About the Blocks

There are several types of Blocks in Impromptu: Tuneblocks, Drumblocks, Percussion Blocks, and Chord Blocks. For the purpose of the suggested activities we will concern ourselves mostly with Drumblocks and our Numbers Notaton and partially with Tuneblocks

NumbersImpromptu’s number notation for time relations is based on two basic principles

  • Larger numbers represent longer durations; smaller numbers represent shorter durations.  The smaller the number on the drumblock, the faster percussion events will follow one another
  • The numbers of drumblocks represent durations that are proportional to one another.

Drumblocks- These blocks can be found in the Drummer Playroom.


A Drumblock plays a single duration and the number on the block indicates that duration. Durations of Drumblocks are proportional to one another: a series of 3-Blocks played by a percussion instrument goes twice as fast as a series of 6-Blocks. Drumblocks can be dragged into the Playroom Area.

Let’s Look Inside a Drumblock

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(Click here to watch a short tutorial on creating new Drumblocks)



Melodies can be segmented into phrases, figures or motives.

In Impromptu, we call these segments Tuneblocks. Each Tuneblock is an element or figure from a particular tune. A Tuneblock typically contains from 3 to 8 notes. In Impromptu, sets of Tuneblocks are kept in one file and are used for reconstructing tunes or making a new one.  Tuneblocks files are accessed by selecting a file named in the Catalog that appears when the Tuneblocks Playroom is selected.

Super Block


Multiple Tuneblocks can be combined into a Super Block, which is essentially a small group of Tuneblocks combined to create a larger phrase, figure, motive or entire tune. When you click on the whole tune to be reconstructed, it is a Super Block made up of all the blocks that make up the tune. You will notice certain songs have blocks called FirstPart (FP) or SecondPart (SP) which are also super blocks consisting of several individual Tuneblocks.