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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Group musical improvisation is an important artistic, educational, and therapeutic process, and understanding the unique mental, individual, and social processes involved should be a key task for psychology. This chapter summarizes constraints in how some branches of psychology and ethnomusicology have conceptualized improvisation, and describes recent research embracing the breadth of what constitutes improvisation in music. Analyzing how highly diverse musicians discuss the fullest range of improvisational practices indicates important relationships between this creative interaction and wider psychological and social constructs. The chapter also presents research investigating the relationship between improvisation and health, highlighting a number of key benefits connected with improvisation in music therapy for patients with cancer. Enhancing understanding of the process and outcomes of musical improvisation in this way can help realize the potential contribution of music participation to contemporary culture, creativity in everyday life, and therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: improvisation, group, music, psychology, social, qualitative, therapy, health, and wellbeing

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