1st Edition

The Act of Musical Composition
Studies in the Creative Process

Edited By

Dave Collins

ISBN 9781138252394
Published October 9, 2016 by Routledge
312 Pages

USD $56.95

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Book Description

The study of musical composition has been marked by a didactic, technique-based approach, focusing on the understanding of musical language and grammar -harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and arrangement - or on generic and stylistic categories. In the field of the psychology of music, the study of musical composition, even in the twenty-first century, remains a poor cousin to the literature which relates to musical perception, music performance, musical preferences, musical memory and so on. Our understanding of the compositional process has, in the main, been informed by anecdotal after-the-event accounts or post hoc analyses of composition. The Act of Musical Composition: Studies in the Creative Process presents the first coherent exploration around this unique aspect of human creative activity. The central threads, or key themes - compositional process, creative thinking and problem-solving - are integrated by the combination of theoretical understandings of creativity with innovative empirical work.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Empirical and historical musicologies of compositional processes: towards a cross-fertilization, Nicolas Donin; Process, self-evaluation, and lifespan creativity trajectories in eminent composers, Aaron Kozbelt; Musical imagery in the creative process, Freya Bailes and Laura Bishop; Meaningful engagement with music composition, Andrew R. Brown and Steve Dillon; The practice of diverse compositional creativities, Pamela Burnard; Constraint, collaboration and creativity in popular songwriting teams, Joe Bennett; The influence of the extra-musical on the composing process, Shira Lee Katz; Improvisation as real-time composition, Simon Rose and Raymond MacDonald; On computer-aided composition, musical creativity and brain asymmetry, Eduardo Reck Miranda; Defining inspiration? Modelling the non-conscious creative process, Geraint A. Wiggins; Rules, tactics, and strategies for composing music, David Cope; Index.

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Dave Collins is Deputy Director of Higher Education at University Centre, Doncaster, a partnership with the University of Hull, having previously held the posts of Reader and Dean of Research. With experience of teaching music across a wide range of ages and abilities he gained his PhD at the University of Sheffield in the psychology of musical composition. He is the founder and editor of the International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media and the founder and advisory editor of the Journal of Music, Technology and Education. His primary interest and associated publications are in the field of creative cognition and music composition and the search for appropriate methods of enquiry.


’This book should be of interest to teachers of composition (most likely in Higher Education), research students and creativity theorists ... a valuable contribution to both music and creativity studies’. Music Education Research