Trading fours: Creativity, analogy, and exchange

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ABSTRACT

In commenting on Eitan Wilf's “Sociable robots, jazz music, and divination,” I consider contemporary practices of spontaneous algorithmic composition designed to help produce new, unpredictable, and “interesting” jazz music. I focus, in particular, on five themes that emerge in Wilf's article: emotion, grooves and grooving, routinization, affordances and constraints, and analogy as both cultural practice and theory-making strategy. I also draw on a comparison between the emergent compositional practices Wilf documents and ethnographic accounts of other improvisatory practices in jazz.

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