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The Improvising MindCognition and Creativity in the Musical Moment$
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Aaron Berkowitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199590957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590957.001.0001

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Improvised performance: Performers’ perspectives

Improvised performance: Performers’ perspectives

Chapter:
(p.121) Chapter 6 Improvised performance: Performers’ perspectives
Source:
The Improvising Mind
Author(s):

Aaron L. Berkowitz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590957.003.0006

This chapter explores the experience and psychology of improvised performance from performers' perspectives. It presents interviews about improvisation with classical pianists Robert Levin and Malcolm Bilson alongside accounts from a wide variety of musical cultures. The phenomenon of the ‘creator-witness’, an improvising performer who simultaneously generates music and responds to the music that is created, is described in a cross-cultural context. A neuropsychological basis for this phenomenon is sought through discussion of a case of a musician who developed severe amnesia, but has retained the ability to improvise.

Keywords:   improvisation, phenomenology of musical performance, amnesia, musical memory, Robert Levin, Malcolm Bilson, cross-cultural comparisons

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