Creative thinking in music: Its nature and assessment through musical exploratory behaviors

Baptiste Barbot, Todd Lubart
2012 Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts  
Creative thinking in music has received only limited attention in the psychology of art and creativity, yet it appears to be one of the most important issues in the field of music education. As creative thinking in music exists in the general population and increasing evidence suggests the positive effects of active engagement with music, it seems that research on this topic offers promising implications beyond musical education itself. However, there is a lack of suitable measures of creative
more » ... bility in music for individuals without prior musical training, and many important facets, such as the original use of sound material, are often disregarded in existing assessments. To fill these conceptual and empirical gaps-a prerequisite to any research on musical creativity-we present a new multimethod framework for its evaluation: the Musical Expression Test (MET). This method combines a systematic observational approach with a focus on musical exploratory behaviors and a product-based assessment of musical pieces resulting from musical activities, involving a sound-production set and a computer-based recording system. A study with the MET on a sample of adolescents with and without musical training is presented and provides the first empirical evidence of the MET's reliability, convergence between behavioral and product-based assessment, and suitability for individuals without particular musical skills. A typology of product-based "creative styles" and their behavioral correlates is presented. The potential uses and implications of the MET for the future of musical creativity assessment and research are discussed.
doi:10.1037/a0027307 fatcat:mcc5lu4mr5dh7jsd4dvwhcurei