Creativity and flow in musical composition: an empirical investigation

Raymond MacDonald, Charles Byrne, Lana Carlton

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    99 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Although an extensive literature exists on creativity and music, there is a lack of published research investigating possible links between musical creativity and Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow or optimal experience. This article examines a group composition task to study the relationships between creativity, flow and the quality of the compositions produced. First-year university students (n = 45) worked on a group composition task during three meetings. Each time the students met, they completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspects of each student's experience of the group compositional process using an 'experience sampling form' based on Csikszentmihalyi's previous work. Completed compositions were recorded and rated for quality and creativity by the participants and by a group of music education specialists (n= 24). Results indicated a number of ways in which the specialists' assessments of quality related to the students' assessments of creativity and flow. The study provides an example of a research method that can be used to further our understanding of the processes and outcomes of group music composition tasks. The discussion also considers a number of important ways that the concept of flow can be utilized within a music education context.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages292-306
    Number of pages14
    JournalPsychology of Music
    Volume34
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    Creativity
    creativity
    Music
    Students
    Group Processes
    music lessons
    Group
    music
    student
    Education
    experience
    Research
    research method
    Musical Composition
    questionnaire
    university
    lack

    Keywords

    • musical composition
    • assessment
    • collaboration
    • optimal experience
    • educational psychology

    Cite this

    MacDonald, Raymond ; Byrne, Charles ; Carlton, Lana. / Creativity and flow in musical composition: an empirical investigation. In: Psychology of Music. 2006 ; Vol. 34, No. 3. pp. 292-306.
    @article{f95020533ee547c5b6bcf75da7b3609e,
    title = "Creativity and flow in musical composition: an empirical investigation",
    abstract = "Although an extensive literature exists on creativity and music, there is a lack of published research investigating possible links between musical creativity and Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow or optimal experience. This article examines a group composition task to study the relationships between creativity, flow and the quality of the compositions produced. First-year university students (n = 45) worked on a group composition task during three meetings. Each time the students met, they completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspects of each student's experience of the group compositional process using an 'experience sampling form' based on Csikszentmihalyi's previous work. Completed compositions were recorded and rated for quality and creativity by the participants and by a group of music education specialists (n= 24). Results indicated a number of ways in which the specialists' assessments of quality related to the students' assessments of creativity and flow. The study provides an example of a research method that can be used to further our understanding of the processes and outcomes of group music composition tasks. The discussion also considers a number of important ways that the concept of flow can be utilized within a music education context.",
    keywords = "musical composition, assessment, collaboration, optimal experience, educational psychology",
    author = "Raymond MacDonald and Charles Byrne and Lana Carlton",
    year = "2006",
    doi = "10.1177/0305735606064838",
    language = "English",
    volume = "34",
    pages = "292--306",
    journal = "Psychology of Music",
    issn = "0305-7356",
    number = "3",

    }

    Creativity and flow in musical composition: an empirical investigation. / MacDonald, Raymond; Byrne, Charles; Carlton, Lana.

    In: Psychology of Music, Vol. 34, No. 3, 2006, p. 292-306.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Creativity and flow in musical composition: an empirical investigation

    AU - MacDonald, Raymond

    AU - Byrne, Charles

    AU - Carlton, Lana

    PY - 2006

    Y1 - 2006

    N2 - Although an extensive literature exists on creativity and music, there is a lack of published research investigating possible links between musical creativity and Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow or optimal experience. This article examines a group composition task to study the relationships between creativity, flow and the quality of the compositions produced. First-year university students (n = 45) worked on a group composition task during three meetings. Each time the students met, they completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspects of each student's experience of the group compositional process using an 'experience sampling form' based on Csikszentmihalyi's previous work. Completed compositions were recorded and rated for quality and creativity by the participants and by a group of music education specialists (n= 24). Results indicated a number of ways in which the specialists' assessments of quality related to the students' assessments of creativity and flow. The study provides an example of a research method that can be used to further our understanding of the processes and outcomes of group music composition tasks. The discussion also considers a number of important ways that the concept of flow can be utilized within a music education context.

    AB - Although an extensive literature exists on creativity and music, there is a lack of published research investigating possible links between musical creativity and Csikszentmihalyi's concept of flow or optimal experience. This article examines a group composition task to study the relationships between creativity, flow and the quality of the compositions produced. First-year university students (n = 45) worked on a group composition task during three meetings. Each time the students met, they completed a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspects of each student's experience of the group compositional process using an 'experience sampling form' based on Csikszentmihalyi's previous work. Completed compositions were recorded and rated for quality and creativity by the participants and by a group of music education specialists (n= 24). Results indicated a number of ways in which the specialists' assessments of quality related to the students' assessments of creativity and flow. The study provides an example of a research method that can be used to further our understanding of the processes and outcomes of group music composition tasks. The discussion also considers a number of important ways that the concept of flow can be utilized within a music education context.

    KW - musical composition

    KW - assessment

    KW - collaboration

    KW - optimal experience

    KW - educational psychology

    UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0305735606064838

    U2 - 10.1177/0305735606064838

    DO - 10.1177/0305735606064838

    M3 - Article

    VL - 34

    SP - 292

    EP - 306

    JO - Psychology of Music

    T2 - Psychology of Music

    JF - Psychology of Music

    SN - 0305-7356

    IS - 3

    ER -