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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on depictions of the creative process in a particular type of biographical source: biopics of classical and popular composers. Biopics reach broader audiences than traditional musicological texts and provide a window into how the creative process is understood in the popular imagination. This chapter outlines the main motifs that are usually associated with music creative processes in film. It compares depictions of classical composers with popular musicians, arguing that over time the two have converged as popular musicians have begun to be treated as artists rather than professional entertainers. Simultaneously, the chapter analyzes some of the cinematic conventions that are commonly used in the depiction of the creative act, particularly visual techniques such as flashbacks and overlays, and the manipulation of the soundtrack. These techniques idealize the creative act as a product of the mind, emphasizing its subconscious aspects rather than the practical techniques of composition.

Keywords: biography, composer biopics, creative inspiration, reception, myth making

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