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Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate Collection

Here is a list of the best Improvisation books, some I have read myself, some that I did research on, and all have great reviews!

Improvisation at the Speed of Life: The TJ and Dave Book (2015)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionT.J. and David are internationally known, award-winning, master improvisers from Chicago's legendary scene. This in-depth look at the techniques, principles, theory and ideas behind what they do is both authoritative and entertaining.
Author(s): T.J. Jagodowski , David Pasquesi , et al.

Patterns For Improvisation (2010)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionOne of the world’s most popular patterns books, many jazz greats have fond memories of practicing from this book! An exhaustive collection of improvisational jazz patterns in various meters and feels. Comments and suggestions by the author, a legendary composer, arranger, conductor, and instrumentalist. This is a very popular book because it helps spell out some of the basic building blocks of the jazz language.
Author(s): Oliver Nelson

Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre (1987)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionFirst published in 1987. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Author(s): Keith Johnstone

Truth in Comedy: The Manual for Improvisation (1994)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionWant to learn the improv techniques that helped Mike Myers, Chris Farley, John Belushi, and many others along the road to TV and film stardom? Then let two esteemed founders of long-form improvisational theatre, Del Close and Charna Halpern, teach you the "Harold." This groundbreaking acting exercise emphasizes pattern recognition and subversion of the audience s expectations, which are important factors for making people laugh without ever telling a joke.
Author(s): Charna Halpern , Del Close, et al.

Improvisation : The Drama of Christian Ethics (2004)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionChristian ethics presented as an act of improvisation on the Bible Sam Wells sees Christian Ethics as a matter of ‘faithfully improvising on the Christian tradition’. The Bible is not so much a script to rehearse, as it is a ‘training school’ that shapes the habits and practices of a community in action. The goal of Christian ethics is to teach Christians to ’embody their faith in the practices of discipleship at all times’.
Author(s): Samuel Wells

Applied Improvisation: Leading, Collaborating, and Creating Beyond the Theatre (2018)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionThis collection of Applied Improvisation stories and strategies draws back the curtain on an exciting, innovative, growing field of practice and research that is changing the way people lead, create, and collaborate.
Author(s): Theresa Robbins Dudeck, Caitlin McClure

Improvisation: Its Nature And Practice In Music (1993)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionDerek Bailey’s Improvisation, originally published in 1980, and here updated and extended with new interviews and photographs, is the first book to deal with the nature of improvisation in all its forms–Indian music, flamenco, baroque, organ music, rock, jazz, contemporary, and “free” music.
Author(s): Derek Bailey

Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art (1991)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate Collectionis about the inner sources of spontaneous creation. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms. is directed toward people in any field who want to contact, honor, and strengthen their own creative powers.
Author(s): Stephen Nachmanovitch

Creative jazz improvisation (1989)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionFor courses in Jazz Improvisation. This well-organized text integrates all of the techniques that jazz musicians practice into a comprehensive whole. It covers practice patterns and scales in all keys and tempos, transcribing solos of master improvisers, learning the jazz repertoire, and playing with other musicians.
Author(s): Scott D Reeves

Improvisation Starters Revised and Expanded Edition: More Than 1,000 Improvisation Scenarios for the Theater and Classroom (2016)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionImprovisation is an essential and invaluable technique for the actor's repertoire: It asks you to think beyond a script–and its memorized lines, movements, and facial expressions–to deliver a performance filled with honesty, insight, nuance, and verisimilitude.Improvisation Starters Revised and Expanded provides more than 1,000 brand-new scene scenarios that will help you: From the classroom to the community theater group–and even in business, language, and Author(s): Philip Bernardi

How to be the Greatest Improviser on Earth (2016)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionBecome great at performing long-form improv! We skip the basics and get into advanced topics like: being truly present, being authentic, dealing with difficult performers, being actually funny (!) and the rarely discussed but essential skill of being healthy. “Will Hines was my first improv teacher. He’s not an improv nut, but he is, you know? He has perspective.
Author(s): Will Hines , Von Euler-Hogan, Malin, et al.

A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (2006)

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate Collection“In December of 1776 a small boat delivered an old man to France.” So begins an enthralling narrative account of how Benjamin Franklin–seventy years old, without any diplomatic training, and possessed of the most rudimentary French–convinced France, an absolute monarchy, to underwrite America’s experiment in democracy. When Franklin stepped onto French soil, he well understood he was embarking on the greatest gamble of his career.
Author(s): Stacy Schiff

Improvisation For The Theater A Handbook Of Teaching And Directing Techniques by Viola Spolin (2014-03-13) ()

 Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate CollectionPaperback Publisher: Nabu Press (1745) ASIN: B01N1XYJ44 Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Author(s): Jan 1, 1745

Best Improvisation Books: The Ultimate Collection

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some improvisation books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Pentatonic Improvisation

Author(s): Evan Tate
ID: 2940983, Publisher: Evan Tate Music, Year: 2021, Size: 105 Mb, Format: pdf

Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

Author(s): Amit Chaudhuri
ID: 2966892, Publisher: New York Review of Books, Year: 2021, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub

The Motional Improvisation of Al Wunder

Author(s): H.R. Elliott
ID: 2999651, Publisher: Routledge, Year: 2021, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are truly record-breakers according to USA Today, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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