Watch: Nicholas Cook: Researching Creative Performance

Professor Nicholas Cook addresses ‘Tracking the Creative Process in Music’, October 15th 2015.

From 2004 to 2015 two research centres funded by the (UK) Arts and Humanities Research Council – which represented successive stages of the same project – provided a focus for research in musical performance. Whereas the first (the AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music, aka CHARM) concentrated on recordings, aiming to promote their role as key documents in musicological research, the second (the AHRC Research Centre for Music as Creative Practice, aka CMPCP) not only shifted attention to live music, but also introduced a focus on issues of creativity: the basic research questions that CMPCP aimed to address were ‘How is musical performance creative, and what knowledge is creatively embodied in musical performance?’, ‘How does music in performance – and indeed the very act of performance – take shape over time?’, and ‘How does understanding musical performance as a creative practice vary across different global contexts, idioms and performance conditions?’ In this presentation Nick Cook relates CMPCP’s work to changing conceptions of the nature and role of creativity, in particular the shift from the traditional emphasis on product and lone creation to one on process, collaboration, and performativity. In doing this he provides an overview of the series of five forthcoming books that will form a key part of CMPCP’s legacy.

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