Keith Phillips (2019)

Keith is investigating the role of auditory imagery in musical improvisation, in the context of the expectations and values of students, educators and practitioners.

Some of the ethnographic literature, and the writings of jazz educators portray an ideal whereby the expert improviser pre-hears what they play.

A different picture emerges when improvisation is considered from a cognitive-scientific perspective, within which imagery is multi-modal, involving motor, visual, tactile, kinaesthetic and proprioceptive elements.

Keith’s research addresses the compatibility of these diverse perspectives using both qualitative and quantitative methods.