- The Oxford Handbook of Critical Improvisation Studies
- Contributors to Volume 2
- Introduction: On Critical Improvisation Studies
- Improvisation Technology as Mode of Redesigning the Urban
- Lots Will Vary in the Available City
- Improvising the Future in Post-Katrina New Orleans
- Billy Connolly, Daniel Barenboim, Willie Wonka, Jazz Bastards, and the Universality of Improvisation
- A Computationally Motivated Approach to Cognition Studies in Improvisation
- A Consciousness-Based Look at Spontaneous Creativity
- In the Beginning, There Was Improvisation
- Landmarks in the Study of Improvisation: Perspectives from Ethnomusicology
- Saving Improvisation: Hummel and the Free Fantasia in the Early Nineteenth Century
- Negotiating Freedom and Control in Composition: Improvisation and Its Offshoots, 1950 to 1980
- Musical Improvisation: Play, Efficacy, and Significance
- Improvisation in Freestyle Rap
- Speaking of the I-Word
- Modernist Improvisations
- Diversity and Divergence in the Improvisational Evolution of Literary Genres
- Improvisatory Practices and the Dawn of the New American Cinema
- Brilliant Corners: Improvisation and Practices of Freedom in Sent for You Yesterday
- Improvisation in Contemporary Experimental Poetry
- Subjective Computing and Improvisation
- Improvisation and Interaction, Canons and Rules, Emergence and Play
- Imposture as Improvisation: Living Fiction
- Role-Play, Improvisation, and Emergent Authorship
- Bodies, Border, Technology: The Promise and Perils of Telematic Improvisation
- She Stuttered: Mapping the Spontaneous Middle
- Live Algorithms for Music: Can Computers Be Improvisers?
- Improvisation of the Masses: Anytime, Anywhere Mobile Music
Abstract and Keywords
The theological doctrine of creatio ex nihilo attempts to safeguard both the power and freedom of God. If creation is understood as God’s work of art, then creatio ex nihilo is the strongest artistic account of creation possible. The Kantian artist possesses something like this power and freedom, since his or her original and exemplary ideas arise inexplicably. The modern and romantic artistic traditions have perpetuated this myth of the lone artist whose creation is a kind of godlike activity. This chapter claims that “improvisation,” or the fabrication out of what is already on hand, constitutes creativity for humanity. Thus, artistic genius always begins somewhere: creatio ex improvisatio. As a result, tradition is incredibly important to improvising art. Improvisation casts doubt on the myth of the disconnected genius and necessarily maintains a play between quotation and originality.
Bruce Ellis Benson is Professor and Chair of Philosophy at Wheaton College.
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