• Creativity,  Improvisation

    Improvisation in jazz

    Hello Dear Reader, Gosh it is warm in Switzerland today! The spring burst of colour that began last week is now in full flow thanks to a day or so of heavy rain. Glowing primroses, cheeky crocuses and alpine daisies swing gracefully in the herb scented winds that come down from the mountains. This has to be my favourite season. All the promise of life is new. While nature is in full-on improvisation mode, it seems only right that we consider a new paper in the journal Music Perception on improvisation in jazz. The Hochschule where I work in Switzerland also has jazz specialism, and a special research project on…

  • Creativity

    The brain source of creativity

    Where does creativity come from and can we see the sources of creative thought in the brain? If we could answer these questions then there would be important implications that go well beyond musical performance. Creativity is an areas that we can find quite hard to teach on the Music, Mind and Brain masters, compared to other more well trodden areas of research. In comparison to, for example, studies of music and language or musical emotion there is hardly any research on the creative processes behind musical composition and performance. Creativity is one of those ephemeral concepts that can be quite hard to capture, like mental imagery. I always thought that getting the…