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Improvisation ("improv") is a when a performer is "making it up he/she goes along".

In music, improvisation is when one sings or plays music which is made up on the spot; it is neither memorized nor written down. Improvisation is often found in jazz, blues and rock and roll.

Composer/organists like Bach and Handel were famous improvisors. Even today, a good church organist will improvise before the service or during the collection. Choirs have been known to "set a tune" for the organist to play - an example would be variations on "Happy Birthday to you" played in the style of a Bach chorale prelude on the birthday of the minister's wife.

Actors also sometimes improvise. Some comedy troupes base their entire act on improvising.