Examine the origins of improvisation and creativity in professional jazz musicians

Ngẫu hứng và sáng tạo trong nhạc công jazz chuyên nghiệp

The line graphs depict the average correlation of MIDI velocity values ​​and (A) time (A) between first and second notes, first and third, first and fourth, and first notes and fifth in 5-note patterns in 10 to 20 occurrences of each pattern in single-player Corpus (SPC, blue) and Control Corpus (CC, red). To clarify the context in which these patterns occur, the correlation values ​​of the first note in the sample with the 10 notes (variable) before and the 10 notes (variable) following the 5-note pattern are also included. The correlations for samples appearing 10–20 times in the relevant corpus (solid line) are plotted along the baseline correlations (dotted line) derived from 10,000 samples of 20 5 series Notes are selected at random. Shaded blue and red areas correspond to the standard errors of the mean, and the gray box represents the range of 5-note samples (real or simulated). The correlation for the first note in the sample has been dropped because all values ​​(autocorrelation) will be equal to 1. (For interpretation of the references to color in this figure legend, the reader is referred to web version of this article.). Credit: Awareness (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105308

World-renowned jazz musicians are often praised for their creative ingenuity. But how do they create improvisations? And what makes solo artists more appealing than those of less skilled players? These questions continue to puzzle not only jazz fans but also psychological researchers.

Two leading theories have dominated so far: Either musicians learn to master the rules that tell them what they can and cannot play—a sort of “secret language of Jazz.” Or, every musician build a personal library of melodies—”licks”—that they can rely on and recombine in new and exciting ways. Over the years, music scholars have collected many such “licking” volumes for learners to practice.

However, the fact that a certain combination of notes is repeated over and over is not evidence of an underlying movement pattern stored in the brains of musicians—it may just be a a surprising situation.

The ‘library theory’ of jazz improvisation

A new study, just published in the journal Awareness, provided the first solid psychological evidence for the library theory of jazz improvisation. For the first time, researchers from Aarhus University and Georgia State University have found that adept jazz musicians play certain combinations of notes with much more consistent timing and force than others. .

Regardless of whether these “licks” are played fast or slow, loud or low, the relative rhythm and stress are very similar. This strongly suggests that each player possesses a collection of patterns that are directly based on their own body and brain. Many jazz experts have called it their personal “vocabulary”. Interestingly, new research shows that these improvisational vocabulary varies between different players.

Martin Norgaard, born and raised in Denmark, now Associate Professor of Music Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta, adds: “It’s interesting that adept jazz musicians host performances Sound and movement are linked in the brain—it’s both the sound of licks and the information about how to play them.As a jazz violinist myself, I often hear slurs that I want to play. while improvising, but the rendering of the engine isn’t perfect, so the jingle doesn’t come out right. Based on our research, that’s less likely to happen as the expertise grows.”

Stylish and novel—a sign of creativity

Using an advanced computer model, the researchers also show that “licks” tend to occur in relatively predictable contexts but also cause greater surprise and uncertainty. in the listener.

The finding fits well with leading theories in psychology and neuroscience about human creativity and what makes certain types of music particularly enjoyable to listen to. In particular, the melodies in the personal vocabulary of jazz improvisers are often both stylistically relevant and novel — two hallmarks of creativity, according to scientists.

“The fact that solos by jazz experts evoke strong expectations in listeners and at the same time surprise them may be exactly what makes these tunes so engaging and memorable. This can ultimately help us understand why some musicians become famous while others don’t,” said senior author Niels Chr. Hansen, Assistant Professor at the Aarhus Institute for Advanced Study at Aarhus University, Denmark.

Research results—how did they do it?

  • Researchers analyzed nearly 100,000 notes played on the MIDI keyboard by artist-level jazz pianist Kevin Bales, during 11 live music performances for audiences in the United States. This collection of solos was compared with recordings by 25 experienced jazz pianists who participated in a previous laboratory test.
  • For each sequence of 5 repeated notes, the duration of the notes and the force with which they are played are compared between versions of the same pattern to find the most consistent set of played notes across tempos and magnitudes. difference.
  • One computational model trained in Weimar . Jazz Database includes more than 200,000 notes from 456 improvised songs by various jazz artists to estimate the level of surprise and uncertainty that each note in Kevin Bales’ improvisational solos will evoke at a time. casual jazz listener.
More information:
Martin Norgaard et al., Linked motor and auditory patterns in the improvisational vocabulary of an artist-level jazz pianist, Awareness (2022). DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105308

quote: A review of the origins of improvisation and creativity in professional jazz musicians (2022, November 18) retrieved November 20, 2022 from -roots-creativity-professional-jazz-musicians.html

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