About this Knowledge Base – improvisation.wiki

These pages are an open Knowledge Base for the craft of Improvisation and Instant Composition.

They are meant to grow like an open source dictionary, with contributors from the whole field of professional improvisers.

The idea is to try and define the basic concepts of improvisation which we can all agree on, whichever art discipline we are coming from. Can we create a vocabulary that is not linked to a specific discipline, and which can be used to talk about improvisation in any context?

At the moment, this knowledge base is housed on the website of the Carpet Sessions (www.instantcomposition.com), which are the interdisciplinary improvisation research sessions that were happening regularly since 2012 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and which have created the first incentive to build this beginning ‘wikipedia of improvisation’. Look at this post to see an overview of the themes that have been covered in those sessions in recent years.

However, the Knowledge Base is intended as an international resource, not centered solely around the improvisation practitioners in the Netherlands and we intend to move the Knowledge Base to its own website (www.improvisation.wiki) to give credit to the fact that improvisers from other parts of the world have begun contributing.

The International Interdisciplinary Improvisation Festival (IIIF) that has started in Amsterdam in 2017 as a ‘beta’ edition and is intended as a nomadic, yearly festival of improvisation (next beta editions in September 2018 in London and June 2019 in Gothenborg), is intended as a real-world counterpart of this Knowledge Base, a place where improvisation practitioners meet physically to address the open question: “How do we document and reflect on improvisation practices?”

Use the pull down menu above to go to the different sections that have already been created, or look here below.

Chapters and Entries until now:

Improvisation Basics

Skills and Craftsmanship

Context and (possible) Formal Agreements

Common Ground and Types of Interaction

Structures, Rules and Scores


Performance Issues









Please contribute if you feel you can add definitions/aspects from your own practice that have a value for interdisciplinary work. We can give you access to create new pages that link to existing ones. You can also contribute by simply writing a comment to the specific subject/page.

Do let yourself be heard if there is anything you read here that you cannot agree to. If that is the case, please provide us with an alternative text that includes your understanding of that aspect of improvisation. The idea is that we gather all relevant information on improvisation methods and concepts, and it is not a problem if it will contain various visions next to each other.

Also in terms of structuring this Knowledge Base, all feedback and comments are welcome.

You can contact us about anything via the contact page.

Have fun reading and contributing!




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This website is intended for the research and development of IMPROVISATION
as a craft/discipline in itself. We invite professional improvisers from any discipline to investigate and share their work methods (...) Read more by clicking here

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