Tracking the Creative Process in Music

IRCAM, IReMus (Paris-Sorbonne University and CNRS), and CTEL (Nice-Sophia Antipolis University) are delighted to announce

3rd edition: Paris, France, 8-10 October 2015

This conference brings together researchers interested in artistic creativity and the study of processes of musical and sound creation of the past and present. Researchers working on this cluster of problems from a wide variety of disciplines (history, music analysis, psychology, philosophy, cognitive science, sociology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, etc.) are invited to assess the different methodologies developed in the last thirty years in their respective areas from an interdisciplinary perspective. Each approach contributes in its own way to the advancement of our understanding of the procedures, techniques, knowledge and know-how employed by musicians involved in creative projects.

Following the epistemological paradigm shifts that musicology underwent at the end of the last century, the notion of ‘creative process’ has been enriched. Sketch studies have extended their scope beyond notated works of art music.  Today this field includes all contemporary musical repertories as well as the oral, technological and collaborative dimensions of the creative process in music. There is growing interest, for example, in the function of improvisation and of gesture in the creative process, in the collective and collaborative dimensions of artistic work, in the redefinition of the roles of the composer and the performer, in the art of studio production and in the strategies of documentation, transmission and future performance of works involving technology, etc. The complexity and the multidimensionality of this field of study require new analytical tools and new research methods at the crossroads of analytical musicology, the social science and humanities and other academic disciplines.

This broadening of the field also provides a new context for the study of works and composers from the Western musical canon. Whether based on historical archives or on the collection of empirical data, studies of the creative process in music share many of the same methodological requirements, descriptive vocabulary and models of creative action. This conference therefore aims to be a forum in which the most recent results produced by the well-established tradition of sketch studies can meet the complementary or alternative paradigms emerging from other repertories or approaches.

Our guest speakers in 2015 will be Georgina Born (University of Oxford), Nicholas Cook (University of Cambridge, author of *Musical Performance as Creative Practice*, Oxford U.P., 2016), Pierre-Michel Menger (Collège de France, author of *The Economics of Creativity*, Harvard U.P., 2014), and Friedemann Sallis (University of Calgary, author of *Musical Sketches*, Cambridge U.P., 2015).  TCPM will also include workshops/concerts on composition and performance led by Hyacinthe Ravet (Université Paris-Sorbonne) and Jean-François Trubert (Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis).  The languages of the conference are English and French. Simultaneous translation of French papers will be provided.

Curious about TCPM?
– Go to for an overview of the previous edition’s papers and sessions.  Many disciplines and approaches were present, but there are still many more to include in the conversation.  All disciplinary and aesthetic domains are welcome.
– Go to (chapters 1 & 4) to catch glimpses of the first edition (Lille, 2011) and listen to colleagues’ statements about the creative process.


Each conference talk proposal must include the following elements:
· First and last name of presenter
· Institutional Affiliation
· Mailing Address, telephone number and email address
· Title of proposed conference talk
· Abstract, 800 to 1200 words in length, clearly presenting the subject, the theories and models of creative processes described in the talk, the goals, the methodology used and the results of the study
· Selected Bibliography (3 to 8 references to the exclusion of the presenter’s own work) and main sources used (archives, experimental or ethnographic data, etc.).
· Personal web site (optional)

Proposals must be received no later than 1 December 2014 via the conference’s website.

Proposals will be double-blind reviewed by 2 or 3 members of the Scientific Committee, depending on the areas covered in the proposal.  Notification of acceptance will be sent to applicants within 12 weeks.

Correspondence address: tcpm2015 (at) ircam (point) fr

The conference website will be online in fall 2014.