Rapid and flexible creativity in musical improvisation: review and a model

Loui, Psyche
July 2018
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences;Jul2018, Vol. 1423 Issue 1, p138
Academic Journal
Abstract: Creativity has been defined as the ability to produce output that is novel, useful, beneficial, and desired by an audience. But what is musical creativity, and relatedly, to what extent does creativity depend on domain‐general or domain‐specific neural and cognitive processes? To what extent can musical creativity be taught? To answer these questions from a reductionist scientific approach, we must attempt to isolate the creative process as it pertains to music. Recent work in the neuroscience of creativity has turned to musical improvisation as a window into real‐time musical creative process in the brain. Here, I provide an overview of recent research in the neuroscience of musical improvisation, especially focusing on multimodal neuroimaging studies. This research informs a model of creativity as a combination of generative and reactive processes that coordinate their functions to give rise to perpetually novel and aesthetically rewarding improvised musical output.


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