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Prelude schemas

I had a great time today writing out 'chord streams' for Preludes. These are rows of chords which might be used to structure a free Prelude. I've had many problems with improvising free Preludes - usually it's the first thing I do in church, just when I'm feeling a bit cold! I tend to have a good opening idea but then don't how to shape this into a bigger coherent form.

This morning, the time felt right to have a go at these exercises. As I wrote them I had a chance to focus on different things - the flow of pure harmony; the larger structural shapes, the sentences and paragraphs underlying Preludes. This was nice because usually when I improvise I'm forced to focus more on the surface details: how things fit together in a more detailed way. This stops me from understanding the larger structure and often forces me to go in directions which don't really make sense or feel musically satisfying.

While writing these I felt as if important connections were being made - a sense of timing of events which was important to me. Afterwards I improvised for a long time on the piano, not on these structures, but freely, drawing on the connections I'd made through the experience of writing

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