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The 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 here with tonight's programme of improvisation is Professor Ruth Wylie of Wayne State University. Good evening friends. For our first number this evening we're going to do a somewhat experimental piece at least perhaps from the listener standpoint. This is a piece which uses as its thematic material a 12 tone role or set a few of the things that we have structured are involved to a greater or lesser extent with the 12 tone technique and perhaps if you aren't familiar with it I might just say a few words in explanation.
This is a. Compositional technique which was begun more or less single handedly by the composer Arnold Schoenberg and since his time it has proliferated until it has become one of the most important and significant developments in 20th century music. The idea is simply this that a pattern of pitches involving all twelve notes within the octave is devised or set up by the composer and then that set or role of 12 tones is used in its different transform ations so to speak. The retrograde form of that pattern is used the inverted form is used and the inverted form of the retrograde can be used also. Furthermore any one of these sets of 12 tones can be transposed to any other pitch at the composer's whim. I'm over simplifying things there's a great deal more to it than this particularly in recent years but this may help you to understand a little bit what I mean when I say that we are
using a 12 tone role as the basis for this piece that we're going to do next. We are not using any transpositions of the set but we are using all 4 versions of it from the standpoint of the original version. The inverted the retrograde and the inverted retrograde. It won't sound probably too much different from our other pieces strangely enough because we're improvising. We do not carefully use the roll vertically in the harmony and so on it'll only be used melodically and we oftentimes will freely develop from it. Well this is scored for flute trumpet piano double bass and percussion and we will be having the same familiar performers here. I will announce the piano player since we do switch around and alternate between them. Jim Hart way will be doing the piano in this piece. It is just titled allegro and if all goes well it will be in triple meter. So now we will hear the 12
tone piece. Sure.
We have just concluded playing first number on our program which is a piece
for our original quintet entitled essay Number one I forgot to mention the title before and it makes use of a 12 tone set and three of its so-called permutations. We're going to do next a piece by John Raya written especially for the series of programs. This is a trio for clarinet. Trumpet and double bass and it's rather experimental too in a way John has the most beautiful calligraphy in his design plans. They're much prettier to look at than mine. And maybe I'll get you curious enough that you're writing to see some of these plans. But he makes use of some rather strictly structured sections at the beginning and then he has a rather free improvisation section completely free where he just indicates some general considerations and he has this time he wants 50 seconds. In this particular section
then it becomes more strictly structured again after which he has a cadenza for the double bass alone and he specifies that he wants 40 seconds here. Then the three instruments play together again for a somewhat free section and then there is a cadenza for the trumpet and Mr Raya has this timed at 30 seconds and he says he'll sit here with the watch and watch over them and make sure that they go. Don't extend beyond their time. Then there is the section with the double bass in the foreground and a clarinet and trumpet playing overlapping. Single sustain notes forming different two part chords. And then there is a cadenza by the clarinet which is only 20 seconds long and the piece ends with a condensed clearly structured point listed section at the very end. It finishes with a downward on the double bass. If we have time enough left on this program we might do a second version of
this we'll see. But this is the first version of Trio for playing at trumpet. Right.
Why. Her. Who.
Who. Why. Why.
The love. Right.
From. The feet. We will fill out our program this evening with one or possibly two free
improvisations and the first one we're going to do. We've decided that we'll do just piano and percussion and I'll be helping out on the percussion here. If I if I happen to spoil it. You won't know anything about it but will try it anyway piano and percussion. We will conclude our program this evening with another free improvisation and attempting
to get a contrast in our programs. This will be for just two performers again. I'll be playing the piano and the clarinet. We are expecting to do a fast pace. We have completed our program this evening with a free improvisation for
clarinet and piano. Virginia kept knees on the clarinet and myself on piano. Let me remind you once again that if you would like copies of some of our structural plans or some information about how the group got together and what our aims are you may receive these by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to music w d e t 5 0 3 5 Woodward Detroit 4 8 2 0 2. That was Professor Ruth Wylie with the Wayne State University improvisation Chamber Ensemble. If you wish information on this group and samples of the design plans for several of the improvisations send fifteen 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 e t FM Wayne State University Detroit. The engineers Charles
Nairn and David Pierce producer Oren 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: 67-29-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:05
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Chicago: “Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 11,” 1967-08-17, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 8, 2023,
MLA: “Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 11.” 1967-08-17. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 8, 2023. <>.
APA: Improvisation Chamber Ensemble; 11. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from