble has performed in several states and an entirely new idiom of musical performance has been developed by the performances still maintain their experimental character. Now I'm here with tonight's programme of improvisation is Professor Ruth Wylie of Wayne State University. Thank you and good evening. For our third program this evening we're going to do two quintets one by John Ray and the other by myself I think we'll do the radio one first probably. As for flute trumpet percussion double bass and piano. By this time some of you may have. Sent in for and received copies of some of our design plans and it happens that. One
of these at any rate. That we're doing tonight is one of the ones included knows we are sending out. I forget whether it's the radio one or mine I know that mine is being sent out so perhaps that's the one that I had better talk about. Let me explain a little bit for those of you who do have the plans and those of you who don't might find this a little bit enlightening also. We started out experimenting with various kinds of graphic notation and originally we began with using words and abbreviations which signified such musical effects as baseline counterpoint melodic line themes subordinate etc. ostinato different terms that have musical meaning of an obvious nature to those of us who are who are performing. But it turned out that in this kind of notation we had to have such a large list of abbreviations that we were spending most of our time looking back at the key to the abbreviations and it took us quite a while before
we could be natural and free in the improvising from that point on we began to refine more and more. The kind of notation that we used and it became more and more graphic and more and more immediately visual and we used fewer and fewer words and sentences and phrases and so on. The quintet that we're doing first by John Raya is a very pretty one to look at. We make vertical lines which divide important sections. We use little vertical rectangles to indicate short chords on the piano or short chords with all of the grouped together and little open rectangles indicate a chord of a longer nature a longer duration. We don't put dynamic markings in as you would in music normally. And to some extent we indicate with wavy lines. When we want a melodic line and what part of the register we want the instrument to play and using a horizontal
line is a sort of middle ground of the instrumental range and as the contour of the wavy line gets higher or lower we loosely follow it and it it does give us some control as composers it gives us some control over the contour of the melodic lines that we are playing. We have various other special effects too and one of our main difficulties in the notational plan of course is to give cues from one instrument to another as to when that player will will drop out and when you come back in again and we have learned to use our chord indications pretty much for this kind of purpose but in some cases its necessary for one or more of the performers to give a nod and an actual physical cue that we all know to look for. Mostly though we do right in the queue. This is something particular that we listen for as for example a particular stroke on one of the bells or three drum beats. This sort of thing. Otherwise. Sometimes we have thematic material that we work with sometimes we
do not know and both of these quintet. Today we do have short thematic fragments that are going to be used sort of as a starting point and a basis for the melodic material that we use. Well I'll be talking more later about the notation. And I thought perhaps this might be a little enlightening to you. As I say they're quite pretty to look at with these little vertical boxes and the horizontal lines in the wavy lines and little dots for the percussion and so on. And we are so used to them now that we can read off them pretty well but our first couple of rehearsals we are paying more attention to the notation and we can become increasingly free as we proceed and grow more familiar with the plant. Well we're going to do first this evening as I said. The quintet by John Ray and Mr. Ray will be at the piano in this. I am.
I am. I am. We have just performed a quintet by John Rennie and on this program we're
going to vary our plan a little bit and instead of doing free imprint of the engine at the end we will do it in the middle of the program and this will be our next number of premium product. And running at this moment what the instrumentation is going to be but perhaps we'll do one with all five of the inbound some of the other ones we've done recently now with smaller groups but we'll do one with our five I guess. So both a premium product and that we will be doing next with all five of the performers. Why.
I am.
I am. I am. I am. I am. I am I
am I am I am. Why.
Why. To conclude our program tonight we will do one of my quintet
for the entire group. And in this one Jim Harkaway will be at the piano and John radio will be doing the percussion. I am. I am. I am. I am I am. I am.
I am. I am. We have just concluded this program with a performance of my quintet
and. I want to remind you before we go on the air that if you would be interested in having some information about this group and perhaps some of our structural design patterns that we work from you may do so by sending a self-addressed and stamped envelope to double team music 5 or 3 5 Woodward Avenue Detroit Michigan for eight to two. I'd like to let you know that the next programme in a series which will come next Friday night will be done in third. And proud of the program we have written special music where we make youth of basal arrangements of different groupings within the the total number of instruments that we have. I think you'll find that we have some interesting combinations and that the third area will be stereo recording will be very worthwhile listening to.
That was Professor Ruth Wiley with the Wayne State University improvisation Chamber Ensemble. If you want information on this group and samples of the design plans for several of the improvisations send 15 cents in stamps to music. W d e t f m 5 0 3 5 Woodward Avenue Detroit 4 8 2 0 2. This program was produced for national educational radio by w d t FM Wayne State University Detroit. The engineers Charles Nairn and David Pierce producer are on hood. This is the national educational radio network.
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Improvisation Chamber Ensemble
Episode Number
Producing Organization
Wayne State University
WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program features live improvisational music, as well as a spoken introduction by Ruth Shaw Wylie.
Series Description
Series of performances by Wayne State U. Improvisation Chamber Ensemble, which was organized in 1966 by Dr. Ruth Shaw Wylie, as an experiment in teaching contemporary techniques to advanced composition students. Refer also to blue spiral book under 67-29.
Media type
Performing Group: Improvisation Chamber Ensemble
Producing Organization: Wayne State University
Producing Organization: WDET (Radio station : Detroit, Mich.)
Speaker: Wylie, Ruth Shaw
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 67-29-3 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:46
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Chicago: “Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 3,” 1967-06-20, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 3.” 1967-06-20. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 3. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from