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*Creative cognition - Involuntary Musical Imagery** as a source of creative ideas for composers* Natalia Copeland Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw, Poland n.copeland@al.uw.edu.pl ABSTRACT Background Mental composing is a crucial element of the creative process in music. Two subtypes of musical imagery: voluntary and involuntary, are involved in composing. Involuntary musical imagery (InMI) is the internal music that appears without conscious control (Williamson et al., 2012). It is often equated to “earworms” (Williams, 2015). Aims The current paper proposes to consider InMI as potentially creative. Problem statement A new idea in composing might not only consist of the general topic or motivation to improvise – it can also be a ready-made musical theme. InMI can be a source of new melodies useful for composers in their composition process (Beaty et al., 2013; Liikkanen, 2012; Williamson & Jilka, 2014). This is seldom explicitly denied (but see: Lancashire, 2017), yet often the implicit assumptions (repetitiveness in InMI’s definition; equating InMI to earworms) stand in the way of viewing InMI as potentially creative. InMI can consist of new melodies (Bailes & Bishop, 2012; Copeland, 2020) and can appear as a single event (not repeatedly; Liikkanen, 2011). Composers use their working memory and musical abilities to volitionally loop the novel tune in their head, to later transcribe it into external realm (notation, recording) and use it in composing. Conclusions Viewing InMI as potentially creative enables better understanding of composers’ creativity, which is not merely volitional, but also has a spontaneous component. References Liikkanen, L. A. (2012a). Involuntary Music Among Normal Population and Clinical Cases. Proceedings of ICMPC-ESCOM 2012, *12*(4), 22–24. Thessaloniki, Greece. Key words Creative cognition in music.