Creativity in joint musical improvisation

Schober, Michael (2016) Creativity in joint musical improvisation. In: Methods for Studying Creativity: Ahead of the Curve, 16/12/2015, Royal Statistical Society, 12 Errol Street, London. (Unpublished)

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Musical improvisation is a prototypically creative act, not only in obvious cases of “spontaneous composition” in free jazz but even in classical chamber musicians’ improvisatory adjustments to each other’s gestures in performances of notated music. This presentation focuses on two sets of studies as examples of methods for studying what happens in joint musical improvisation, where performers’ improvisations constrain and are constrained by the actions of the other performers. One experiment analyzes millisecond-level synchronization and blind-juror ratings of the playing of 30 pairs of jazz pianists and saxophonists as they played a specially-composed piece (with notated and improvised sections) face-to-face, via remote video, and via remote audio. Another set of case studies uses a retrospective think-aloud method to examine how performing pairs in free jazz, be-bop, and classical chamber music individually characterize—immediately after performing—what just happened, e.g., their partner’s intentions, what worked and what didn’t. These studies then quantitatively examine the extent to which performers’ characterizations overlap, and the extent to which performers endorse (on Likert-type scales) their partner’s interpretations any more than interpretations by an outside listener.
Michael Schober is Professor of Psychology and Associate Provost for Research at The New School in New York City

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: 6. Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis > 6.2 Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches
6. Mixed Methods Data Handling and Data Analysis > 6.3 Mixed Methods Approaches (other)
Depositing User: NCRM users
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2016 11:38
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2021 14:01

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