Rideout, Rob (2014) Creativity and Songwriting. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study tested a number of theories of creativity in an experiment where a song was written and recorded every day for over 170 days using various techniques and ideas. 15 have been reworked, finalised, and released on an audio CD, attached as Appendix 1. The finished CD contains material from a number of styles and is intended to showcase the gradual progression of the songwriting process and the change in style over time, and explores the question of whether songwriting and creativity in general can be improved through regular practice. It also demonstrates a wide array of skill and fluency in songwriting and creativity gained from a large amount of practice, whilst also exhibiting examples of the material that was written in the daily songwriting practice routine.
The audio CD (Appendix 1) is accompanied by a data CD containing 100 recorded demos of songs written over the course of the experiment (Appendix 2) and a thesis explaining the creative process behind selected tracks, complete with a literature review of research into the current understanding of creativity. This is explored from both a psychological viewpoint and a more subjective viewpoint, relating specifically to songwriting. The thesis also attempts to find common ground between psychological practices aimed at improving general creativity, and more specific songwriting techniques, intended to explore how songwriters can produce a higher quality or quantity of work. It addresses such issues as writer’s block, songwriting as a routine, and also the relationship between the number of songs written and the quality of those songs, whilst also autoethnographically detailing the writing process of the songs written over the 170 day period, and the experience of the artist of the effects of the practice routine.
The project aimed to determine whether creativity could be improved by following a regimented practice routine over the course of a set period of time (in this case, roughly half a year). Both quantitative and qualitative data have been collected from this experiment and analysed from an autoethnographical perspective, and it has been determined that in this case, the artist’s perceived skill in songwriting has grown due to the amount of time specifically dedicated to it, the regular practice enabling a larger volume of higher quality work to be produced. Secondary research also showed that creativity in general was improved from the exercise, and that this enhanced creativity can be applied more generally than simply to songwriting.

Creativity and Songwriting FINISHED - final thesis.pdf - Submitted Version

Download (700kB) | Preview


Downloads per month over past year

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email