A musical instrument is an instrument created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument; the history of musical instruments dates to the beginnings of human culture. Early musical instruments may have been used for ritual, such as a trumpet to signal success on the hunt, or a drum in a religious ceremony. Cultures developed composition and performance of melodies for entertainment. Musical instruments evolved in step with changing applications; the date and origin of the first device considered. The oldest object that some scholars refer to as a musical instrument, a simple flute, dates back as far as 67,000 years; some consensus dates early flutes to about 37,000 years ago. However, most historians believe that determining a specific time of musical instrument invention is impossible due to the subjectivity of the definition and the relative instability of materials used to make them.
Many early musical instruments were made from animal skins, bone and other non-durable materials. Musical instruments developed independently in many populated regions of the world. However, contact among civilizations caused rapid spread and adaptation of most instruments in places far from their origin. By the Middle Ages, instruments from Mesopotamia were in maritime Southeast Asia, Europeans played instruments from North Africa. Development in the Americas occurred at a slower pace, but cultures of North and South America shared musical instruments. By 1400, musical instrument development was dominated by the Occident. Musical instrument classification is a discipline in its own right, many systems of classification have been used over the years. Instruments can be classified by their material composition, their size, etc.. However, the most common academic method, Hornbostel-Sachs, uses the means by which they produce sound; the academic study of musical instruments is called organology. A musical instrument makes sounds.
Once humans moved from making sounds with their bodies—for example, by clapping—to using objects to create music from sounds, musical instruments were born. Primitive instruments were designed to emulate natural sounds, their purpose was ritual rather than entertainment; the concept of melody and the artistic pursuit of musical composition were unknown to early players of musical instruments. A player sounding a flute to signal the start of a hunt does so without thought of the modern notion of "making music". Musical instruments are constructed in a broad array of styles and shapes, using many different materials. Early musical instruments were made from "found objects" such a shells and plant parts; as instruments evolved, so did the selection and quality of materials. Every material in nature has been used by at least one culture to make musical instruments. One plays a musical instrument by interacting with it in some way—for example, by plucking the strings on a string instrument. Researchers have discovered archaeological evidence of musical instruments in many parts of the world.
Some finds are 67,000 years old, however their status as musical instruments is in dispute. Consensus solidifies about artifacts dated back to around 37,000 years old and later. Only artifacts made from durable materials or using durable methods tend to survive; as such, the specimens found. In July 1995, Slovenian archaeologist Ivan Turk discovered a bone carving in the northwest region of Slovenia; the carving, named the Divje Babe Flute, features four holes that Canadian musicologist Bob Fink determined could have been used to play four notes of a diatonic scale. Researchers estimate the flute's age at between 43,400 and 67,000 years, making it the oldest known musical instrument and the only musical instrument associated with the Neanderthal culture. However, some archaeologists and ethnomusicologists dispute the flute's status as a musical instrument. German archaeologists have found mammoth bone and swan bone flutes dating back to 30,000 to 37,000 years old in the Swabian Alps; the flutes were made in the Upper Paleolithic age, are more accepted as being the oldest known musical instruments.
Archaeological evidence of musical instruments was discovered in excavations at the Royal Cemetery in the Sumerian city of Ur. These instruments, one of the first ensembles of instruments yet discovered, include nine lyres, two harps, a silver double flute and cymbals. A set of reed-sounded silver pipes discovered in Ur was the predecessor of modern bagpipes; the cylindrical pipes feature three side-holes. These excavations, carried out by Leonard Woolley in the 1920s, uncovered non-degradable fragments of instruments and the voids left by the degraded segments that, have been used to reconstruct them; the graves these instruments were buried in have been carbon dated to between 2600 and 2500 BC, providing evidence that these instruments were used in Sumeria by this time. Archaeologists in the Jiahu site of central Henan province of China have found flutes made of bones that date back 7,000 to 9,000 years, representing some of the "earliest complete, tightly-dated, multinote musical instruments" found.
Scholars agree that there are no reliable methods of determining the exact chronology of musical instruments across cultures. Comparing and organizing instruments based on their complexity is misleading, since advancements in musical instruments have sometimes reduced complexity. For example, construction of early slit drums involved f
Musical instrument classification
Throughout history, various methods of musical instrument classification have been used. The most used system divides instruments into string instruments, woodwind instruments, brass instruments and percussion instruments; the oldest known scheme of classifying instruments is Chinese and dates from the 3rd millennium BC. It grouped instruments according to the materials they are made of. Instruments made of stone were in one group, those of wood in another, those of silk are in a third, those of bamboo in a fourth, as recorded in the Yo Chi, compiled from sources of the Chou period and corresponding to the four seasons and four winds; the eight-fold system of pa yin, from the same source, occurred and in the legendary Emperor Zhun's time it is believed to have been presented in the following order: metal, silk, gourd, clay and wood classes, it correlated to the eight seasons and eight winds of Chinese culture and west, autumn-winter and NW, summer and south and east, winter-spring and NE, summer-autumn and SW, winter and north, spring-summer and SE, respectively.
However, the Chou-Li, an anonymous treatise compiled from earlier sources in about the 2nd century BC, had the following order: metal, clay, silk, wood and bamboo. The same order was presented in the Tso Chuan, attributed to Tso Chiu-Ming compiled in the 4th century BC. Much Ming dynasty scholar Chu Tsai Yu recognized three groups: those instruments using muscle power or used for musical accompaniment, those that are blown, those that are rhythmic, a scheme, the first scholarly attempt, while the earlier ones were traditional, folk taxonomies. More instruments are classified according to how the sound is produced; the modern system divides instruments into wind and percussion. It is of Greek origin; the scheme was expanded by Martin Agricola, who distinguished plucked string instruments, such as guitars, from bowed string instruments, such as violins. Classical musicians today do not always maintain this division, but distinguish between wind instruments with a reed and those where the air is set in motion directly by the lips.
Many instruments do not fit neatly into this scheme. The serpent, for example, ought to be classified as a brass instrument, as a column of air is set in motion by the lips. However, it looks more like a woodwind instrument, is closer to one in many ways, having finger-holes to control pitch, rather than valves. Keyboard instruments do not fit into this scheme. For example, the piano has strings, but they are struck by hammers, so it is not clear whether it should be classified as a string instrument or a percussion instrument. For this reason, keyboard instruments are regarded as inhabiting a category of their own, including all instruments played by a keyboard, whether they have struck strings, plucked strings or no strings at all, it might be said that with these extra categories, the classical system of instrument classification focuses less on the fundamental way in which instruments produce sound, more on the technique required to play them. Various names have been assigned to these three traditional Western groupings: Boethius labelled them intensione ut nervis, spiritu ut tibiis, percussione.
Ottoman encyclopedist Hadji Khalifa recognized the same three classes in his Kashf al-Zunun an Asami al-Kutub wa al-Funun, a treatise on the origin and construction of musical instruments. But this was exceptional for Near Eastern writers as they ignored the percussion group as did early Hellenistic Greeks, the Near Eastern culture traditionally and that period of Greek history having low regard for that group; the T'boli of Mindanao use the same three categories as well, but group the strings with the winds together based on a gentleness-strength dichotomy, re
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, architect and historian, most famous today for his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters and Architects, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing. Vasari was born on 30 July 1511 in Tuscany. Recommended at an early age by his cousin Luca Signorelli, he became a pupil of Guglielmo da Marsiglia, a skillful painter of stained glass. Sent to Florence at the age of sixteen by Cardinal Silvio Passerini, he joined the circle of Andrea del Sarto and his pupils Rosso Fiorentino and Jacopo Pontormo, where his humanist education was encouraged, he was befriended by Michelangelo. He died on 27 June 1574 in Florence, Grand Duchy of Tuscany, aged 62. In 1529, he visited Rome where he studied the works of Raphael and other artists of the Roman High Renaissance. Vasari's own Mannerist paintings were more admired in his lifetime than afterwards. In 1547 he completed the hall of the chancery in Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome with frescoes that received the name Sala dei Cento Giorni.
He was employed by members of the Medici family in Florence and Rome, worked in Naples and other places. Many of his pictures still exist, the most important being the wall and ceiling paintings in the Sala di Cosimo I in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, where he and his assistants were at work from 1555, the frescoes begun by him inside the vast cupola of the Duomo were completed by Federico Zuccari and with the help of Giovanni Balducci, he helped to organize the decoration of the Studiolo, now reassembled in the Palazzo Vecchio. In Rome he painted frescos in the Sala Regia. Among his other pupils or followers are included Sebastiano Flori, Bartolomeo Carducci, Domenico Benci, Tommaso del Verrocchio, Federigo di Lamberto, Niccolo Betti, Vittor Casini, Mirabello Cavalori, Jacopo Coppi, Piero di Ridolfo, Stefano Veltroni of Monte San Savino, Orazio Porta of Monte San Savino, Alessandro Fortori of Arezzo, Bastiano Flori of Arezzo, Fra Salvatore Foschi of Arezzo, Andrea Aretino. Aside from his career as a painter, Vasari was successful as an architect.
His loggia of the Palazzo degli Uffizi by the Arno opens up the vista at the far end of its long narrow courtyard. It is a unique piece of urban planning that functions as a public piazza, which, if considered as a short street, is unique as a Renaissance street with a unified architectural treatment; the view of the Loggia from the Arno reveals that, with the Vasari Corridor, it is one of few structures that line the river which are open to the river itself and appear to embrace the riverside environment. In Florence, Vasari built the long passage, now called Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi with the Palazzo Pitti on the other side of the river; the enclosed corridor passes alongside the River Arno on an arcade, crosses the Ponte Vecchio and winds around the exterior of several buildings. It was once the home of the Mercado de Vecchio, he renovated the medieval churches of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. At both he removed the original rood screen and loft, remodelled the retro-choirs in the Mannerist taste of his time.
In Santa Croce, he was responsible for the painting of The Adoration of the Magi, commissioned by Pope Pius V in 1566 and completed in February 1567. It was restored, before being put on exhibition in 2011 in Rome and in Naples, it is planned to return it to the church of Santa Croce in Bosco Marengo. In 1562 Vasari built the octagonal dome on the Basilica of Our Lady of Humility in Pistoia, an important example of high Renaissance architecture. In Rome, Vasari worked with Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola and Bartolomeo Ammannati at Pope Julius III's Villa Giulia. Called "the first art historian", Vasari invented the genre of the encyclopedia of artistic biographies with his Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori, dedicated to Grand Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, first published in 1550, he was the first to use the term "Renaissance" in print, though an awareness of the ongoing "rebirth" in the arts had been in the air since the time of Alberti, he was responsible for our use of the term Gothic Art, though he only used the word Goth which he associated with the "barbaric" German style.
The Lives included a novel treatise on the technical methods employed in the arts. The book was rewritten and enlarged in 1568, with the addition of woodcut portraits of artists; the work has a consistent and notorious bias in favour of Florentines, tends to attribute to them all the developments in Renaissance art – for example, the invention of engraving. Venetian art in particular, is systematically ignored in the first edition. Between the first and second editions, Vasari visited Venice and while the second edition gave more attention to Venetian art, it did so without achieving a neutral point of view. There are many inaccuracies within his Lives. For example, Vasari writes that Andrea del Castagno killed Domenico Veneziano, not true, given Andrea died several years before Domenico. In another example, Vasari's biography of Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, whom he calls "Il Soddoma," published only in the Lives' second edition after Bazzi's death, condemns the artist as being immoral and vain. Vasari dismisses Bazzi's work as being lazy and offensive, despite the artist's having been named a Cavaliere di Crist
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of music and prophecy, the sun and light, plague and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Seen as the most beautiful god and the ideal of the kouros, Apollo is considered to be the most Greek of all gods. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu; as the patron of Delphi, Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Apollo is the god of archery and the invention of archery is credited to him and his sister Artemis, he had a quiver of golden arrows. He is said to have never missed his aim, his arrows could inflict harm by causing sudden deaths or deadly plague.
As the leader of the Muses and director of their choir, Apollo functions as the patron god of music and poetry. He is the inventor of string-music; the Cithara and the lyre are said to be his inventions. The lyre is a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans. Apollo delights in the foundation of towns and the establishment of civil constitution. Hence is associated with dominion over colonists. Additionally, he is the god of the protector of fugitives and refugees. Apollo is the interpreter of laws, he presides over the divine law and custom along with Zeus and Themis. As the protector of young, Apollo is concerned with the health of children, he brings them out of their adolescence. Boys in Ancient Greece, upon reaching their adulthood, dedicated it to Apollo. Apollo is the patron of protector of herds and flocks, he is causes abundance in the milk produced by cattle, is connected with their fertility. As an agricultural deity, Apollo protects the crops from diseases the rust in corns and grains.
He is the controller and destroyer of pests that infect plants and plant harvests. Apollo is the god who wards off evil, he delivered men from the epidemics. Various epithets call him the "averter of evil". In Hellenistic times during the 5th century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun. In Latin texts, there was no conflation of Apollo with Sol among the classical Latin poets until 1st century AD. Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 5th century CE. Apollo The name Apollo—unlike the related older name Paean—is not found in the Linear B texts, although there is a possible attestation in the lacunose form ]pe-rjo--[) on the KN E 842 tablet; the etymology of the name is uncertain. The spelling Ἀπόλλων had superseded all other forms by the beginning of the common era, but the Doric form, Apellon, is more archaic, as it is derived from an earlier *Ἀπέλjων, it is a cognate to the Doric month Apellaios, the offerings apellaia at the initiation of the young men during the family-festival apellai.
According to some scholars, the words are derived from the Doric word apella, which meant "wall," "fence for animals" and "assembly within the limits of the square." Apella is the name of the popular assembly in corresponding to the ecclesia. R. S. P. Beekes rejected the connection of the theonym with the noun apellai and suggested a Pre-Greek proto-form *Apalyun. Several instances of popular etymology are attested from ancient authors. Thus, the Greeks most associated Apollo's name with the Greek verb ἀπόλλυμι, "to destroy". Plato in Cratylus connects the name with ἀπόλυσις, "redemption", with ἀπόλουσις, "purification", with ἁπλοῦν, "simple", in particular in reference to the Thessalian form of the name, Ἄπλουν, with Ἀειβάλλων, "ever-shooting". Hesychius connects the name Apollo with the Doric ἀπέλλα, which means "assembly", so that Apollo would be the god of political life, he gives the explanation σηκός, "fold", in which case Apollo would be the god of flocks and herds. In the ancient Macedonian language πέλλα means "stone," and some toponyms may be derived from this word: Πέλλα and Πελλήνη.
A number of non-Greek etymologies have been suggested for the name, The Hittite form Apaliunas is attested in the Manapa-Tarhunta letter related to Hurrian Aplu, a god of plague, in turn from Akkadian Aplu Enlil meaning "the son of Enlil", a title, given to the god Nergal, linked to Shamash, Babylonian god of the sun. The role of Apollo as god of plague is evident in the invocation of Apollo Smintheus by Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, with the purpose of sending a plague against the Greeks (the reasoning behind a god of the plague becoming a god of healing is
Lyric poetry is a formal type of poetry which expresses personal emotions or feelings spoken in the first person. The term derives from a form of Ancient Greek literature, the lyric, defined by its musical accompaniment on a stringed instrument known as a lyre; the term owes its importance in literary theory to the division developed by Aristotle between three broad categories of poetry: lyrical and epic. Much lyric poetry depends on regular meter based either on stress; the most common meters are as follows: Iambic – two syllables, with the short or unstressed syllable followed by the long or stressed syllable. Trochaic – two syllables, with the long or stressed syllable followed by the short or unstressed syllable. In English, this metre is found entirely in lyric poetry. Pyrrhic – Two unstressed syllables Anapestic – three syllables, with the first two short or unstressed and the last long or stressed. Dactylic – three syllables, with the first one long or stressed and the other two short or unstressed.
Spondaic – two syllables, with two successive long or stressed syllables. Some forms have a combination of meters using a different meter for the refrain. For the ancient Greeks, lyric poetry had a precise technical meaning: verse, accompanied by a lyre, cithara, or barbitos; because such works were sung, it was known as melic poetry. The lyric or melic poet was distinguished from the writer of plays, the writer of trochaic and iambic verses, the writer of elegies and the writer of epic; the scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria created a canon of nine lyric poets deemed worthy of critical study. These archaic and classical musician-poets included Sappho, Alcaeus and Pindar. Archaic lyric was characterized by live musical performance; some poets, like Pindar extended the metrical forms to a triad, including strophe and epode. Among the major extant Roman poets of the classical period, only Catullus and Horace wrote lyric poetry, which however was no longer meant to be sung but instead read or recited.
What remained were the forms, the lyric meters of the Greeks adapted to Latin. Catullus was influenced by both archaic and Hellenistic Greek verse and belonged to a group of Roman poets called the Neoteroi who spurned epic poetry following the lead of Callimachus. Instead, they composed brief polished poems in various thematic and metrical genres; the Roman love elegies of Tibullus and Ovid, with their personal phrasing and feeling, may be the thematic ancestor of much medieval, Renaissance and modern lyric poetry, but these works were composed in elegiac couplets and so were not lyric poetry in the ancient sense. During China's Warring States period, the Songs of Chu collected by Qu Yuan and Song Yu defined a new form of poetry that came from the exotic Yangtze Valley, far from the Wei and Yellow River homeland of the traditional four-character verses collected in the Book of Songs; the varying forms of the new Chu ci provided greater latitude of expression. Originating in 10th-century Persian, a ghazal is a poetic form consisting of couplets that share a rhyme and a refrain.
Formally, it consists of a short lyric composed in a single meter with a single rhyme throughout. The central subject is love. Notable authors include Hafiz, Amir Khusro, Auhadi of Maragheh, Alisher Navoi, Obeid e zakani, Khaqani Shirvani, Farid al-Din Attar, Omar Khayyam, Rudaki; the ghazal was introduced to European poetry in the early 19th century by the Germans Schlegel, Von Hammer-Purgstall, Goethe, who called Hafiz his "twin". Lyric in European literature of the medieval or Renaissance period means a poem written so that it could be set to music—whether or not it was. A poem's particular structure, function, or theme might all vary; the lyric poetry of Europe in this period was created by the pioneers of courtly poetry and courtly love without reference to the classical past. The troubadors, travelling composers and performers of songs, began to flourish towards the end of the 11th century and were imitated in successive centuries. Trouvères were poet-composers who were contemporary with and influenced by the troubadours but who composed their works in the northern dialects of France.
The first known trouvère was Chrétien de Troyes. The dominant form of German lyric poetry in the period was the minnesang, "a love lyric based on a fictitious relationship between a knight and his high-born lady". Imitating the lyrics of the French troubadours and trouvères, minnesang soon established a distinctive tradition. There was a large body of medieval Galician-Portuguese lyric. Hebrew singer-poets of the Middle Ages included Yehuda Halevi, Solomon ibn Gabirol, Abraham ibn Ezra. In Italy, Petrarch developed the sonnet form pioneered by Dante's Vita Nuova. In 1327, according to the poet, the sight of a woman called Laura in the church of Sainte-Claire d'Avignon awoke in him a lasting passion, celebrated in the Rime sparse. Renaissance poets who copied Petrarch's style named this collection of 366 poems Il Canzoniere. Laura is in many ways both the culmination of medieval courtly love poetry and the beginning of Renaissance love lyric. A bhajan or kirtan is a Hindu devotional song. Bhajans are simple songs in lyrical language expressing emotions of love for the Divine.
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, the largest, work of his career; the best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome, much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality, he was influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was known from his collaborative printmaking. After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models.
His career falls into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria a period of about four years absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. Raphael was born in the small but artistically significant central Italian city of Urbino in the Marche region, where his father Giovanni Santi was court painter to the Duke; the reputation of the court had been established by Federico da Montefeltro, a successful condottiere, created Duke of Urbino by Pope Sixtus IV – Urbino formed part of the Papal States – and who died the year before Raphael was born. The emphasis of Federico's court was rather more literary than artistic, but Giovanni Santi was a poet of sorts as well as a painter, had written a rhymed chronicle of the life of Federico, both wrote the texts and produced the decor for masque-like court entertainments, his poem to Federico shows him as keen to show awareness of the most advanced North Italian painters, Early Netherlandish artists as well.
In the small court of Urbino he was more integrated into the central circle of the ruling family than most court painters. Federico was succeeded by his son Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, who married Elisabetta Gonzaga, daughter of the ruler of Mantua, the most brilliant of the smaller Italian courts for both music and the visual arts. Under them, the court continued as a centre for literary culture. Growing up in the circle of this small court gave Raphael the excellent manners and social skills stressed by Vasari. Court life in Urbino at just after this period was to become set as the model of the virtues of the Italian humanist court through Baldassare Castiglione's depiction of it in his classic work The Book of the Courtier, published in 1528. Castiglione moved to Urbino in 1504, when Raphael was no longer based there but visited, they became good friends, he became close to other regular visitors to the court: Pietro Bibbiena and Pietro Bembo, both cardinals, were becoming well known as writers, would be in Rome during Raphael's period there.
Raphael mixed in the highest circles throughout his life, one of the factors that tended to give a misleading impression of effortlessness to his career. He did not receive a full humanistic education however, his mother Màgia died in 1491 when Raphael was eight, followed on August 1, 1494 by his father, who had remarried. Raphael was thus orphaned at eleven, he continued to live with his stepmother when not staying as an apprentice with a master. He had shown talent, according to Vasari, who says that Raphael had been "a great help to his father". A self-portrait drawing from his teenage years shows his precocity, his father's workshop continued and together with his stepmother, Raphael evidently played a part in managing it from a early age. In Urbino, he came into contact with the works of Paolo Uccello the court painter, Luca Signorelli, who until 1498 was based in nearby Città di Castello. According to Vasari, his father placed him in the workshop of the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino as an apprentice "despite the tears of his mother".
The evidence of an apprenticeship comes only from Vasari and another source, has been disputed—eight was early for an apprenticeship to begin. An alternative theory is that he received at least some training from Timoteo Viti, who acted as court painter in Urbino from 1495. Most modern historians agree that Raphael at least worked as an assistant to Perugino from around 1500. Vasari wrote that it was impossible to distinguish between their hands at this period, but many modern art historians claim to do better and detect his hand in specific areas of works by Perugino or his workshop. Apart from stylistic closeness, their techniques are similar as well, for example having paint applied thickly, using an oil varnish medium, in shadows and darker garments, but thinly on flesh areas. An excess of resin in the varnish causes cracking of areas of paint in the works of both masters; the Perugino workshop w
Improvisation is the activity of making or doing something not planned beforehand, using whatever can be found.. Improvisation, in the performing arts is a spontaneous performance without specific or scripted preparation; the skills of improvisation can apply to many different faculties, across all artistic, physical, cognitive and non-academic disciplines. Improvisation exists outside the arts. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials at hand. Improvised weapons are used by guerrillas and criminals. Improvisation in engineering is to solve a problem with the tools and materials at hand. Examples of such improvisation was the re-engineering of carbon dioxide scrubbers with the materials on hand during the Apollo 13 space mission, or the use of a knife in place of a screwdriver to turn a screw. Engineering improvisations may be needed because of emergencies, obsolescence of a product and the loss of manufacturer support, or just a lack of funding appropriate for a better solution.
Users of motor vehicles in parts of Africa develop improvised solutions where it is not feasible to obtain manufacturer-approved spare parts. The popular television program MacGyver used as its gimmick a hero who could solve any problem with jury rigged devices from everyday materials, a Swiss Army knife and some duct tape. Improvisation can be thought of as an "on the spot" or "off the cuff" spontaneous moment of sudden inventiveness that can just come to mind and spirit as an inspiration. Viola Spolin created theater games as a method of training improvisational acting, her son, Paul Sills popularized improvisational theater, or IMPROV, by using Spolin's techniques to train The Second City in Chicago, the first improvisational theater company in the US. However, for some gifted performers, no preparation or training is needed. Improvisation in any life or art form, can occur more if it is practiced as a way of encouraging creative behavior; that practice includes learning to use one's intuition, as well as learning a technical understanding of the necessary skills and concerns within the domain in which one is improvising.
This can be when an individual or group is acting, singing, playing musical instruments, creating artworks, problem solving, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or new ways to act. Improvisation was rarely used on dramatic television. A major exception was the situation comedy Mork & Mindy where star Robin Williams was allotted specific sections in each episode where he was allowed to perform freely; the skills of improvisation can apply to many different abilities or forms of communication and expression across all artistic, physical, cognitive and non-academic disciplines. For example, improvisation can make a significant contribution in music, cooking, presenting a speech, personal or romantic relationships, flower arranging, martial arts and much more. Techniques of improvisation are used in training for performing arts or entertainment.
To "extemporize" or "ad lib" is the same as improvising. Colloquial terms such as "let's play it by the ear", "take it as it comes", "make it up as we go along" are all used to describe "improvisation"; the simple act of speaking requires a good deal of improvisation because the mind is addressing its own thought and creating its unrehearsed delivery in words and gestures, forming unpredictable statements that feed back into the thought process, creating an enriched process, not unlike instantaneous composition. Where the improvisation is intended to solve a problem on a temporary basis, the "proper" solution being unavailable at the time, it may be known as a "stop-gap"; this applies to the field of engineering. Another improvisational, group problem-solving technique being used in organizations of all kinds is brainstorming, in which any and all ideas that a group member may have are permitted and encouraged to be expressed, regardless of actual practicality; as in all improvisation, the process of brainstorming opens up the minds of the people involved to new and useful ideas.
The colloquial term for this is "thinking outside the box." Musical improvisation is defined as the composition of music while singing or playing an instrument. In other words, the art of improvisation can be understood as composing music "on the fly". There have been previous experiments by Charles Limb, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, that show the brain activity during musical improvisation. Limb was able to show an increased activity in the medial prefrontal cortex, an area associated with an increase in self-expression. Further, there was decreased activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex, an area associated with self-monitoring; this change in activity is thought to reduce the inhibitions that prevent individuals from taking risks and improvising. Improvisation can take place as a solo performance, or interdependently in ensemble with other players; when done well, it elicits gratifying emotional responses from the audience. One notable improvisational pianist is Franz Liszt.
The origins of Liszt's improvisation in an earlier tradition of playing variations on a theme were mastered and epitomized by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven. Notable improvisati