In collaboration with Susan Schmidt Horning
Edited By Hans-Joachim Braun
The Creative Process in Musical Composition: An Introspective Account
Abstract In an introspective account Liane Gabora tells us about the origins of her piano piece “Stream not gone dry.” By creative insight occurring in a burst of inspiration, she instantly knew the most important features of the song, but it took her about a year before she finished a piano version she was reasonably happy with. In her case, creative ideation involved elaborating a “kernel idea” proceeding from “ill-defined” to “well-defined,” from divergent to convergent thinking through a process of interaction. This process can also be described as honing of a half-baked idea. From the methodological point of view, Gabora argues in favor of amalgamating introspective accounts and psychological experiments.
I recently reviewed a book that suggested there is a gentle backlash taking place against the shift over the last few decades away from introspective accounts in psychology to experiments in strictly controlled laboratory conditions. It is suggested that a more nuanced, contextual, multifaceted understanding of psychological phenomena might be possible through an amalgamation of experimental and introspective approaches. This gave me a sense of permission to try to put into words the subjective experience of engaging in a particular creative act. The result is something quite different from anything I have previously written for publication on the topic of creativity.
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