Effective Flexibility In Guilford

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1.2.2 Flexibility – The ability to adapt Fluency is not the only attitude that is central on Indaba. Flexibility is considered just as important. Flexibility, for Guilford, is the readiness to change direction or method (Guilford, 1962, 1971, 1987). As Arnold (1962) writes, flexibility is “facilitated by having a great many tricks in your bag, knowing lots of techniques, [and] having broad experience” (129). In the creativity tests that Guilford describes, fluency is tested by looking at how well a subject is able to respond to a certain context or task, while flexibility is tested by looking in how many different categories these responses fall. In his own work, Guilford distinguishes between two forms of flexibility: ‘spontaneous flexibility’, where the subject chooses himself to work in different categories, and ‘adaptive flexibility’ where a switch of category turns out to be necessary to fulfil a certain task (Guilford, 1962). Within a musical context, perhaps the most obvious form of flexibility is the ability to switch between musical genres. Each genre, then, asks for different kind of playing techniques, sounds, tempi, rhythms, build-ups, and forms of phrasing. If a certain familiarity with the sounds and techniques of different genres is always necessary for all musicians, as it allows them to move easily between different musical contexts (Bennett 1980), on Indaba, as we will see, it lies at the very core of the practice and it is seen as an important way to
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