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August Watters

  1. Improvisation in Classical Mandolin

    “Bach was the first jazz musician.” “Mozart was a great improviser.” “Paganini thrilled his audiences with improvised cadenzas.”

    These anecdotes are often heard around the classical music scene, and they hint at some of the improvisational languages within classical music traditions. It’s well-documented that improvisation was an essential part of a classical musician’s toolkit, through the 18th century. Yet somehow, today, the word “classicist” is sometimes used to describe someone ...