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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins by considering cultural-historical perceptions of the composer, the activity of composition and the nature of its artifact, the musical work. The high aesthetic value given to exceptionality in Western art makes any generalizing particularly challenging. Given the complex relationship between composition and its cultural and personal contexts, there is little direct experimental research. Theories of creativity are considered. Questions of motivation are fundamental to understanding the interaction of constituent psychological processes and embodied practices: the internalization of music-cognitive behavior, decision-making and the roles of metaphors, models and schema. Improvisation affords one perspective and raises questions of time; sketches offer another view. New technologies allow the extension and redistribution of elements of composition, indicating the important role of external representations. Recent machine-based experiments illuminate both questions and assumptions. In conclusion, composition is seen as a situated activity, distributed through various modes and cycles of inscription and externalization.

Keywords: composition, work, creativity, imagination, practice, improvisation, sketches, technology, models, schema

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