What is intuitive music?

The term Intuitive Music was originally coined by Karlheinz Stockhausen in relation to his two text cycles Aus den Sieben Tagen and Für Kommende Zeiten, which contain performance instructions for intuitively improvising musicians, and to the recordings and many concerts which he gave with his group at the time.

Intuitive Music and More

Markus Stockhausen often performed these pieces in the ’80s, in particular in the then German Democratic Republic with the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik Weimar. Simultaneously however, he developed his very own approach to improvising Intuitive Music. This is stylistically broader, and includes his experiences with harmonic, melodic and rhythmic improvisation.

His ideal is a music which is beyond all stylistic directions, but which denies none. This is the only way to allow intuition to be really free, and to produce a music which takes all circumstances into account (the acoustics and quality of the space, the time of day, the quality and willingness of the other musicians, one’s own feeling, the listeners present, the momentary inspiration), and thus gives the musician the greatest possible freedom of expression. This is perhaps the strictest discipline because it gives the player complete responsibility. He decides on the pitch material, the structure, the expression – the complete form of the music, and that in real time. And the target is, for Markus Stockhausen, an integrated music which above all can touch people and their feelings, give their fantasy wings, lift them.

That requires a lot of experience and previous knowledge, which can be practised. Learning and recognising intervals, scales, harmonies and rhythms as the basis for improvisation, ear training, the knowledge of different musical forms etc., all belong to the basic knowledge which Markus Stockhausen teaches in his international courses. Also trained at these courses are attentiveness when dealing with pitch and sound, perception and intuition. In parallel seminars, yoga courses, concentration and meditation exercises are also offered. It is a holistic approach to making music, which demands and cultivates all the creative musician’s capabilities.