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Creativity: Technology and Music

In collaboration with Susan Schmidt Horning

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Edited By Hans-Joachim Braun

Creativity, by which something new, original, and valuable is formed, has positive connotations. This volume features essays on creative processes in technological invention, engineering design, architecture, music composition, improvisation, sound recording, authenticity in music, and computer music. They deal with significant present-day as well as with historical issues of creativity. They explore what creative processes in different domains have in common, to what extent cognitive science can shed light on them and how they can be modelled. Contrary to some approaches in creativity studies, the authors, if ever possible, try to avoid speculation and come to empirically valid conclusions.
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The Creative Process in Musical Composition: An Introspective Account

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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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