IFR exercise "Seven Worlds" in the 4th harmonic environment

For IFR students practicing Exercise 2: Melody, this is a demonstration of the exercise Seven Worlds in the 4th harmonic environment. Ferran Badal explores the harmonic environment on the alto flute.

Practice tips

Start with just one octave. The key to the exercise is to stay in just one octave on your instrument, using note 4 as both the floor and ceiling of your musical range. This helps your ear to feel note 4 as the tonal center which is what causes you to feel the fourth harmonic environment as you are improvising. Notice how differently it sounds when another musician uses note 6 as the tonal center in this demonstration of Seven Worlds on tenor sax.

Discover the beauty of each note. As you practice the exercise, try not to become obsessed with just the technical part of creating these sounds on your instrument. That's an important skill to have, but it won't do any good if you don't have anything of your own to express with these sounds. So take the time to really explore each harmonic environment and to discover the unique beauty of each note of our musical system. To understand this point more deeply, here is an explanation of how IFR embodies the philosophy of Bill Evans in teaching music as a creative art form.

Give your full attention to each note that you play. More than just learning to create these sounds, Seven Worlds is really about listening to the sounds and discovering what each one means to you. These personal discoveries are the foundation for a lifetime of beautiful and inspired playing. You can learn more about this concept in this chapter from Improvise for Real on the power of direct experience.