Making a mark: the psychology of composition

Impett, Jonathan ORCID logoORCID: (2008) Making a mark: the psychology of composition. In: Oxford handbook of music psychology. Hallam, Susan, Cross, Ian and Thaut, Michael, eds. Oxford Library of Psychology . Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 403-412. ISBN 9780199298457. [Book Section] (doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199298457.013.0037)


This article discusses the psychology of composition. Composition is a reflexive, iterative process of inscription. The work, once named as such and externalizable to some degree, passes circularly between inner and outer states. It passes through internal and external representations – mostly partial or compressed, some projected in mental rather than physical space, not all necessarily conscious or observable – and phenomenological experience, real or imagined. At each state-change the work is re-mediated by the composer, whose decision-making process is conditioned by the full complexity of human experience. This entire activity informs the simultaneous development of the composer's understanding of the particular work in its autonomy, of their own creativity, and of music more broadly. While the urge to compose – to invent, structure, and define sound and musical behaviour – may be to some degree innate, modes of conceiving, representing, and realizing are the product of a situated process. Even if some or all of that activity is so well assimilated personally or culturally that it remains hidden from experimental view, it remains a behaviour in respect of an emerging object.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts > Performing Arts
Item ID: 11413
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Depositing User: Teddy ~
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2013 13:10
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:28

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