Andrew Goldman is a pianist, composer, and cognitive scientist. He completed his PhD with Prof. Ian Cross at the University of Cambridge in 2015 and is currently a Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience at Columbia University. His current research is concerned with theorizing the concept and practice of improvisation in a way that is compatible with methods from cognitive science. He conducts neuroscientific research with improvisers aiming to understand what ways of knowing and ways of learning enable someone to improvise.
My work concerns how to conceptualize improvisation in a way that is compatible with scientific inquiry. Musical improvisers have a particular way of knowing about musical structures that underlies particular kinds of performance processes that are normally termed "improvisatory." I explore the details of the characteristics of these improvisatory ways of knowing, and present some of my scientific work that attempts to measure such characteristics by comparing groups of experienced and inexperienced musical improvisers.