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  • Cited by 6
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Fulton, Janet and Paton, Elizabeth 2016. The Creative System in Action.

    McIntyre, Phillip 2016. The Creative System in Action.

    Behr, Adam 2015. Join Together with the Band: Authenticating Collective Creativity in Bands and the Myth of Rock Authenticity Reappraised. Rock Music Studies, Vol. 2, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Slater, Mark 2015. Nests, arcs and cycles in the lifespan of a studio project. Popular Music, Vol. 34, Issue. 01, p. 67.

    Behr, Adam 2012. The real “crossroads” of live music – the conventions of performance at open mic nights in Edinburgh. Social Semiotics, Vol. 22, Issue. 5, p. 559.

    McIntyre, Phillip 2008. Creativity and Cultural Production: A Study of Contemporary Western Popular Music Songwriting. Creativity Research Journal, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, p. 40.


Paul McCartney and the creation of ‘Yesterday’: the systems model in operation

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 May 2006

By applying Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's systems model of creativity, evidence can be presented to claim that despite ‘Yesterday’s promotion as a Romantic piece of creative activity, perpetuating the myth of the mystically inspired freely expressive artist, the creation of ‘Yesterday’ can be seen as a more considered and rational process than otherwise mythologised. The definition of creativity assumes an activity whereby products, processes and ideas are generated from antecedent conditions by the agency of someone, whose knowledge to do so comes from somewhere and the resultant novel variation is seen as a valued addition to the store of human knowledge. As an example of a system at work, the song's creation satisfies more closely the characteristics ascribed to the rationalist approach to creativity. From the evidence, it can be argued that creativity is a dynamic system that works on a larger scale than that of the sole individual posited by the Romantic conception and concomitant understandings. It, instead, incorporates the actions of the person, in this case Paul McCartney, within the systemic relationships of the field and domain. These three components, person, domain and field, comprise a system with circular causality where the individual, the social organisation they create within, and the symbol system they use are all equally important and interdependent in producing creative products. ‘Yesterday’ is but one creative product of this system at work.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
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