(Presentation for the Third Master’s Degree in Classical Guitar Performance, University of Alicante
Juan A. Roche Cárcel
Director of Master´s Program
1. History of the term "creativity" (W. Tatarkiewitcz, History of six ideas, pp. 285 ff.)
1. Year 0-Year 1000. There is no concept related to creativity
2. Year 1000-year 1900. The term "creator" appears, a synonym for God
3. XIX century. The term "creator" applies to the language of the arts. Creativity only exists in
the arts
4. XX, XXI century. The term "creator" applies to all human cultures (economics, politics, art,
technology, science ....)
2. Characteristics of Creativity (Tatarkiewitcz, 292; Robert W. Weisberg, Creativity. Genius and other
myths, 15 and 168.)
a) Creativity is
a mental process (it takes place in the mind of the creator)
the product of that process, i.e., it is a creative act
b) Creativity insists on novelty
as a new form
as a new pattern
as new production methods
c) Creativity is the mental energy made available to musical production
d) Creativity is incremental in nature, i.e. it is not spontaneous as it requires effort and discipline and, in
short, successive revisions
These four features of creativity cannot be measured, so that creativity is an imprecise concept
3 The factors that play a role in creativity (Robert J. Sternberg, Todd I. Lubbart, Creativity in a
conformist culture, pgs. 109 ff. Howard Gardner, Creative Minds, pgs. 249 ff. Weisberg, 173).
1. Intelligence
-practice (energy is necessary in order to manage careers as well as the capacity to implement
the ideas and creative acts)
2 Knowledge. There is an average of about 10 years of knowledge of musical activity. Therefore,
creativity is a skill that has to be learned.
We must learn to be creative
3 Ways of thinking. Great mental self-control is required
4 We should possess or adopt the following personality features:
-Perseverance in the face of obstacles
-Willingness to take risks
-Willingness to grow as human beings and as professional musicians
-Tolerance to ambiguity: the world is not just black or white, there are many gray and complex
-Openness to experience
-To be confident and bold in defending one´s ideas.
5 Motivation and creativity
6 Environment and creativity.
-Apparently, for creativity, an excessively favorable or unfavorable environment is not good.
-The creativity needs some pressure
-The creativity connects the person to the world
1 General considerations. To be creative in guitar performance:
A) Features of creativity
a) Emphasis should be placed on the novelty of form, models and methods
b) To exhibit great mental energy: You see the work of great men and women who create great
creative works
c) You fight against death. The art -the music- set times against death
d) Creativity has an incremental nature. This means that it is not spontaneous but requires work,
discipline and habits
B) Factors of Creativity
a) Intelligence.
'You must analyze, with sensitivity and intelligence, the musical works.
'You must be able to synthesize these works, the spirit of the composer, and the general sense of
the work
'You must manage your career yourself, knowing how to implement your creativity
b) Knowledge
- Creativity is learned over time.
- It is not just a matter of performing a work mechanically: it is also about focusing on it and
doing it in a creative way: by adding, enriching, and bringing your own experience and knowledge
c) Thinking Style
Mental self-control. Capacity to lucidly understand the great composers and the most sublime
d) Strengthen the features of the creative personality:
-perseverance against obstacles
-willingness to take risks; especially in relation to innovation, to generate innovations: new risky
ways, to envision the music and its performance; new ways of contemplating the world and how to
-willingness to grow as human beings and as professionals
• Knowledge is a bottomless well that can never be attained completely, but whose path
gives us pleasure and fills us with joy and satisfaction
• Personal and professional life is a journey, an unfinished and imperfect process, but has
always the purpose of improving the fragile and ephemeral human nature
e) Tolerance for ambiguity
The great composers, in general, have left us very complex works full of contradictions,
paradoxes, ambivalences and different hues. Moreover, they are often full of multiple meanings
f) Openness to experience
• We are never experts in anything- we always learn to live and perform music
g) We must show confidence without arrogance.
• We have skills, knowledge, and experience and we have worked and will continue to
work for years.
• That gives us a "savoir faire" that we should support and show naturally
h) We must be highly motivated.
• If we do not possess a great drive to pursue music, it is better that we should seek another
career path
• Vocation is an energy aimed to serve society and make it happy, and it comes from music
and our daily work with the music
i) We must find a balance between a very favorable or unfavorable environment for our work
• without losing the spirit and with the desire to change, to improve, and to advance in the
musical world
If you are able to apply to yourselves these characteristics and these factors of creativity
Not only will you have correctly interpreted a musical work
But you will also have produced a creative interaction between yourselves as individuals
and society, as well as the world around you
Is this not life?
Is not Guitar music about "strumming" the desire to live?
2. Specific considerations of creativity in guitar performance
• Creativity is always a process and, in the case of guitar performance, it is even more of
• Particularly, creativity in guitar performance is a collective creative process:
o It is the creativity of the composer
o It is the performer creativity
o It is the public creativity
The guitar player is creative because they are capable of mediating between the creativity of
the composer and that of the public.