Daniel Martín, François Pachet and Benjamin Frantz The creative process in lead sheet composition. In Lubart, T. ed, editor, The Creative Process: Perspectives from multiple domains, Palgrave Macmillan. 2016.

Sony CSL authors: Daniel Martin Martinez, François Pachet


Popular songs have arguably a huge impact on society. Everyone remembers songs of his childhood and teenage years, to such an extent that music taste is now considered by many sociologists as an important trait of our personality. It is therefore legitimate to investigate the nature of the creative act underlying popular song composition. Ethnographic experiments in popular song composition are difficult to conduct, because songs are mostly composed without digital means. This chapter addresses this question by looking specifically at the role of feedback in the lead sheet composition process. To which extent peer feedback can affect the quality of a music composition? How does musical experience influence the quality of a feedback during the song composition process? To answer these questions we designed and conducted an experiment in which participants compose short songs using an online lead sheet editor, and are given the possibility to feedback on other participant’s songs. Feedbacks can either be accepted or rejected in a later step. This experiment enabled us to collect quantitative data that can be used to estimate the relation between the intrinsic quality of songs (estimated by peer evaluation) and the nature of feedback. Results show that peer feedback can indeed improve both the quality of a song composition and the composer satisfaction about it. Also, composers tend to prefer compositions from other musicians with similar musical experience level.

Keywords: creativity, music

BibTeX entry

@INCOLLECTION { Pachet:17b, AUTHOR="Daniel Martín, François Pachet and Benjamin Frantz", BOOKTITLE="The Creative Process: Perspectives from multiple domains", EDITOR="Lubart, T. ed", PUBLISHER="Palgrave Macmillan", TITLE="The creative process in lead sheet composition", YEAR="2016", }