C. Cardew (ed.), Nature Study Notes (full, 1969)

Included in Study set/collection.

This text is not licensed as our standard Creative Commons with derivative works allowed, please do not contribute to it.

Improvisation Rites 1969

No rights are reserved in this book of rites. They may be reproduced and performed freely. Anyone wishing to send contributions for a second set should address them to the editor: C. Cardew, 112 Elm Grove Road, London SW13.

For reasons of economy the pages of this book are reproduced from handwritten originals. The editor wishes to apologize for any inconvenience in reading caused by this method of production.

Nature Study Notes is referred to in the 'Draft Constitution of a Scratch Orchestra' (Musical Times, June 1969) and is currently in use by the Scratch Orchestra. Anyone wishing to take part in these rites or any other activities in the context of the Scratch Orchestra should write to the editor.

Nature Study Notes is published by the Scratch Orchestra and distributed by Experimental Music Catalogue, 26 Avondale Park Gardens, London W 11.

Rites are printed in the approximate order of collection. Notes on the rites are in alphabetical order of code names. Many rites are accompanied by a pedigree naming one or more of the following: the Mother (her initials are at the head of the code name), who wrote it down as a rite; the Father (F:) who provided the idea; any other relatives the Mother sees fit to recall; and an Ancestor (A:) or Archetype, identifying the basic human or non-human state, activity or event that the rite bears on. In the notes there is no differentiation between the Mother's remarks and those of the editor and others.


Any number of drums. Introduction of the pulse. Continuation of the pulse. Deviation through emphasis, decoration, contradiction.


Initiate an improvisation in the following way: All seated loosely in a circle, each player shall write or draw on each of the ten fingernails of the player on his left. No action or sound is to be made by a player after his fingernails have received this writing or drawing other than music.

Closing rite: each player shall erase the marks from the fingernails of another player. Your participation in the music ceases when the marks have been erased from your fingernails.


Form a standing circle. Nominate a leader, who stands in centre with eyes blindfolded. The remainder of group rotate slowly around him/her. At random the leader indicates a quarter of the group number by touching each individual. Indicated ones leave the group and become 'outers'.

The leader removes his blindfold, and establishes a rhythm and a note of his choice. The group together sing the note, which once established may be enlarged upon freely; but with voice only.

At any time during above proceeding an 'outer' may touch one of 'inner' group, who must immediately cease part in the performance and assume role of non-participating 'outer'. 'Outer' automatically becomes an 'inner' and must begin to perform a new sound or activity. One not produce by the voice.

Thus an outer may terminate any one person's participation at any time.

When the leader is touched, he forfeits his role and so doing shouts 'Porridge'. All activities and sounds must cease immediately, whereupon the new leader is blindfolded and rite begins anew. The new leader must decide upon a new group activity once 'outers' have been re-indicated. No verbal instruction must be given. He must begin the performance; the group imitate and enlarge upon it. Each successive rite must follow the same ritualistic pattern.


Each person entering performance space receives a number in order. anyone can give an order (imperatively obeyable) to a higher number, and must obey orders given him by a lower number. No 1 receives his orders from the current highest number (the most recently entered player); the highest number can give orders only to No 1.


For any number of people, preferably unknown to each other, making any kind of vocal or physical sound; no instruments to be used.

Performance to take place in any large area, inside or outside, with everyone scattered throughout whole areas, widely separated from each other as possible. A person stays in the same place throughout the performance; physical motion of all kind to be kept to a minimum.

Sounds can be of any kind produced from the person, i.e. vocal sounds (singing, speaking, whispering, shouting, crying, laughing, hissing, etc) or from the body (hissing, slapping, clapping, etc).

Sounds are made mainly in response to other sounds, therefore a sound made should have some meaning to the person making it. This meaning can be verbal (conversational) or aural (musical), or a combination of both. A response can be immediate (spontaneous reaction to some kind of sound, probably verbal) or reflective (probably musical). He can also arouse the response of other people by some sound; or he can just listen. In general the nature of the improvisation should be still and reflective.

The performance ends for each person individually when he has nothing more he wants to do. He may then get up and leave, this being the only physical movement he makes.


Announce a collective improvisation in which anyone can take part. The announcement should be accompanied by the following text:

"Look around and let yourself be drawn to a person whom you like. Study his face, gestures and movements for a while. Then take a sum of money, preferably all you have in your pocket, and give it to him. Then start again."

Musicians attempt to be more likeable than the general public. It is not important whether or no money is actually raised. End is open.


Take a stupid book. A reader reads aloud from it while the rest improvise. The role of the reader may wander
a) through the reader presenting the stupid book to someone else, and
b) by someone wresting the stupid book from the reader.

A reader may attempt to terminate proceedings by ceasing to read aloud from the stupid book.


The group assembles, one of the members being elected BIG LEADER. When there is silence, The BIG LEADER makes a sound, as short and quiet as possible. He is then challenged. the challenging member attempting to produce a sound even shorter and more quiet than the first. In the midst of great celebration, the challenger becomes the BIG LEADER. The process then continues until all members have had a chance of becoming BIG LEADER. The Challenger who last comes BIG LEADER is named as the SUPER BIG LEADER. There is great celebration; drinking, music, &c.


17 people play simultaneously at one piano.




Measure length, breadth and height of room of performance, taking account of any consistent prominences. Use the figures in any way to arrange sounds.


Two classes of performers: improvisers and stone-throwers, the former class to contain more members than the latter.

The stone throwers throw stones to miss the improvisers and cause no damage, with a vigour proportionate to the intensity of the sound.


When you're not playing, look for a girl in red stockings.


Before playing, do something inappropriate. Keep doing it until it feels inappropriate to start playing. Start playing.


1. Each member of the group finds an object from outside the performing area (preferably from the streets, fields, etc.) Any member of the group who is reluctant to work alone may team up with another or others who are similarly inclined (do not work in groups of more than 3). They choose one object between them, but each has the full number of guesses (see below). A time-limit (eg. 45 minutes) may be set, at the end of which time all the members of the group must have returned to the performing area with their objects.
2. After finding his object each member of the group covers it with a handkerchief, scarf, newspaper, etc, in such a way that the identity of the object is not immediately apparent.
3. Upon re-entering the performing area, each member of the group places his object in front of him and begins to play. If he moves he should take his object with him or, if this is impractical, write his name on a card and place it beside his objec.
4. At any time during the rite a member of the group may go over to another and attempt to guess the identity of his object (the objects may not be touched). He may only make a certain number of guesses for each object (see below), making these together or at two, three or four visits to that object. Having made the fixed number of guesses, he may make no more regarding that object, but may move to another, etc. Each member should have by his object a sheet of paper, on which other members coming to try to guess the object, write their name and the number of guesses they make. Upon returning they will be able to see whether or not they are entitled to make any more guesses, and, if they are, how many.
5. The system regarding the number of guesses each member of the group may make for each object is: Where less than 8 people are participating, each has 4 guesses for each object. Where there are 8-16 people, each has 3 guesses per object. Where there are 16-24, each has 2 guesses per object, and where there are more than 24, each has 1 guess per object.
6. When a player's object has been guessed, he must uncover it and stop playing. He can, however, continue to guess other people's ojects as before, until his allotted number of guesses has been made.
7. Members of the group should not reveal to others, or demand of others, what guesses those members have made concerning any of the objects. However, if towards the end of the rite there are one or more objects which have defied identification, the members of the group who are qualified to make guesses regarding the object(s), or the guesses already made, and may pool the remaining number of guesses available to each. These members may not ask the remaining members (those no longer qualified to guess the objects concerned) about their guesses.
8. The rite ends a) when all the objects have been identified or b) when one or more objects, all the available guesses having been made, remain unidentified. The owner(s) of the object(s) should then reveal their identity, with all due ceremony.


Having completed the above rite, the members of the group play, using their objects, until the objects are broken or in some recognizable way different from how they were before. The rite ends when all the objects are broken or damaged. Be careful not to break anything other than the objects (this rite is better performed out of doors, in a large open space).


Within a certain overall playing-time each player determined by random means one or more stretched during which he will play, for the rest remaining silent.
Players with access to mechanical or electrical equipment may make 2 parts, one of which would be performed by the mechanical or electrical equipment, the player simply switching it on and off at the appropriate points.


At a signal all players commence playing a continuous accompaniment. As the spirit moves them, individual players rise and play solos. After soling, rest. After resting, play more accompaniment (the same as before or different). Cease playing at a signal.
Definition: An accompaniment is music that allows a solo — in the event of one being played — to be appreciated as such.


An elected soloist undertakes to repeat an action over and over again. The electorate accompanies it. A changeover of soloist may or may not be attempted during a performance.


The players are paired off. Each player must be prepared to engage in some activity which will not necessitate his moving around. One small brush (eg. nail-varnish or paint brush) is distributed to each pair. The first player in each pair begins his activity, while the second gently strokes the lips of the first player with the brush. When the first player finds the stroking intolerable the roles are reversed, the second player engaging in his activity, the first player brushing the lips of the second. When the 2nd player finds the stroking intolerable the roles are reversed, and so on. The rite ends when no-one can bear to have his lips stroked any longer.


The following should be read only by the instigator of the rite. It should not be read out to those who are playing.
On a large card, large enough to enable all performers to read it cleary, write the following.


C 1
D 2
A 3
B 4
E 5

Above are two islands. On one are a woman (A) and two men (B & C). On the other are two men (D & E). They are all shipwrecked. A on one island is in love with D on the other. Unable to swim, she asks B to get her across. B says he is too busy building a radio transmitter to bring help. She asks C. He agrees, provided that she lets him make love to her. She consents. The deed done, C takes A to the other island where D, on hearing of the bargain, says he will have no more to do with the girl, who then marries E.

Going on the above information, list these 5 people in order of your preference, writing the 5 letters down the left hand side of a piece of paper, and affixing to each letter a numeral in order 1-5 as in the example at right.

When all the performers have written their lists tell them that A represents sex, B=intelligence, C=power and opportunism, D=morality and E=security, and that their lists show the order of importance those thins have in their lives.
To realise the lists in musical terms the following categories have been prepared. Others may be substituted, depending on the wishes of the instigator and on the people performing the rite (the following tables, for example, assume that these people are musicians). But try to keep a correspondence between the identity of the categories (sex, intelligence, etc) and the actions they are made to represent.
Referring to the tables below, each performer should write down the 5 categories of activity indicated by the five letter/number combinatinos on his piece of paper.

A1. Play short, loud bursts of sound
A2. Play short, soft bursts of sound
A3. Play long stretches of sound with much activity
A4. Play long stretches of sound with little activity
A5. Play very little
B1. Play musical notes, carefully chosen
B2. Play musical notes, freely chosen
B3. Play noises, carefully chosen
B4. Play noises, freely expressed
B5. Play any old thing
C1. Play an instrument in your possession that no-one else possesses
C2. Play an instrument or object in the room of which there is only one
C3. Play an instrument which you and everyone else possesses
C4. Play an instrument or object in the room of which there are many
C5. Play an instrument or object in the room not being used by others
D1. Play with utmost regard for yourself and others, play unobtrusively, do not misuse the instrument or object
D2. Play with utmost regard for yourself, not necessarily noticing other people
D3. Play according to the other instructions (or just play) noticing but not necessarily responding to other people
D4. Play with little regard for yourself or others
D5. Play without regard for yourself, for others, or for the instrument or object you are using (it is not at all necessary to be wantonly destructive)
E1. Play sounds which you know can be produced
E2. Play sounds which you think can be produced
E3. Play sounds of whose possibility of production you have doubts
E4. Play sounds which you know cannot be produced
E5. Play sounds not caring about whether they can be produced or not

Performers may view the categories as being grouped in the following ways (representing the movements of the five people): 1 ABC/DE 2) B/AC/DE 3) B/ACDE 4) BC/ADE 5) BC/AE/D


Place comfortable mattresses about the room. Those who feel tired lie down. The others play or sing relaxing music. A player who feels tired may also lie down. Ends when any or all of those lying down are asleep. Follow one of these instructions at a time:
1) play or sing more quietly than someone near you.
2) play or sing more continuously than someone near you.
3) play or sing at lower pitch than someone near you.
4) play or sing with purer timbre than someone near you.
(Move around)


Commence improvising discontinuous music. In the gaps in your playing: without masking their expression, allow your eyes to wander amongst your fellow players. On meeting the eyes of a fellow player: play in accordance with their expression.


Part 1: Consideration of an object absent from the performance space (either individually — a private affair — or communally, in which case decide on an object with which all are acquainted). Make seven sounds (named North, South, East West, Space, Earth, Shadow respectively) as follows: The first sound describes the object from the front. The second sound describes the object from behind. The third sound describes the object from the right. The fourth sound describes the object from the left. The fifth sound describes the object from above. The sixth sound describes the object from below. The seventh sound describes the object as it exists in you (your regard for it, its shadow in you, what it means to you). Bear in mind the possibility that the sounds may not only describe the object but define it too.
Part 2: Departure from the object.


Construct a silver pyramid. Bathe it with light. Play.




Before playing all sing a song in unison.


… watch what you are doing. Do nothing./ Occasionally raise your head and watch someone. If they raise their head and watch you,/ play for a short time,/ watching what you are doing. If while you are/ watching what you are doing, doing nothing,/ you feel that someone is watching you,/ play for a short time,/ watching what you are doing, or/ raise your head and watch the person who is/ watching you. If someone is watching you,/ play for a short time./ If no-one is watching you …


Do something. Undo it. Do it again — but louder. Undo it again. Do it while undoing it. Undo it while doing it.


Mainly think in rhythms. Pursue rhythm with melody. When your mind is of melody only, empty it. Investigate the spaces with appropriate sounds. End when your mind wanders on restlessly.


Pass time. If passing time bores you, pause to listen. If listening to time passing bores you, invent a distraction to pass time by.


If you have something to give, give it. Don't hesitate to give, yet choose the time or space. If you have nothing to give, receive. By receiving, you are under no obligation to give, yet it is better to give than to receive. Stop making music when you please, but don't stop giving.


All performers sit in circle. Instruments, if any, within circle. All sit perfectly still (eye movements, blinking, twitching, breathing, etc. do not count as movement). The 1st person to move must start playing his instrument (or make any sounds). As each person moves he must start playing. Only 3 people may play at any one time. So, as a 4th person starts playing, the person who has played longest stops. He resumes his stillness. Continuous stillness should be the aim, rather than playing. People must play their instruments or make their sounds whenever and as often as they break their stillness. The music made by the players should be in sympathy with stillness. Should no participant have moved within the first quarter hour, the piece is abandoned.

The piece ends by (1) if one, two or three players have played for a quarter hour without interruption. (2) At a given time the player who has played longest stops. He resumes his stillness. After this no new person can play again. 5 minutes later the next player who has played longest stops and resumes his stillness. This leaves one lone player who plays on for 5 minutes, then stops. There is one minute of stillness to end the piece.


Each person present attempts in turn to pass the business end of plastic drink stirrer between each extreme string and the resonance box of a guitar until he or she succeeds in doing so without touching the strings or the resonance box (the stirrer being switched on).


Six deep breaths ……


Think of a score and play it. If you can't think of one augment someone else's playing.


Imagine a score and play it. If you can't imagine one, remain silent.


Choose one of the following categories:
1) Christian names (male), 2) Christian names (female), 3) family names, 4) colors, 5) plants, 6) composers, 7) other.

Stand in a wide loose circle, as far away from one another as you can get without actually having to shout to make yourself heard. Beginning at any point in the circle, take turns naming, without hesitation, whatever word from the chosen category comes to mind. Speak loudly and clearly. If you feel like repeating a previous word, do so. The important thing is to keep the words coming until the winning word is spoken. Winning words are: 1) Wendell, 2) Martha, 3) Schwartz, 4) Green, 5) Carrots, 6) Offenbach, 7) freely chosen.

The first to speak the winning word (naturally) wins. As soon as you have won, go anywhere you like, and begin to play. If your victory was genuine, you may play as loudly as you wish. If your victory was fraudulent, you must play quietly throughout.

Meanwhile the person who was next you in the circle begins the game again, and so it goes until all are playing but one. This person, being the only non-winner, is the loser. Two courses of action are open to him:
a) He may consider himself a fraudulent winner and play quietly, in which case the piece goes on for a predetermined length of time, and then stops.
b) He may remain a loser, in which case everyone he touches must stop playing and become a loser likewise, with similar powers of conferring musical death by touch. When nothing but losers are left, the piece ends.


Mark out a journey (inwardly/outwardly/spatially). Make it.


A pack of cards is shuffled and laid face down. Each performer takes at least one card. When every performer has a card, improvisation can commence. Cards can be exchanged or discarded any number of times. Discarded cards are placed face up by the deck. When all the cards are discarded, activity ends.


Take a space. Make a sound in it. Make another sound in it. Make another sound in it. Make another sound in it. Get to know the space. Take an object. Do something to it. Do something else to it. Do something else to it. Do something else to it. Get to know the object. Take a person. Watch them make an action. Watch them make another action. Watch them make another action. Watch them make another action. Get to know the person. Do something. Do something else. Do something else. Do something else. Get to know yourself.


Each player divides himself into three equal parts.


Perform a service for an individual or the group — pat them on the head, dress them, entertain them, educate them, something. On recognizing a service performed for you, pay for it in music. You may pay for it immediately (in musical hard cash), or delay payment, in which case you have to pay interest. The interest increases in proportion to the length of the delay. Interest can accrue to the music in any dimension. In proportion as the interest approaches infinity, the situation approaches stability.


Walk down the riverside path from Greenwich Pier, past the Naval College, the little Trinity Hospital, the Power Station, to the Gasworks at Woolwich, picking up en route odd items, such as driftwood, scrap metal, etc. Make sounds in any way with the items picked up.


Do something impossible. Do something possible. Make the impossible thing seem possible. Make the possible thing seem impossible.


Arrange to listen to a piece by Beethoven; exaggerate in some way (perhaps actively) what would be your normal emotional response to it. The piece itself may or may not form part of the improvisation.


One person acts as money collector. To play, payment must be made at the following rates: 2 mins. — 6d. 5 mins. — 1/-. 10 mins — 2/-. 30 mins — 5/-. 1 hour — 10/- etc. The money collector must keep an eye on players to make sure they do not exceed their time, and to call them in when it is up. All payment must be made in advance. Money collected to go to the Scratch Orchestra A/c.


For any number of musicians playing melody instruments plus any number of non-musicians playing anything.

Begin ca ♪=150
accelerate to ca ♪=300.
Sempre ff (use amplification)


All in strict unison; octave doubling allowed if at least two instruments in each octave. Read from left to right, playing the tones as follows: 1, 1-2, 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4, etc. When you have reached note 65, play the whole melody once again and then begin subtracting notes from the beginning: 2-3-4…65, 3-4-5…65, 4-5-6…65, …, 62-63-64-65, 63-64-65, 64-65, (65). Hold the last note until everybody has reached it, then begin an improvisation using any instruments. In the melody above, never stop or falter, always play loud. Stay together as long as you can, but if you get lost, stay lost. Do not try to find your way back into the fold. Continue to follow the rules strictly.

Non-musicians are invited to make sound, any sound, preferably very loud, and if possible are provided with percussive or other instruments. The non-musicians have a leader, whom they may follow or not, and who begins the music thus: (♪=150) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ …. etc. (f sempre). As soon as this pulse has been established any variations are possible.


Members of the group each to perform some action while intermittently consuming a large bottle of Vodka. Actions made should preferably necessitate communication with other members of the group. Performance ends for each player when he has consumed the Vodka &/or is completely incapacitated.


Each player should imagine himself entirely alone and to have been so for some considerable time. When such a state of imagination has been reached the individual should play to get back to the group and assume a gregarious state.


Choose a short sound with voice, instrument etc. Be aware of the space around you. When you feel ready to make the sound, make it. Continue in this way without worrying too much about where the other sounds are being placed until you feel you have understood the sounds are making and the spaces in between. Be aware also of your breathing. Come out of it any way you wish eg. lengthen the sound, soften the sound, or stop the sound.


First of all, play as freely as possible, without regard for personal safety.


Before the improvisation, tell a few jokes to get everybody into a good humour.


….. with blindfold


Rotate / before starting


Drop everything. Do it gently for fear of damage.


One person starts shaving; the rest improvise loudly, getting softer as the growth is removed. When the shave is finished, dynamics are free.


Make detailed observations of weather conditions. The mood of the improvisation must contradict the evidence of the senses.


introit Procrastinate


Regard instability as a function of discontent.


Throughout the rite sway from side to side.


Let the cool relax and warm. Let the warm melt the cool.



On top of a custard pie (island), construct a mound of wrapped sweets. Form a circle of participants around the island. Draw lots to find the participant who shall commence the music making. The chosen participant takes a sweet from the top of the mound, unwraps it and eats it. The participant on his left then repeats this action and the process continues in a clockwise direction. Participants may only make music while eating a sweet taken from the mound, and further sweets are taken as their turn comes round, waiting if necessary until they have finished the previous one. The rite ends when the last sweet has been eaten and the custard pie has been given to the most deserving participant.


The group chooses a suitable outdoor site and waits for rain. Meanwhile improvisation take place in an attempt to induce rainfall.


A small number of people arrange themselves in a circle. One person, using his voice only, makes a clear, easily imitable musical statement. He continues to repeat this statement for the duration of the whole 'first cycle' pausing freely between repeats. Meanwhile the person immediately to the right of the first person listens carefully to the former's statement and memorizes it. When he feels that he can reproduce it exactly with his own voice he does so, adding to it his own simple musical statement. He continues to repeat this combined statement. Similarly the person just to the right of the second person listens, memorizes and executes vocally the whole combined statement of the second person to which he adds his own. Pauses, repeats, etc. The process continues until the evolving "melody" is completed by the last person, over the repetitions of its parts.
At this point the second cycle begins. The last person repeats the whole melody as many times as there are participants. With each repeat he is joined in turn by the first, second, third, etc. singing in unison with him and each other. During this cycle each person continues to "sing" as described above until his turn to join the unison singing. The participants should seek to conserve their energies so that the unison singing is exuberant and joyous. People outside the circle may join in.


Collective divination music. Throw your sound into the pool. Read your future from the manner in which it sinks or floats. Play only when you can hear yourself. Move away from any loud or painful noise.


Commence playing lying face down on the floor radially in a circle, feet towards the centre (which may be marked in some way, for instance by a chair or other object). After a time this position may be abandoned (for instance, someone who feels acutely uncomfortable may get up and move awa) but not necessarily. If the radial position is abandoned, new positions must always face directly away from the centre. Never face, or even glance towards, the centre (unless it be with eyes closed).


(Men) Discover a rhythm external to you. Bring it to light. Establish it.1
(Men) Take an idea to which you are normally totally indifferent and believe in it passionately.2
(Women) Disregard the evidence of your senses.


Those present hiss nonchalantly to themselves. The assembly undergoes slow metamorphosis — to a sharling mob, pulling hedous faces at each other. Proceed from here in to some other activity.


An area or place is filled knee deep with fluff. Everyone is in it. Improvise on or with the fluff. (Burrow in it, lie on or in it, etc.)


Question: In performing this rite, are you reaping your reward by the fact of your social transactions with the other performers, or by the fact of your following your calling? Answer: It depends on whether you are expoliting your abilities, or you are fulfilling a function in the rite.


This rite should be preceded and followed by patches of dead silence. At the sound of a champagne cork popping commence animated social intercourse. Under cover of the din, surreptitiously improvise. Cease at the sound of a gun going off.


Use any means to decide on a conductor. He is set up in front and asked to improvise soundlessly. The rest read him like a score and play accordingly.


They look at each other and it's as though the rest of the world had stopped, or gone behind a cloud leaving just the two of them, naked, standing in a shower of rain.


This is a little complicated, but basically one person sits at the top, not playing. Listening. The rest aspire (some maybe don't) to that position. When one of the aspirants qualifies, the silent position is transferred to him wordlessly (or with words, but a physical change of position is not necessary). The previously silent one, after a period of blankness (idleness, listleness — and have a certain amount of peripheral moving around is perhaps desirable), then in turn aspires (plays), and so it goes on …


Find or make a mountain. From the top, blow your problems and solutions to the (four) winds.


It's not music. It's my heart beating.


It glows when it's spun. Spin your dream.


Fix your eyes on some object or person in your vicinity. Imagine that your point of focus is changing colour. Change as many colours as you want. When you have mentally adjusted the colours to your satisfaction, proceed to the next activity.


lipsticks.. Please choose one
Moon Rose. Tawny Frost. Pink Heaven. Honey Mist. Fresh Pink. Golden Haze. Fresh Rose. Dew Pink. Moonlight Frost. Strawberry Fresh. Dawn Gold. Fresh Red. Fresh Coral. Tiger Rose. Coral Mist. Pink-me-up. Amber Mist. Morning Rose.
When you have made your choice play as if in solitary bliss .. a reverie in scented air .. float .. away .. to .. a .. star


Talk gibberish to someone (any sounds, gestures, expressions). Have conversation with that person in gibberish. After a while notice that another pair nearby is talking the same language. Include them in your conversation. Continue until everyone is participating in the same conversation. Continue


There are five consecutive periods of time. The first part of each period is silent, the second part music. The lengths of the periods and their parts are free. The signal to begin each part of each period may be given by any player and must be observed by the rest.


Undress, folding your clothes neatly and piling them with clothes belonging to others. When you feel dressed for the occasion begin to play.


Stand anywhere in the room. Face in any direction. Look straight ahead of you. Turn around your own axis very slowly (perhaps only once in the time available). When your eyes meet those of another performer, acknowledge his presence; on the simplest level, by smiling in greeting and moving on; or by standing still for a time, looking at him; or by making some action which will involve him or to which he can respond, either by imitating the action or by making a complementary one. Do not contradict or fail to respond to these gestures of friendship. After you have completed an action as described above, resume your circular motion. Let this be the first performance of the rite.

At subsequent performances, if there be any, apply the principles described above to the situation where your eyes meet those of someone who is not performing (has not read this rite). Then, apply the principles described above to the situation where your eyes meet any object, animate or inanimate. Finally, you need not move to bring about the situations described above. In the early stages of the rite's history, or at any time where it is necessary to limit duration, the rite may end for each performer when he has completed one rotation. Performance suggestion: 1st rotation, act according to 1st situation. 2nd rotation, incorporate 2nd situation. 3rd rotation, 3rd situation (inanimate objects). Then just play.


Um, er, um, — something or, about to speak — er — nails bitten, say, um, nothing or "I can't hear you —" — er, or something — um, er. um


Sit   Tite   Rite   Tonite


Crowd around a small box containing a large number of fleas. On a signal the box is opened. Commence playing when the fleas bite.


Men How high the moon? Women Count.


Play, thinking about how to end the rite. When you have thought of a way, try it out. If it is successful, the rite ends. If it is unsuccessful, stop playing (everyone else continues). The rite ends: a) if someone's method of ending it was successful. b) When all the players except one have been eliminated, they may conspire to stop the last player. If he can think of a way to stop himself or the others from proceeding, he should put it into practice at once.


Play, lying full-length on your stomach. Cushions, pillows, and other aids to comfort should not be used. Stop playing when you feel too uncomfortable to continue.


All parameters and dimensions are equal and as one.


Follow the movement of the needle on a playing gramophone (real or imaginary).


"What is a caucus-race?" said Alice … "Why," said the Dodo, "the best way to explain it is to do it." … First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle ("the exact shape doesn't matter," it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no "one, two, three and away", but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half an hour or so …. the Dodo suddenly called out "The race is over!" and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, "But who has won?" This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought ….. At last the Dodo said, "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes."


Play in a circular fashion. Increase the diameter of the circle. (The music should finally be ingested by its own fundamental orifice).


Do something while smiling because: What you are doing makes you smile; What someone else is doing makes you smile; You just smile. Stop smiling because: What someone else is doing no longer makes you smile; You do something that doesn't make you smile; You just don't smile.


be still. / if your environment disturbs you, let it until / it / doesn't. / make a sound when you are sure that you want to. / make it softly. / if you desire to make loud, disturbing sounds / think / until you / don't. / continue…


Write the words of everything Bob Dylan sings; put them around the walls. Play continously and in chronological order every record made by Bob Dylan. Respect the quality of sound. Use lights, people, incense, darkness, dancing, peace, soft floor, smoke.


Walk in single file fhrough deep freshly fallen snow. Do not speak between trees.


Converse with pigeons (real or imaginary) Establish a rapport.
Converse with ducks (real or imaginary) Establish a rapport.
Converse with chickens (real or miaginary) Establish a rapport.


1) Play without making a noise
2) Make a noise without playing


1) Make that which is DEAD, ALIVE
2) Make that which is ALIVE, DEAD (without killing it).
When that which was ALIVE is dead, bury it.
When that which was DEAD is alive, run.


Any number of players. Each player has a book with which he is totally unfamiliar, and a lighted candle. He reads silently by candlelight. When he comes upon a word or words suggesting absence of light — ie. darkness, night, blackness — he blows out his candle and begins to play. When more than ten people are playing, those who have been playing the longest re-light their candles and return to reading, repeating the same procedure as before. And so on.


Give your instrument to an onlooker. Indicate 1) that he should play it, and (if necessary) 2) some hints as to how this is done. Listen to him play. If you must do something imitate bugle calls. Reveille. Retreat and Last Post spring to mind. When your instrument is given back to you (possibly at your request), improvise. If your instrument is not given back to you express the emotions associated with bereavement in one of a number of conventional and readily recognizable ways. Breast-beating, teeth-gnashing, groaning and wailing spring to mind.


Only one person knows at first. He communicates to one or more of the company of what is to happen without stating anything definite, (for he might not know for certain himself at this point) by suggesting, demonstrating, implying, questioning. As he communicates thus to some, so they in turn communicate to others and out of ideas, actions emerge, at first by individuals but gradually by groups of people getting larger and larger and less and less as the actions converge on each other with increasing concordance of aims. In this way the implications of the start form the actions of now. The rite ends when everyone is doing the same thing.


One person from the gathering is elected as a speaker to commentate on anything (something, many things) present in a way audible to everyone else who act out this anything in a way communicated by the mood or tone of the speaker's commentary — his use of words, tone of voice, gestures etc.


Each member of the group cuts a slice of bread from a crusty loaf, spreads it thickly with butter and then very thickly with strawberry jam. Everyone now hands his slice to the person he knows least well. Eat and grunt with satisfaction.


Each person takes a number, between 1 and x (the number of people taking part). Numbers are chosen starting with the highest and counting downwards. If there is a disagreement about who should have a given number, it may be decided by tossing coins, by voting, or any other method. Each person must know who has the number immediately below his own, and all must remember who has the highest number.
When numbers have been assigned, No 1 begins performing. Some time after No 1 has begun, No 2 begins, sometime after this No 3 begins, and so on until all are performing. If desired, a maximum and a minimum interval may be decided in advance (eg. if a maximum of 10 minutes and a minimum of 10 secs. is chosen, you can begin not less than 10 secs. and not more than 10 mins. after the person with the previous number). However, if it is not desired to fix a minimum or maximum interval, then this is free.
To end: The person who begins last (i.e. the person with the highest number) decides when to end. When he ceases performing, everyone else stops.


Bodily contact. Exchange of instruments (goods, objects). Cleaning operations. Courtesy.


Sit in a circle. Choose one word from one of the following topics: Your name (christian or surname); The weather; Entertainment (sport, films, TV, theatre, etc); Health (or ill-health); a topical issue. Say this word three or four times in any way you like (sing, shout, wisper, etc). Then repeat the word three or four times that your neighbour on your left has been saying. If you don't know what he has been saying, say, "I beg your pardon." You can say the new word in any way you like, except that if it has been whispered, you must whisper it to. Stop when you have said as many words as there are people in the circle. A pencil and paper will help — write down the words the person on your left says and tick them off as you say them. Be polite, and try not to speak when someone else near to you is speaking.


The time available is divided by the number of people taking part. Each person then plays for this fraction of the total time. He can split it up any way he wishes.


1. In the situation in which you now find yourself, what is the most surprising thing you could do?
2. This may or may not influence what is to follow.
3. In view of the above, what is now the most surprising thing you could do?
4. Repeat 2 and 3 until the novelty of each occurence is no longer surprising.
5. If doing something unsurprising will occasion surprise, the piece may continue.


1. You shall investigate the unfamiliar until it has become familiar.
2. You shall impose rhythmic repetition on the familiar.
3. You shall vary this repetition in as many ways as possible.
4. You shall select the most satisfying of these variations and develop these at the expense of others.
5. You shall combine and re-combine these variations one with another.


The important thing is of course to play anything but do not attempt to play any melody and then not necessarily. After a certain amount of time, try to "tune in" to someone else's improvisation. As soon as you suspect that someone is tuning in to your improvisation — try to shake them off.


Start to play. Then later: — Play now and then, but only when somebody else is playing.


Start to play anything. Continue to play anything. Start to attempt playing something that somebody else was playing 10 minutes ago.


Play when you are least expected to.


Play in a manner that can in no way draw attention to your self or yourself.


Watch somebody else in the Scratch Orchestra; try and play what they were/are about to play.


Play what you will be playing in twenty minutes time.


The more ugly the sounds the more beautiful they become.


The more beautiful the sounds the more ugly they become.


Playing faster than you can the time passes slowly.


Play so slowly that it becomes your fastest speed possible.


Imitate: a well known tune played 15 times over without a break with every single note wrong and the rhythm wrong, &/or the sound being made by the player 8 places to your left &/or right.


Try to play what you think the person 8 places to left will be playing soon. Try not to play what you think the person 8 places to right was playing a short while ago.


Play what the person 8 places to your left is playing. Don't play what the person 8 places to your right is playing.


Don't start to play until someone else has started playing. Be sure to be the second person to start playing.


Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.


You have nine basic and different sounds which you can make during "Piece". Introduce them one by one in any order, into a performance of "Piece". When all the basic sounds have been introduced start to vary them in appearance: intensity, combination and frequency of use. As you continue try to change one basic sound gradually into another. When you have changed all of your nine basic sounds in this fashion you should then play them all once each in the reverse order to that with which you started "Piece". Peace begins where Piece ends.


Look upward, move backward.


The entire orchestra (or single performer or group of performers) spends the amount of time to be filled in setting up, arranging, adjusting and re-arranging their instruments and the environment. For 1½ minutes at the end of each performance of the rite, the performers actually play.


The attack should be prompt and united and as the piece progresses it should do so harmoniously, with clearness of tone and continuity of time, and so on to its conclusion.


All except 2 squeeze out a thick covering sound like toothpaste from a tube, a heady mixture, more than adequate to cover the conversation of those 2 people to be watched as under an imaginary spotlight; these 2 to get together, to do something, produce something. Something happens to them, is revealed, planned… They then split to head 2 coupling chains, that is each takes another partner (both pairs are then imaginarily spotlighted; attention can oscillate between the pairs freely) and gets together, does something, produces something, etc., etc., with the new partner. This new partner then splits to find himself a new partner in turn (choosing amongst those producing the covering sound), while the first partner emerges to musician status, but contributing to something other than the thick covering sound. And so on. When the last person making the thick covering sound has coupled there is no more coupling, and the music should still go on for quite a while with no-one imaginarily spotlighted, individuals dropping out as they feel like it. What about a covering for the last pair to couple?


Rule 1: In the first third of the piece approx. 1 in 6 sounds to be loud and short (P); approx. 1 in 6 to be long (up to 20 secs) and quiet (Q); the rest to be short and quiet (R).
Method: let x be the time available in minutes, and y be the number of players participating. 2x/y=z = the number of sounds (nearest whole number) to be made by each player in the first third of x. If z≥12, each player to make 2Ps, 2Qs and the rest Rs (all freely distributed). If 12>z≥6, each makes 1P, 1Q and the rest Rs. If z=3, 4, or 5, each makes 1P or 1Q and the rest Rs. If z=1 or 2, only the occasional player to make a P or a Q, the rest make R only, If z<1: either ½ Rs may be attempted, with an occasional ½P or ½Q, or: a certain number of plaers (sufficient to make z=1) should be silent for the first third of x, or: a combination of similar systems designed to uphold rule 1.
Rule 2: Proceed smoothly from the first third through the remainder of the piece.


Play or listen. If uncertain of anything at any time go to where someone (if you are performing) is listening, or where someone (if you are listening) is performing, and ask him.


Each player makes sounds only when attached to two other players by strings (about a foot long) tied to the wrists.


Begin with polystyrene.


1) Play just above the threshold of audability.
2) Continue in this way until pianissimo becomes ear-shattering.


are you an exhibitionist ?
yes contemplate your navel
no watch everyonelse then
watch someonelsewho watches you
contemplate what you like
what you
donot like
are you an exhibitionist ?


Think of a rose petal (choose your favourite colour) / think of a rose petal magnified a thousand times / think of a rose petal's scent, texture, existence and imagine them / magnified a thousand times / magnify your perception // of being // (after this you may play or you may be silent or you may be) // continue your perception of the imaginary petal.


Have a battle. (Try to avoid fatalities).


"It is all very well to keep silence, but one has also to consider the kind of silence one keeps."


Each person in turn plays or sings a solo, which is answered by a chorus of all the others. Begin and end with a chorus.


Before playing jump up and down 25 times. While playing, jump once for each sound you make. You may save up your jumps, up to 25, but not more. (i.e. you can play up to 25 sounds without jumping and then do your jumps all at once). When you're had enough, make it clear that you're not doing this rite any more.


[needed: 2 eggs and 1 whistle] Choose a referee. The rest of the players divide into two teams. One person in each team is elected to push an egg, with his nose, from one end of the performing space to the other. The nose of the player who is pushing the egg must not lose contact with the egg. If the referee sees that either of the eggs is not in contact with the player's nose, he blows his whistle. The penalty for this is that the egg is moved back half the distance so far travelled by that team. The two teams begin at opposite ends. The referee blows his whistle to start. The teams advance towards each other — the object is to reach the other end first (without breaking the egg). Players advance in a group or line, always keeping behind the egg. If anyone gets in front of his team;s egg he is OFFSIDE. If the referee sees a player offside he blows his whistle and a FREE KICK is awarded to the other TEAM. After the game the two teams sing SONGS together.


A bunch of assorted flowers is provided. An impartial non-performer hands one flower to each player. Look at your flower / play music or react in any way. Take the flower to pieces carefully / play music or react in any way. Take some pieces from other players giving some of your own in return / play music or react in any way. The exchange of pieces can happen as often as you choose. When a player wants to stop, he throws the pieces he has in her possession in the air.


Page one of the Evening Standard current on the day of performance. Each performer has a copy which he will use as his score. Performers decide individually how they wish to interpret the score and perform accordingly for a given length of time.


Instruments of the floor, players all around.

To start: Players go to instruments and select one not their own. They may then play; any player who did not get the instrument he wanted (because someone else got it first) may pursue the player who has this instrument and let them know — physically, verbally or musically — that he desires it. If the other player is willing, they will exchange instruments; if he is not and no further pleading will make her change her mind, then the refused player should give up pleading and accept the instrument he has, or go after another player whose instrument he would like.

At some time during the rite each player should exchange her first instrument for at least one other (still not his own), either when asked to, or by doing the asking himself. After having played two strange instruments the player is free to accept his own instrument if it is offered to her, or to go to whoever has it and ask him for it (the player who has it may refuse if he wants). Any number of exchanges may be made before a player returns to his own instrument, the only rule being that at least two strange instruments should have been played.

Force must not be used in trying to get a desired instrument from a player who is not willing to exchange. Once everyone has his own instrument back the rite can stop. So, if no-one wanted to go back to his own instrument the rite could go on for ever? When an individual wants to stop playing he must get his own instrument back before stopping.


Groups of 4-8 players. Each group plays its own individual game. Play as ordinary 'snap' (see notes for rules) but "SNAP!" must be a sound not verbal. At least 3 groups are desirable. All groups start play simultaneously. At the end of one game, rite is over (one-pack game would be very short, two-pack game would take longer — This should be decided on before play starts). When a group finishes they wait quietly for the others to end. When all groups ave completed one game, rite is over.


At some point in an improvisation let the absence of something strike you. Set to detecting its hidden presence and exposing it (drawing it out).


Wand instruments may be divided into 2 categories: 1) Strikers, 2) Strokers. The uses of each of these types of instrument can fluctuate between a) extreme brutality, b) extreme sensitivity. Representatives of the two extremes in each category are chosen some time in advance of the performance by the group as a whole (an arbitrary example: 1a) sledgehammer, 1b) cricket bat, 2a) saw, 2b) bow). For the improvisation each player provides himself with a specimen of one of these representatives and either starts with it and moves away from it, or starts with anything and moves towards it (and reaches it).


The drum is without form. A simple extension of the soul.


ABCOIR112-126 AB=Alan Brett. Compositions or Improvisation Rites.

ABIR127 Improvisation Rite from Psalm 100 verse 1.

ABP128 Piece

ACSRS64 Alvin Curron: Sitting Room Song

BGRIR63 Bob Guy: Red Indian Rite

BHBR140 Bryn Harris. Battle Rite. Father: Beethoven. Ancestry: Military music.

BHDIR62: Dessert Island Rite. F: C. Hobbs. A: spelling mistakes and forfeits.

BHPRR136 Polysterene Rite Revisited. F: "Make sounds with Polysterene …" (etc. as Wolff's "Stones"). A: wrongdoings

BHSGR33 Stirring Guitar Rite. A time limit for each person should be set before commencement and if the task has not been successfully completed within the time limit, that person must leave the group temporarily to contemplate his lack of dexterity.

BHSR49 Solitude Rite. F: BHDIR62. A: Human endeavor.

BHTOOB93 The Oozalum Oozalum Bird. F: the Wild West Show. A: Rugby Songs.

BHUSR36 Unwritten Score Rite. F:BHWSR35. A: Every score never written.

BHWSR35 Written score rite. F:CC. A:Every score ever written.

CCAMMR129 Cornelius Cardew. AMM Rite. Adamski also related.

CCAOR23 Absent Object Rite. Conceived originally as introductory to CCTG22

CCAR17 Accompanying Rite F: Scratch Music

CCC131 quoted from Confucius, Analects BkIII sect.23. translated by Soothill. The section begins: "the Master discoursing to the state Bandmaster of Lu on the Subject of music said: "The art of music may be readily understood. The attack … etc." " Ezra Pound's rendering: "One can understand this music: a rousing start in unison, then the parts follow pure, clear one from another, (brilliant) explicit to the conclusion". This text may be used as a variant rite.

CCCMR74 Conceptual Mountain Rite. The ancestry have being the continuity of history, little importance is attached to the mechanisms chosen for beginning and ending. A simple solution: the silent one is seen to be waring a hat; the rite ends when the hat is no longer in evidence.

CCCMR75 'Concerte' Mountain Rite.

CCDCR132 Daisy Chain Rite. A: Regeneration and the end of a dynasty. Maxim: In general keep 'imaginaries' to a minimum. The situation: After the initial couple, there are always 2 pairs coupling, both under scrutiny. The rest are playing either a) the covering sound (if they have not yet been in a coupling chain) or b) other improvisation (if they have). Each person (except the initial couple) is involved in sequence in: 1) thick covering sound, 2) two couplings (one only if you are the last in one of the chains)(in the first you are chosen, in the 2nd you choos), 3) improvisation.

CCEFUIIRR107 'Elements for use in Improvisation Rites' Rite. F: George Brecht. A: Ritual.

CCFR102 Filler Rite. A: creating and filling empty space.

CCHAC61 Hot and Cold. A: entropy

CCIR2 Improvisation Rite. F: 'Games for Musicians' by Richard Reason. Groups of two or more late-comers may use the same rite to join in an improvisation that is already in progress.

CCIR24 F: Eddie Prévost's 'Mystery'

CCIR42 Interest Rite. F: MC ("interest serves to stabilise the situation") A: GEM, Jealousy, Jewellery, Greed, Stockpiling, the arbitrary attachment of permanent (permanently increasing) value to objects). Note: In this rite, stability equals silence, I guess, since infinite interést takes infinite time to accrue.

CCIR71 F: Guerilla warfare. A: Animal behaviour. Possibility notes: a) many people, b) short time, c) hudde.

CCIR149 A decadent variant: Provide an improvisation with something the absence of which has struck you.
Ode: Water in desert sand / Love in an estranged marriage / Silence at the seaside /
(space for more lines).
Water in desert sand can be exposed by constructing a 'solar still': Dig a hole in the sand and place a cup in the bottom. Cover the hole with a plastic sheet weighted with stones around the edge, then place a stone in the centre of the sheet so as to draws it down in the shape of a cone whose apex is just above the cup. Sunshine is needed, and this is the kind of thing the improviser may have to provide. (In the decadent variant he would have the much easier option of simply making water in the sand.)

CCIRTSOW25 Improvisation Rite "The sheet of water".

CCLR67 Lovers' Rites. F: untraced. The 3 rites may be played separately &/or together. Footnotes:
1) This could mean 'internalise it'
2) If this proves impossible artifice may be employed.

CCPR16 Poem Rite, derived from 'Poem' by LaMonte Young.

CCQR133 Quiet Rite. F: a composition by Margery Wardle.

CCR72 Rite. F: Keith Rowe



CCSBR7 Stupid Book Rite. To end, stronger measures may be necessary, eg. Destruction of the SB.

CCSR18 Soloing Rite

CCSR26 Song Rite. Variants:
1) At some point in on improvisation one or more should sing a song (if more than one, sing in unison).
2) Before imporovising, each person plays an accompaniment. Over this combined accompaniment one or more should sing a song (if more than one, sing in unison). (see CCAR17). 'Unison' may be taken to mean 'all in the same key'.

CCTG22 Tender Glances. F: Janet Robertson.
On receipt of a tender glance, play melodically, straight from the heart./
Look around. What does your eye light on?/
On receipt of a glare, protest dramatically and waste no time./
Look around. What does your eye light on?/
On receipt of the straight gaze, gaze back and keep in tune./
Look around. What does your eye light on?/
On receipt of an enquiring look, answer as best you can./
Look around. What does your eye light on?/
On receipt of a surreptious glance, look the other way and keep moving./
Look around. etc.
(space for more lines).

CCTGRFT73 Tender Glances Rite for Two.

CCWR150 Wand Rite. F: 'The Music of the Arabian Nights' (in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Soc.). A: obvious. Variant rite (eg. all start with one representative and more to another one individually chosen) may be freely devised.

CFEOIR147 Carol Fyner. Exchange of instruments Rite

CFIRNTFM145 Improvisation Rite No 2. Flower Music. Alternative ending: When a player wants to stop, he collects as many of his original pieces as he can recognize and lays them out in an orderly fashion. Any other pieces in his possession can be left in a heap ready for other players to reclaim when they choose to.

CFIRT146 Improvisation Rite 3. Suggestions for playing: Play it straight through as if one was actually reading it. Play the pictures only. Play the headlines only. Play the captions only. Play the punctuation only. Play one news item only. Play the white space around the print only. Etc., etc.
Alternative version: Each player has a previously agreed upon distinct part to play (eg. one of the above, etc.). Ending can still be at a given time or whenever players feel they have finished.

CFS32 Stillness. A: ΨΨ vegetation. A second version is the same, but no instruments to be used. Sounds may be made in any other way. À pair of useful rules:
1) Notice the last person to start playing before yoru.
2) While playing, notice when he stops, and thereafter you stop when the next person starts.
Variant (for easier recognition when there are many):
While playing wear a hat; doff it on stopping.

CFSNAP!R148 SNAP! Rite (or is it a composition?) Standard snap rules. Cards are all dealt out, beginning at dealer's left; there should be none over (some players will have an extra card — this does not matter). Each person puts his cards face down in a pile in front of him. Person on dealer's left commences by taking the top card from his file and putting it face up in front of his pile. Other players do the same in rotation until 2 cards of the same value appear face up. At this point anyone may 'sound' SNAP! Whoever 'sounds' first takes both the piles headed by the same value, and puts them face down at the bottom of his pile. The game goes on like this. If face-down cards run out, the pile of face-up cards is turned over and used again.
If a player runs out of cards he is out of the game. The player who gets all the cards is the winner. Any player 'sounding' SNAP! in error has his face-up cards taken from him and placed in the centre. Anyone may claim them when the top card is matched by 'sounding' SNAP-POOL. "Naturally the excitement of the game, in the case of young children, is apt to lead to certain irregularities and these should be watched for by grown-up helpers". I would suggest that members of the audience, or any non-players, or those groups who finish their game quickly should keep a watchful eye on players for, these "Irregularities" and may shout (or 'sound'?) Cheat! whenever they see an irregularity.

CH27 Christopher Hobbs. F: CCTG22. Grandma: 'The Rite' (Ingmar Bergman). Granddad: 'Film' (Samuel Becket). This rite is circular (ou reaching the end return to the beginning. Commentary: An audience often looks, sometimes watches, rarely perceives.
Glossary 1.
1) Always watch what you are doing. 2) There are three types of activity, all of fairly short duration:
a) Play, b) Watch someone else, c) Do nothing (ie. anything that is not a or b). 3) Begin with periods of c) alternating with periods of b). If during b), the person you are watching looks back, go to a). If, during c), you get the impression that someone is watching you, either go to a) or look up and check. If your in impression was correct, go to a). If incorrect, resume C).
Glossary 2.
Do nothing — watch someone — no response from person you are watching — do nothing —.
Do nothing — watch someone — the person you are watching looks back — play — do nothing —.
Do nothing — you feel that someone is watching you — play — do nothing —.
Do nothing — you feel that someone is watching you — look up — someone is watching you — play — do nothing —.
Do nothing — you feel that someone is watching you — look up — no-one is watching you — do nothing —.

CHGR91 Gramophone Rite. F: Psi Ellison. A: returning one's source. Notes: 1) Possibly study enlarged photos of record grooves, observing the typical move ments of the needle. 2) The needle travels further to complete one revolution at the start of the record than at the end (i.e its speed in relatin to the groove is decelerating). 3) Aspire to the hole at the centre of the record,

CHHR9O Heavenly Rite. F: Swedenborg. A: Relativity, Religion.

CHIR83 Improvisation Rite. F: Keith Rowe. Family: Buddhist practice. A: Communication.

CHLR87 Lunar Rite. F: untraced. A: Subjugation of the female.

CHMR89 Military Rite. F: Napoleon. A: Military strategy. Note: An army Marches on its stomach.
Variant rite: Play, lying full-length on your stomach. Your sounds are bullets. Protect yourself against the sounds fired by the other players. If you get up, you're dead. Your participation in the rite then ceases. You may, however, begin playing the … (CHHR90).

CHRR88 Reluctance Rite. F: untraced. A: the ending of improvisation rites.

CHSBR19 Small Brush Rite. Alternatively from end of line 9: When the second player finds the stroking intolerable he gets up and stands idle, waiting for someone else to do the same. When someone does, these two change places and start stroking their new partners' lips. Note: If it becomes plain to a player that he will never find the stroking intolerable, it would be courteous at some point to pretend to find it intolerable. Indeed, not to do so could under some circumstances. be considered cruel.

CHSTBOR15A Supplement: The Broken Object Rite.

CHTHOR15 The Hidden Object Rite.

CHTIGR20 The Island Game Rite. F: Evening Standard of 14.5.69.

CJ81 Chris Jones

CMH-CR135 Chris May. Hand-Cuff Rite

CMPR111 Play-Rules. From 'The Naked Ape' by Desmond Morris, paperback edition p 121.

DDNWO110 David Dixon. Novelty Wears Off.

DJ68 David Jackman

DJ69 Note: Use kapok or some such soft, loose material. Try playing harmonica.



DJACR92 A Caucus-Race. From 'Alice in Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll.

DJCR78 Colours Rite. F: Emulsion paint. A: Ugly wallpaper.

DJFR77 Firefly Rite

DJTBR98 Three Bird Rites. F: Perry Eduards. A: Solitude, St Francis

EFMO95 Ed Fulton. Music 1

EFPR138 Primaeval Rite. F: Nature Study Notes. A: ee cummings, set theory. The rite is cyclic.
You may make sounds when you are contemplating your havel. The rite concludes when all are participating with each other.

EFPR139 Petal Rite. F: CCTGRFT73. Midwife: 'Stereoscan' electron microscopy.

FRFRR6 Frederic Rzewski. Fund-raising Rite.

FRLMDP47 Les Moutons de Panurge. F: Rabelais. A: mainly sheep. Suggested theme for non-musicians: "The left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. For Frans Brüggen, iii.69.

FRMEVR4 Musica Ellettronica Viva Rite. If conflicts arise, a jury decides the issue. The jury is made up of those who do not wish to play the game.

FRR8O Rite

FRTSP65 The Sound Pool.

HMS85 Hugh Shrapnel.

HMSBR45 Beethoven Rite. F: BHWSR35. Son: HMS Variation: Substitute any other composer.

HMSCR104 Commentary Rite

HMSIR5 Improvisation Rite. Variant: Replace first 12 lines with :- Any number of people making any sounds. Perform in a large area, as widely separated from each other as possible. Performers stay in the same place throughout, keeping physical movement to a minumum.

HMSIR43 Improvisation Rite. Variation: Substitute any other area, but for the purposes of an improvisation players must use items from the same area.

HMSIR44 Improvisation Rite. F: the White Queen. Godfather: Lewis Carroll. Variation : Substitute for "impossible", any other word with a negative prefix, eg. improbable, unimaginable, immoral, unedifying, unforeseen, undesirable, unusual, unlovely, incorrect, unenjorable.

HMSSB141 from Samuel Beckett, who also said "Silence once broken can never be mended"

HMSSR94 Smiles Rite. F: Smile / No Smile / Smile by Chieko Shiomi; Marcel Marceau. A: Humour.

HMSUR103 Unknown Rite

HMSVR48 Vodka Rite. Father: Clement Freud. Son: HMS. Holy Spirit: Vodka.

HS58 Howard Skempton. F: Choir experience. A: Parades, processions, old films, etc.

HSBR34 Breathing Rite. F: Public Speaking. A: Alleviation of nervousness.

HSDNO1 Drum No 1

HSDNT152 Drum No 2

HSIR8 Improvisation Rite. Conventions:
1) Any challenge must first be announced.
2) It is generally accepted that the challenger always wins.
3) Nobody is allowed to become BIG LEADER more than once.

HSIRNF28 Improvisation Rite No 4

HSIRNT13 Improvisation Rite No 2

HSIRNT14 Improvisation Rite No 3

HSOR53 Orphan Rite

HSOR59 Opera Rite. F: klinokinesis (a feature of invertebrate behaviour).

HSPR55 Puberty Rite

HSSR51 Swimming Rite. F: swimming instruction. A: General education

HSSR56 Shaving Rite F: MC10. A:Cleanliness.

HSTPR41 Three-part rite. F: Aristophanes. Ancestry.

HSTROJ52 The Rite of Jokes. F: conjuring. A: all those blokes who got their girl friends into a good humour.

HSWR54 Wheel Rite. A: Clockwork.

HSWR57 Weather Rite. F: the principles of rainmaking. A: Man / Nature relationship.

JHBBCOR130. Jane Hare. BBC Orchestra Rite.

JNWWR37. John Nash. Winning Word Rite. F: Mornington Crescent. A: Party games, Magic.
Note: A genuine winner who decides he is fraudulent plays softly. The same goes for a fraudulent winner who decides he is genuine. Decorum should be preserved.

JTDR82 John Tilbury. Dress Rite. F: Liberace. A: Fig-leaves, "I danced with the winds in my maiden form bra", Moss Bros.
Appendix: If a garment in the pile takes your fancy, ask the owner if you might have it. This rite in dedicated to Michael Chant.

LHUR84. The bright-eyed Laura Holmes. Um Rite. F: The inarticulate Michael Chant. The father also acted as midwife. A: time to think.

MC9. Michael Chant. A: Poverty. I originally meant loudly and continually.


MC11 A: Measured up music.

MC12 Appendix: There are no penalties for hitting an improviser or damaging an object, as it is assumed this will not occur.

MCAvMOSS&AFvMcC&OR70 Argent v. Minister of Social Security & Another Fuge v. McClelland & Others Rite. (ovum: reading of Taxation 28.vi.69). F: Christopher Hobbs (sperm: discussion of employment). A: subsisting, permanent, substantive positions, or otherwise.

MCICR60 Immaculate Conception Rite.

MCTR:A134 The Rite: Advice. Sex: Uncertainty. Performance Suggestion: the text should be prominently displayed.

MNBBSSR50 Maggie Nichols, Bob Brown. Single Sound Rite. Father: Buddha. Son: John Stevens. Children: Maggie and Bob.

MPEPR144 Michael Parsons. Egg-pushing Rite.

MPIR106. Improvisation Rite. F: ACSRS64. A: watching, waiting, listening.

MPJR143 Jumping Rite. F: Michael Chant

MPNR21 Night Rite. Variant: it could also be done in the afternoon (MPAR21)

MPPAYPR46 Pay-As-You-Play Rite. F: Boats for hire in Regent's Park. Other relatives: juke boxes, slot machines, other leisure amenities for which payment is made by time. Also related to FRFRR6, and more remotely to 'Poem' by LaMonte Young. Variant: The rates may be varied to suit the occasion (eg. more on Sundays and Bank Holidays. A cheap day once a week).

MPR109 Rite. An example: there are 20 players and 10 minutes available for the performance: then each person plays for a total of 30 seconds during the 10 mins. (Not necessarily all at once. It may be 1 duration of 30 secs, or 30 durations of 1 sec. or any other way of dividing the 30 secs., and he may play at any time during the 10 mins., but not more than 30 secs. in all.)

MPSACR142 Solo and Chorus Rite. F: Antiphonal singing.

MSCR108 Mike Smith. Conversation Rite.

MSIR96 Improvisation Rite. Traditional, arr. MS

MSIR97 Improvisation Rite

MSIR105 Improvisation Rite. (To be played immediately after wars)

PD31 Philip Dadson

PDIR3 Improvisation Rite. Note: the fraction in line 4 may be adjustee. Variant for last paragraph: When the leader in touched he forfeits his role, and so doing shouts "Porridge". All participation is interrupted for a fraction at "Porridge" and then resumed. Each person's first participation (coming 'in' from 'out') after "Porridge" should be the same as new leader's activity. Suggested closing rite: When a leader considers the performance has gone on long enough, he screams a different word (not "Porridge") when touched. Whereupon all cease finally.

PDIR29 Improvisation Rite. Pedigree: Father. Note: be free at any point to calm whomever you feel is in struggle of some sort; but do so unobtrusively, without making your presencé felt.

PDPTR30 Passing Time Rite. A: boredom.

PIIRNO100 Paul Irvine. Improvisation Rite No 1.

PIIRNT99 Improvisation Rite No 2. Variant: Substitute 'sound' for 'noise'.

RSIRNT101 Roger Sutherland. Improvisation Rite No 3

RSRIV137 Rite IV. Variants: in 1) substitute 'on' or 'on and around' or 'just below' for 'just above'?

TM40 Tim Mitchell. F: Jasper Johns' Make something, find a use for it.

TMCR39 Cards Rite. F: George Brecht. Pedigree: the emperor S'eun-ho & Thomas de la Rue.
Note 1. For Red Cards play 'good' sounds. For Black cards play 'bad' sounds. The higher the number the better/worse the sounds. jokers are jokers are jokers.
Note 2. Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

TMSR86 Scratch Rite. F: Striptease. Pedigree: Barnham Circus. NB. If no fleas are available play as if there were.

TMTTR38 Tube Train Rite. F: Treatise. Pedigree : William Caxton, James Watt, George Stevenson. Note: Colour code maps are useful, in case you get lost.

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See also: Stefan Szczelkun, Improvisation Rites.

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