Computation, Creativity, and Improvised Music

  • René Mogensen Birmingham City University
Keywords: creativity, computation, improvised music


I investigate the intersection of the concepts ‘creativity’ and ‘computation’ in the context of improvised music. While these concepts are commonly thought of as opposites, I argue that they can be intimately interlinked when humans and computational systems contribute to improvised music performance. I take human creativity and computational creativity to be categorically different. However, computational creativity in improvised music may be grounded in a ‘knowing how’ to improvise computationally and may contribute to the distributed creativity of a human-machine performance system. The semantics of humans and computational systems are of different categories and their respective musical ‘purposefulness’ are also categorically different. However, these differences allow interaction; and when engaged in group improvisation both humans and computational systems can be engaged in contributing to a co-creative improvised music performance.