The Art of Improvisation in the Age of Computational Participation

Authored by: David Borgo

The Routledge Companion to Jazz Studies

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138231160
eBook ISBN: 9781315315805
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the post-millennial musical moment by tracing a variety of approaches to, and attitudes about, human-computer interaction in jazz and improvised music. In particular, it focuses on several examples of computerized systems that have been designed and presented as semi-autonomous agents, having the capacity to invent, provoke, and respond to human musicians in improvised performance. The chapter interrogates how computational modeling of improvisation simultaneously elucidates, challenges, and perpetuates normative conceptions of improvisation, and it argues that the details surrounding the implementation of these systems, including how performers choose to interact with them, shed considerable light on how computer-mediated improvisation necessarily reflects specific culturally and historically situated understandings of creativity, collaboration, and computation.

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