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‘Kind of Blue’: Creativity, mental disorder and jazz

  • Rob Poole (a1)

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All scientific communities must keep themselves intellectually alive. It is important that we should attempt sometimes to tackle intriguing questions that are, strictly speaking, beyond the reach of robust, achievable, scientific methodologies. The small, flawed and inconclusive literature on the relationship between creativity and mental disorder, which includes contributions from some scientific heavyweights (e.g. Andreason, 1987; Post, 1994) represents a respectable attempt to use empirical methods to explore one such intriguing question. The fact that these matters are unlikely ever to be resolved does not discredit the effort.

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References

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Andreason, N. C. (1987) Creativity and mental illness: prevalence rates in writers and their first degree relatives. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 12881296.
Buckley, J. & Ellingham, M. (1996) Rock: The Rough Guide. London: Penguin.
Carr, I. Fairweather, D. & Priestley, B. (1995) Jazz: The Rough Guide. London: Penguin.
Davis, M. & Troupe, Q. (1990) Miles: The Autobiography. London: Macmillan.
Eysenck, H. J. (1995) Genius: The Natural History of Creativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Murray, C. S. (1989) Crosstown Traffic: Jimi Hendrix and Post-War Pop. London: Faber and Faber.
Poole, R. & Brabbins, C. (1996) Drug-induced psychosis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 135138.
Post, F. (1994) Creativity and psychopathology: a study of 291 world-famous men. British Journal of Psychiatry, 165, 2234.
Wills, G. I. (2003) Forty lives in the bebop business: mental health in a group of eminent jazz musicians. British Journal of Psychiatry, 183, 255259.

‘Kind of Blue’: Creativity, mental disorder and jazz

  • Rob Poole (a1)

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‘Kind of Blue’: Creativity, mental disorder and jazz

  • Rob Poole (a1)
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