A Cage for the Muse and the Limits of Invention

Christopher Wilson, Michael Brown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This paper explores the notion that creativity in the arts, particularly music, benefits from constraints. Expressive freedom is often fostered within education to encourage the pursuit of artistic individualism, but straying too far from stylistic norms can often engender incoherence. This paper does not challenge the breaking of rules that define a style nor does it denigrate the benefits that may arise from conflicting ideas and unusual combinations, but explores the virtue and benefits of boundaries and suggests that freedom, from a creative perspective, is often an illusory construct; strong creative identities are achievable through and often defined by creative constraints. Conclusions focus on the potential profits of constraints that bind expressive ideas and the function and virtue of intuition within the creative process; theorizing upon whether creative confinement, or the awareness thereof, is ultimately a liberating or inhibiting experience. We determine that artistic creative freedom as a concept may indeed be illusory, but the perception of freedom for some is a necessary ingredient in the creative act.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity in Arts, Science and Technology
EditorsFredricka Reisman
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
EventInternational Conference on Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise (KIE 2016) - Berlin, Germany
Duration: 21 Jun 201624 Jun 2016


ConferenceInternational Conference on Knowledge, Innovation & Enterprise (KIE 2016)

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  • Creativity
  • Invention
  • Idiolect


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