Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Comprovisation Through Pianistic Improvisation and Technology

posted on 2023-10-25, 02:01 authored by Finnerty, Kristin

Comprovisation is the term I use to describe my process of making music using computer-based methods. Creating music using software, i.e., virtual instruments triggered from a MIDI controller in a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), is becoming commonplace among musicians and producers. This thesis contextualises this approach as comprovisation. The literature surrounding comprovisation often points to emerging threads of improvising musicians collaborating under the guidance of a composer overseeing their vision. I argue the emergence of technology and the accessibility of virtual recording studios/DAWs facilitates the process of solo comprovisation. When improvising musicians perform together, they are reacting and interacting with one another. Having access to multi-tracking in a DAW allows solo musicians to interact with themselves through overdubbing. Furthermore, capturing an improvisation as MIDI data allows for post-improvisation manipulation, thus combining two temporal directionalities: Composition, a discontinuous process, and improvisation, a continuous process, and a means of instant composition. This thesis argues the case for solo comprovisation through a body of my own creative work – a collection of pieces birthed from pianistic improvisations – recorded and mediated in the DAW.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Donlon, Mark