The Playful Frame of Mind: An Exploration of its Influence upon Creative Flow in a Post-War Popular Music-Making Context


Marshall Stuart Heiser. 2015. The Playful Frame of Mind: An Exploration of its Influence upon Creative Flow in a Post-War Popular Music-Making Context.Thesis (PhD Doctorate), Griffith University, Brisbane.


The aim of this thesis is to explore how adopting a playful approach to contemporary popular music making influences creative flow within that context. In order to achieve this aim three component factors derived from the intersection of the scholarly humour, creativity, and play literature––frame of mind, flow, and playfulness (PF)––have informed a single unifying theme I call the “playful frame of mind.” Contemporary popular music makers live in an era where an over-abundance of affordable technological aids (along with the distribution capabilities of the internet) have created a glut of creative possibilities, and along with it an ever-present risk of cognitive dissonance caused by their “noise.” Such technology brings creative options to all and sundry once reserved for a few rock star elite signed to multinational record companies. It is now possible for every part of the popular music-making process to be performed, or enhanced, within a software context. Nonetheless, popular musicians today still operate according to paradigms largely informed by epoch-changing, post-War recording artists such as Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Beach Boys. The technology used for doing so may have progressed, but the basic rules (and roles) of the game have remained the same.

Subject Keywords
Music composition, Sixties music, Fifties music, Seventies music
Thesis Type
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Degree Program
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Queensland Conservatorium
Share Link
Primary Supervisor
Donna Weston
Other Supervisors
Don Lebler
ADT Shelf Number
Item Access Status
Copyright © 2015 Marshall Stuart Heiser.
Copyright Disclaimer
This thesis is protected by copyright. Copyright in the thesis remains with the author. The Griffith University Higher Degree Theses Repository has a non-exclusive licence to archive, publish and communicate this thesis online.


  • Owner: Pamela Tonkin
  • Collection: GURT
  • Version: 1 (show all)
  • Status: Live