Research Topic

What is Musical Creativity? Interdisciplinary Dialogues and Approaches

About this Research Topic

The aim of this Research Topic is to stimulate a rich cross-disciplinary debate over the nature and main properties of musical creativity. What is musical creativity? How can we assess creative musical practices? What are the main brain networks involved in creative thinking and action? How can music educators foster creative behaviors in their students? What roles do culture, genes, development, and evolution play in shaping musical creativity? How do composers and performers nurture their creative potential? Can technologies enhance creative experiences? What are the main implications for our understanding of different musical styles, genres, and cultures?

To offer some preliminary answers, and develop novel research trajectories in the field, we invite contributions from scholars with different backgrounds and interests. In offering a meeting point for complementary methodologies in the humanities and the sciences, we particularly welcome original manuscripts from musicologists, neuroscientists, composers, psychologists, music theorists, computer scientists, educators, performing artists, philosophers, and health practitioners interested in the interplay of music and creative cognition. The variety of research avenues potentially involved in this article collection is fascinating, and can inspire richer understandings of creative musical experience, practice, and their development.

This interdisciplinary liaison can extend to further advance knowledge of existing lines of enquiry based on divergent thinking and psychometric approaches, distributed information processing, and mental imagery (e.g., assessments of divergent thinking on the one hand, and qualitative analyses on the other). Such work can stimulate an important dialogue regarding the role of conceptual spaces, pre-inventive structures, and intuition, which can, in turn, help us understand how creative musical outcomes are generated and developed. We also expect contributions involving novel theoretical and computational models that can enrich the existing conceptual and empirical landscape by exploring novel tests, hypotheses, and interdisciplinary accounts at the intersection of cognitive (neuro)science, music psychology, and practices such as musical improvisation, dance, and composition. Accordingly, proposals that resonate with recent accounts on embodied and collaborative (musical) creativity are particularly encouraged.

We thus expect theoretical, practice-based, and empirical submissions that critically engage with existing literature, articulate novel stimulating research strategies, examine creative thought and action from diverse perspectives, and formulate novel conceptual topographies and arguments. This involves contributions that address the main topic in the spirit of constructive criticism, engage with the questions listed above, and promote original debates and dialogues among scientists, researchers, scholars, and practitioners. Different article types thus include the following: Original Research, Hypothesis & Theory, Review, Perspective, Conceptual Analysis, and Opinion.


Keywords: Musical Creativity, Music Cognition, Music Neuroscience, Music Performance, Creative Cognition


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The aim of this Research Topic is to stimulate a rich cross-disciplinary debate over the nature and main properties of musical creativity. What is musical creativity? How can we assess creative musical practices? What are the main brain networks involved in creative thinking and action? How can music educators foster creative behaviors in their students? What roles do culture, genes, development, and evolution play in shaping musical creativity? How do composers and performers nurture their creative potential? Can technologies enhance creative experiences? What are the main implications for our understanding of different musical styles, genres, and cultures?

To offer some preliminary answers, and develop novel research trajectories in the field, we invite contributions from scholars with different backgrounds and interests. In offering a meeting point for complementary methodologies in the humanities and the sciences, we particularly welcome original manuscripts from musicologists, neuroscientists, composers, psychologists, music theorists, computer scientists, educators, performing artists, philosophers, and health practitioners interested in the interplay of music and creative cognition. The variety of research avenues potentially involved in this article collection is fascinating, and can inspire richer understandings of creative musical experience, practice, and their development.

This interdisciplinary liaison can extend to further advance knowledge of existing lines of enquiry based on divergent thinking and psychometric approaches, distributed information processing, and mental imagery (e.g., assessments of divergent thinking on the one hand, and qualitative analyses on the other). Such work can stimulate an important dialogue regarding the role of conceptual spaces, pre-inventive structures, and intuition, which can, in turn, help us understand how creative musical outcomes are generated and developed. We also expect contributions involving novel theoretical and computational models that can enrich the existing conceptual and empirical landscape by exploring novel tests, hypotheses, and interdisciplinary accounts at the intersection of cognitive (neuro)science, music psychology, and practices such as musical improvisation, dance, and composition. Accordingly, proposals that resonate with recent accounts on embodied and collaborative (musical) creativity are particularly encouraged.

We thus expect theoretical, practice-based, and empirical submissions that critically engage with existing literature, articulate novel stimulating research strategies, examine creative thought and action from diverse perspectives, and formulate novel conceptual topographies and arguments. This involves contributions that address the main topic in the spirit of constructive criticism, engage with the questions listed above, and promote original debates and dialogues among scientists, researchers, scholars, and practitioners. Different article types thus include the following: Original Research, Hypothesis & Theory, Review, Perspective, Conceptual Analysis, and Opinion.


Keywords: Musical Creativity, Music Cognition, Music Neuroscience, Music Performance, Creative Cognition


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 September 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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