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  • Cited by 1
  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: September 2017

10 - Musical Creativity

from Part II - Creativity in the Traditional Arts

Summary

Abstract

Music is a paradigmatic domain of creative activity, culturally ubiquitous and manifested in a multitude of ways. Here I explore music as a domain of human creativity – both as a specific “content” domain informing productive aspects of musical creativity, and as a domain of mind, whose evolutionary backstory constrains the reception of music. In discussing the phylogenetic emergence of human musicality, I highlight possible tensions in the creative dynamic between novelty and canalized aesthetic preferences. A richer discussion of the creative process in music follows, illustrated by anecdotal and interview accounts as well as laboratory and archival studies, which collectively have shed substantial light on contemporary theories of creativity. I close by discussing the role of socio-cultural factors in musical creativity and some possible future directions for research.

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