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Music Improvisation

When jazz musicians perform an improvisational piece of music their behaviors are not fully prescribed in advance, yet their actions become so tightly coordinated and their decisions seamlessly intertwined. A fundamental aspect of such musical improvisation is the bodily movement coordination that occurs among the performing musicians, with the embodied interaction of musicians both supporting and constraining musical creativity. In order to better understand how musicians are able to spontaneously coordinate their actions with co-performers, we examine the time-evolving patterns of inter-musician movement coordination using live motion capture and the mathematical tools of non-linear time series analyses. Revealing the sophisticated dynamics of movement coordination between improvising musicians is an important step towards describing how creative musical expression emerges from the spontaneous coordination of multiple musical bodies.


Relevant Publications: 

Walton A., Richardson, M.J., Langland-Hassan, P., & Chemero, A. (2015). Improvisation and the self-organization of multiple musical bodies. Frontiers in Psychology: Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.