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date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In contrast to cerebral or mentalistic psychological accounts of creative processes, this chapter argues for an approach based within the frameworks of ecological theory and 4E cognition—the idea that psychological functioning is embodied, extended, embedded, and enacted. The chapter considers “everyday” and exceptional notions of the creative process and reviews cognitive models of musical creativity as a form of decision-making, as well as the tension between individualistic and social perspectives. As an alternative, it offers an account that recognizes the reciprocal relationship between materials (instruments, notations, tuning systems, recording/playback systems) and human minds and bodies conceived individually and collectively, drawing attention to four important features of musical creating: (1) the different scales at which it takes place, (2) its temporality, (3) its distributed and collaborative character, and (4) its intimate entanglement with environmental affordances.

Keywords: ecological theory, affordance, distributed, cognitive, environment, embodiment, social, individual, improvisation

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