Improvisers (improvisation ensemble)

This course is addressed at performers who want to attain a broader view of rhythmical and structural fields. The rhythmical concepts of polyrhythm, polypulse and irregular groupings used in South India provide a very flexible method with which the student can experiment, without trying to copy Karnatic music. All the topics are re-structured to enable the student to work only with the concepts and techniques.

This approach, directed at performers of all instruments is organized in an ensemble situation: the number of students in a group is between four and seven. The course runs for the whole year. (For study points and framework see below).

Each year, in the last two months, every student is responsible for organizing or being part of a group (trio to quintet) that will prepare a controlled improvised piece to be performed at the end of the year in one of the presentations of the programme. The teacher will provide coaching to assist in the  creative implementation of the techniques seen during the year.

Course Structure

Classes take place once a week and are of two hours' duration. The maximum number of classes that can be missed is six out of the 28 theory/exercises lessons (excluding the last 8 weeks, in which the preparation of the final piece does not work as regular lessons and meetings to work on pieces are arranged whenever possible for the students and teachers). The student is required to work no less than 45 minutes a day on the material given in the lessons. 

The final grade is based on:

  • Proficiency of material in  the performance at the end of each year.
  • Theory exam at the end of the  year.
  • Attendance, homework and attitude.

In order to follow this course, the student should have previously followed the trimestral course 'Advanced Rhythm' or take both simultaneously during the first trimester of the year.


The four-year programme ‘Contemporary improvisation through non-western techniques’, due to its characteristics, enables the student to choose from where credits can be taken.
Bachelors: 10 credits per year; the student can take these credits from any kind of ensemble direction, all of the free electives and AHK electives, and the exemption of an elective course of theory of the third year.
Masters: 10 credits per year (this can be taken as masters subject, ensembles or individual credits).