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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the claim that high-level creativity may be sustained throughout musicians’ lifespans. It describes two theories of lifespan creativity, the “expertise acquisition” and “blind variation and selective retention” views, and examines historiometric evidence on typical patterns of lifespan creativity, largely based on classical composers. Many results to date suggest that composers often show longitudinal improvement and sustainability as a general trend, but with wide-ranging individual differences in their career trajectories. The chapter also surveys perspectives on cognitive processes undergirding musical creativity and provides some illustrative examples of variability in composers’ creative processes, focusing on self-regulatory themes of evaluation and monitoring as means by which some creators may achieve greater creative sustainability. Finally, the chapter extends the discussion of self-regulation and metacognition to sustainability in other modes of musical creativity: performance and improvisation.

Keywords: composers, lifespan creativity, historiometry, performance, expertise, self-regulation, self-evaluation, improvisation, metacognition

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