Improvisation means anything without preparation, from the impromptu DAR or manufacture. In common parlance, improvisation also means the spontaneous practical use of creativity to solve problems that arise.
The world views of nature-adapted and archaic cultures, referred to as “ wild thinking ” in ethnology, were essentially based on improvisation, in which fragments of experience were combined into a “ mythically distorted whole”.
The verb improvisieren was borrowed in the 18th century from the Italian improvviso , which arose from improvviso in the sense of unforeseen, unexpected . The Italian word is based on the Latin im-pro-visus as a form of negation and the Latin pro-videre as to predict . The German words vision and provision are related to this .
Improvisation in conversation
The ability to improvise is an important prerequisite for working as an entertainer or as a television presenter , as a performance only comes to life when you can react to the respective situation. A well-known figure in this field was Hans-Joachim Kulenkampff , who succeeded in stretching his television shows by hours without boring his audience.
Improvisation in music
Improvisation is understood to be the form of musical performance by individuals or an interplay of several, whose tone material and sequence of sounds is created in the execution itself and has not been fixed in writing beforehand.
Improvisation in dance
Under the influence of improvisation in music, e.g. B. by John Cage , the dance form Contact Improvisation emerged in the early 1970s . Contact improvisation involves dancing without fixed forms and without predictable movements. The physical reflexes therefore play a special role. Contact improvisation events (in contrast to courses, for example) are called jams, derived from jam sessions .
Improvisation in the theater
Improvisation is a fundamental part of actor training. And it is often used in a production in order to be able to approach a play in its initial phase. In addition, there have always been and still are forms of theater that bring improvisation to the audience. Historically, these are above all the impromptu comedy and the commedia dell'arte . Improvisational theater has been experiencing a renaissance since the second third of the 20th century and is enjoying increasing popularity. Associated with this is a development in which improvisation is no longer viewed as a substitute for the missing higher-quality text: improvisational theater is developing into an independent form that can produce expression and content in a way that author theater cannot.
Improvisation in organizational theory
In the organization of business administration the term improvisation is used in connection with case-by-case, unplanned regulations. In connection with the learning organization in particular, however, there are now also approaches towards improvising organization or the conscious use of improvisation in management. The work of Karl E. Weick (Management), Kathleen M. Eisenhardt (Organization) and Patricia Shaw (Management and Organization) should be mentioned in particular . The improvising organization is essentially a special form of self-organization . It depends on a flexible handling of risk calculation procedures as well as on spontaneous reorganization possibilities of the organizational structures and highly personalizable IT systems.
At the center of every management approach and every organizational theory is the question of the structuring of communication processes. Improvisation considers the perspective on status developed by Keith Johnstone - for the organization this consideration was u. a. made by Lehner and Ötsch. But storytelling (method) is also an important element in developing an organization's ability to improvise (see also Patricia Shaw).
Applied improvisation uses exercises from the fund of improvisational theater to support organizational and personnel development.
- Hans-Friedrich Bormann, Gabriele Brandstetter , Annemarie Matzke (eds.): Improvising. Paradoxes of the unpredictable. Art - Media - Practice . transcript, Bielefeld 2010, ISBN 978-3-8376-1274-5 .
- Christopher Dell : Principle of improvisation. Bookstore Walther König, Cologne 2002, ISBN 3-88375-605-9 .
- Reinhard Gagel: Improvisation as a social art. Schott Verlag, Mainz 2010, ISBN 3-7957-0727-7 .
- Theo Jörgensmann , Rolf-Dieter Weyer: Small ethics of improvisation: of essence, time and space, material and spontaneous form. Augemus Musikverlag, Bochum 1991, ISBN 3-924272-99-9 .
- Karlheinz Essl , Jack Hauser : Improvisation on "Improvisation". In: D. Schweiger, M. Staudinger, N. Urbanek (eds.): Music science at its limits. Manfred Angerer on his 50th birthday. Lang, Frankfurt am Main / Vienna a. a. 2004, ISBN 3-631-51955-9 .
- Simon Rose : The Lived Experience of Improvisation in Music, Learning and Life Intellect Ltd Publication, Chicago 2017, 9-781-783-20673-5.
- Wolfgang Stark, David Vossebrecher, Christopher Dell, Holger Schmidhuber (Eds.): Improvisation and Organization. Patterns for the innovation of social systems . Transcript, Bielefeld 2017, ISBN 978-3-8376-2611-7 .
- Marin Thomas Michka Herondart: La Grosse Bite de l'Improvisation , Paris 2019, ISBN 978-3-471-66553-4 .
- Special areas of application
- Shona L. Brown, Kathleen M. Eisenhardt : Competing on the Edge - Strategy as structured Chaos. Harvard Business School Press, 1998, ISBN 0-87584-754-4 .
- Gerhard Ebert: improvisation and acting. Henschelverlag, Berlin 1999, ISBN 3-89487-172-5 .
- Christopher Dell: The improvising organization . Transcript, Bielefeld 2012, ISBN 978-3-8376-2259-1 .
- Fu Li Hofmann: Theater-pedagogical acting training. One try. Transcript, Bielefeld 2014, ISBN 978-3-8376-3009-1 .
- Friederike Lampert: Dance improvisation: history - theory - procedure - mediation. Transcript, Bielefeld 2007, ISBN 3-89942-743-2 .
- Paricia Shaw: Changing Conversations in Organizations. Routledge 2002, ISBN 0-415-24914-7 .
- Patricia Shaw, Ralph Stacey (Edit): Experiencing Risk, Spontaneity and Improvisation in Organizational Change. Routledge, 2006, ISBN 0-415-35129-4 .
- Peter Thiesen: Drauflosspieltheater. 7th edition. Beltz, Weinheim / Basel 2012, ISBN 978-3-407-22074-5 .
- Jean-Pierre Thiollet : Improvisation so piano . Neva Editions, 2017, ISBN 978-2-35055-228-6 .
- Karl E. Weik: Making Sense of the Organization. Blackwell Publishing 2001, ISBN 978-0-631-22319-1 .
- Nicole Coppey: Improvisation among children: the human dimension of improvisation (PDF, French; 132 kB)
- Critical studies in improvisation
- Site about improvising objects
- Examples of exercises in applied improvisation
- Claude Lévi-Strauss: The wild thinking. Translation by Hans Naumann. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1968.
- Duden: dictionary of origin . Mannheim 2007, Lemma improvising.
- Christian Zentner: Mein Kampf . Ed .: Christian Zentner. List Hardcover, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-471-66553-6 , pp. 256 .