Harmony on the violin – exploring ways to enhance harmonic awareness by improvisation. How can playing with basic elements of classical music help us to enter the music we perform ‘from within’, to enjoy the creative moment in connection with the repertoire we know so well and love so much, to ‘co-compose’… How can (tonal) improvisation be an aid to learn about harmony in a way that experience comes first, using, in this research, the violin as our voice?


In this research the aim has been to start creating a toolbox of games/exercises that can be used working on the violin in the above-mentioned way. At the same time the exploratory journey of the research proved to be a transformative experience regarding my own relationship with the music I play, love and teach and my relationship to improvising music. In the research those two threads – the development of educational material and testing it with students on the one hand and my personal development as a violinist and musician on the other hand - are constantly intertwined. The one cannot do without the other.


This research offers a collection of games that can be used in group lessons – the ‘invitations’ - and it offers suggestions for practise routines to be used when alone in a practise room. Influences from other musicians as well as from existing material on the subject are made clear. Recommendations on how to continue are expressed at the end of the paper.


I do hope you will enjoy this research – not only by reading through the paper, but mostly by taking some of the ideas in it, playing with them in your own personal way, possibly transforming them again and hopefully recognizing and enjoying the value and beauty that can be inside.




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