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Title: Outside on the inside : musical improvisation according to contemporary materialist thought
Author: Lovett, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 475X
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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One of the precursors to this PhD project was an awareness that a great deal of writing about music aesthetics, the practice of making music and the nature of listening to music, is often either knowingly or unknowingly grounded in a set of philosophical debates that predate (sometimes quite considerably) the music that is being written about. As such, there is a sense in which critical perspectives on improvised music practice, if they are to be relevant, need to take into account more recent developments in philosophical and theoretical thought, and one of the objectives of this study is to meet that challenge by mapping of some of the key aspects of twentieth and twenty-first century thought that have their roots in what could be described as ‘philosophies of immanence’ onto various aspects of improvisation. From the outset, this project is written from a maker’s perspective, and takes the form of a piece of extended research that takes as its starting point the idea that musical improvisation is a form of creative thinking in action. From this position, the process of improvising and an improvised piece of music, to some extent bear the traces of the thought that has given rise to both the music and the improvising itself. By grounding the research in a set of the afore-mentioned ‘philosophies of immanence’, it is therefore my intention to develop new ways of thinking about how improvisation works, new ways to describe what is happening when we hear musicians improvising, and new ways to understand what kinds of changes and innovations are brought to bear on the resources and materials – in other words the musical knowledge, the skills, the instruments, and a wider set of musical contexts and environments – that musicians have at their disposal during an improvisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral