As with all Music, dynamics play a very important role in improvised music. Dynamics can (and should) be used very effectively as a structural/organizational device. We’re not just talking about volume here. Getting back to an earlier post on this blog, eleven aspects of improvisation are delineated. Each of these parameters can be dynamically modulated. In other words, one can vary the amount of any of the defined parameters one utilizes in a phrase, note or statement. This is to apply Braxton‘s eleventh (of the twelve types) “Gradient Formings” – the serialization of dynamics.
One very, very good illustration of this is the “Pulse Track” of Braxton’s Composition #108B. This graphic score may be freely applied to volume and/or pitch.
Braxton describes #108B as “a series of possible curve line sounds or curve line dynamic changes” (311), implying that the lines can indicate pitch and/or volume… – Graham Lock