Theoretical and Applied Issues on the Impact of Information on Musical Creativity: An Information Seeking Behavior Perspective

Theoretical and Applied Issues on the Impact of Information on Musical Creativity: An Information Seeking Behavior Perspective

Charilaos Lavranos (Ionian University, Greece), Petros Kostagiolas (Ionian University, Greece) and Konstantina Martzoukou (Robert Gordon University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5191-1.ch025
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This century is an era of information and knowledge intensification. Novel information systems and services are developing through modern online information technologies. The rapid changes in the online information environment have greatly affected the way in which individuals search for music information and engage with musical creativity, within different music domains and for different purposes which involve composition, performance and improvisation, analysis and listening. The aim of this book chapter is to investigate the theoretical and practical issues relating to the impact of music information on musical creativity from an information seeking behavior perspective. Musical creativity is perceived as an intentional process which acts as a motivator for information seeking, leading to the utilization of different information resources and to the development of specific information seeking preferences. The chapter highlights the implications for research in this area and presents a research agenda for the interrelation between music information seeking and musical creativity.
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This is the century of information and knowledge intensification (Papatheodorou, Kapidakis, Sfakakis, & Vassiliou, 2003; Liem et al., 2012) and this also stands true for the music information seeking domain. Rapid changes in the information environment and the Internet have impacted the way in which individuals with an interest in music (e.g. composers, performers, researchers, educators, students, etc.) are seeking music information (Pierce, 2004; Hunter, 2006). In recent years, professional and amateur musicians have been introduced to a rapidly changing and expanding music information environment (Casey, Veltkamp, Goto, Leman, Rhodes, & Slaney, 2008; Kostagiolas, Lavranos, Korfiatis, Papadatos, & Papavlasopoulos, 2015). Today, music information not only constitutes every musician’s matter but also every musician has the opportunity to access a wide range of music information including both national and international resources that are available in print or digital format. Accordingly, many of those engaged with music information have adjusted their information seeking behavior in order to incorporate electronic or digital tools and information resources (Laplante & Downie, 2006; Dougan, 2012; Lavranos, Kostagiolas, & Papadatos, 2015c). Research further suggests that the rapid progress in the information and communication technology applications in the past few years has affected significantly musicians’ information seeking behavior (Liem, Müller, Eck, Tzanetakis, & Hanjalic, 2011; Liem et al., 2012), a change which requires the development of effective information retrieval skills and techniques on different music online information retrieval systems (Lavranos et al., 2015c).

However, as the environment of music information is constantly changing and expanding with increasing information availability (Raimond & Sandler, 2008), the study of music-related information seeking behavior also presents an area of ongoing interest within a broader context, that of musical creativity. Within the music information domain, information seeking is performed with the purpose of several musical creative activities, such as composition, performance and improvisation, listening and analysis (Webster, 2002; Lock, 2011; Menard, 2013). These are active, multi-faceted and constructive processes, which involve different musical expressions and behaviors aimed at the production of something new by the person who is engaged in it (Webster, 2002; Lock, 2011; Menard, 2013). Thus they involve the utilization of multiple features of music, critical thinking and constant exposure to ideas and experiences which lead to personal discovery and construction of new knowledge. The analysis of these complex musical creative activities provide a useful framework for understanding individual music information seeking behavior (Lavranos, Kostagiolas, Korfiatis, & Papadatos, 2015a; Lavranos, Kostagiolas, Martzoukou, & Papadatos, 2015b). In this process, the intention for musical creativity acts as a motivator for information seeking, leading to employing different information resources (Lavranos et al., 2015b). Therefore, musical creativity requires information and is associated with the individual’s information seeking preferences (Lavranos et al., 2015a), i.e. a musician’s refusal of using online musical information resources may have an impact on his/hers creative outcome (e.g. that related to composed music scores and recordings, performances of music both pre composed and improvised or written analysis and mental representations of the music heard) (Webster, 2002; Kiehn, 2007; Ryan & Brown, 2012; Lavranos et al., 2015b). In that way, the effective utilization and greater use of information resources may enable a richer exposure to musical information which, in its own turn, can have a positive impact on the development of musical creativity and the creation of musical creative outcomes (Lavranos et al., 2015a; Lavranos et al., 2015b).

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