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Musical Creativity in Performance

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posted on 2024-01-01, 00:26 authored by Dylan van der SchyffDylan van der Schyff, Andrea Schiavio

Creativity studies have traditionally tended to focus on the evaluation of products generated by creative people, which are categorized in various ways according to their reception and impact on society. This orientation has been advanced in various ways by including factors such as process, personality, cultural pressures. While these approaches have produced many important insights, it may be argued that the types of creativity involved in music performance involve additional aspects. Musical performance necessarily entails developing forms of bodily skill that play out in real-time interactive contexts that involve other people, musical instruments and technologies, acoustic spaces, and various socio-cultural factors. Accordingly, some scholars have recently posited relational, environmentally distributed, and cooperative models that better capture the complex nature of musical creativity in action. In this chapter, we review some key approaches to creative cognition, with a special focus on understanding creativity as it unfolds in the real-time dynamics of musical performance. In doing so, we introduce a number of concepts associated with recent work in cognitive science that may help to capture the adaptive interplay of body and environment in the co-enactment of musical events.

Published version in The Oxford Handbook of Music Performance, Volume 1


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