Defining Creativity in Music Improvisation

Jordanous, Anna (2010) Defining Creativity in Music Improvisation. In: Empirical Musicology II Conference: Empirical Approaches to Performance, Leeds, UK, University of Leeds, UK.

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How is creativity manifested in improvisation? We have an intuitive understanding of the concept of creativity that we can use introspectively to suggest answers to these questions, both in theory and during performance. If, though, we want to program a computer to generate music in a creative way, the computer does not understand what creativity is. We cannot ask the computer to behave creatively unless we also give some definition of what such behaviour entails. So the problem becomes: how to define what musical creativity is to a computer. This work uses empirical methods borrowed from linguistics to capture the words which we strongly associate with creativity. An analysis of the language used in dictionary definitions and academic papers on creativity, as compared to everyday language use, has produced a list of words which we commonly use to discuss creativity, e.g. innovation, openness, divergent. After conducting a survey on how these words can be applied in the context of music improvisation, I empirically derive key attributes of creativity in this musical domain which can be used to guide an artificially intelligent musical system towards generating creative musical behaviour.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Informatics
Depositing User: Anna Jordanous
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:45
Last Modified: 31 May 2012 11:49
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