Improv in Music


I always wondered how does one get good at improvisations? Is it practice? It it creativity? What is it?

Whatever it is and whenever I am able to sit in front a keyboard/piano to play something, it makes me feel great. I felt like my mind is cleared from its overwhelming day-to-day activities and sometimes a mini music break may feel better than a 10 minute power nap. I never really understood what my brain is doing when I’m in the “zone” of music but I keep doing it. There must be something good because I feel great. This is also what motivates me to learn more about the different style of music and the effect of music on the brain! There were books i have read on music therapy but a recent TED video makes me realize that “science have been catching up with the arts”. From the TED video, Dr. Charles Limb presented his research in evaluating the effect of jazz improv and free-style rap and found corresponding areas that are responsible for those activities in the brain cortex.  It is quite amazing to see the advances in science attempting to answer the questions I have had. I wonder what would happen in another 5-10 years. Science is explaining what happens but science is still not able to figure out WHY.

Do we always need an explaining on WHY we do something? Would simply saying my “gut” told me to do it be acceptable?

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