Musical Archetypes and Collective Consciousness: Cognitive Distribution and Free Improvisation

Critical Studies in Improvisation

Burrows' goal is to demystify the act of improvising by drawing on theories of cognition and on his experience as a musician. He argues that purely interior mental processes supposedly governing improvisation are in fact dependent on external "objects" or environmental factors, such as the physical act of sound creation or the reactions of others. Each performance, Burrows suggests, may thus be affected by the interplay of individual psychological motivations, technical features of instruments, or the audience.

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activity theory, cognitive distribution, collective improvisation, free jazz, group improvisation, improvisation, mediational triangle, musical archetypes, musical interaction