My Ph.D. dissertation (completed 2015) ties together two life-long passions: music making and creativity theory (with play and humour being the string). What may at first appear to be an assemblage of largely unrelated concepts echoes the breadth of the topics covered in these blog postings.

For me, the blog format seems appropriate enough for taking smaller manageable chunks of information to share with the wider digital community. In keeping with that rationale, some of the postings here read like part academic paper/part magazine article: an interesting blend. The multimedia aspect is also most satisfying. However, without the larger structures of a 70,000 word thesis, book chapter, or paper to frame, justify and contextualise, that same information might well come across as fragmentary, capricious, idiosyncratic or inconsequential (especially in the case of multi-disciplinary research). Conversely, a blog entry that is too long-winded and detailed doesn’t play by the rules of that particular game very well.

I can therefore appreciate if the good reader, who may have dropped by after reading a paper of mine in a record production journal, and hoping to find a pithy quote to fill up the word count of their next assignment is bemused, nay even outraged to be confronted by posts exploring the finer points of play theory with nary a word regarding reverb settings or compression ratios. All I can say is:  “I feel your pain” (and, don’t forget quotes are not to be included in word counts. You’re in regal company nonetheless). Queen Victoria is similarly said to have been “not amused” when Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll sent her a copy of his next book (at her request): a mathematical treatise.

And so to help you filter out all the stuff that doesn’t interest you, all the blog posts are organised in clearly marked categories. If you’re curious enough to want to make sense of the whole big mess however, a quick read of my PhD Abstract will explain how all this guff fits together. Enjoy.

P.s. I should have taken Einstein’s advice and been a plumber.

Click to enlarge.

Please note: Portions of some of the articles and postings contained in this website were presented and published in thesis form in fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD of Marshall Heiser from Griffith University.


Heiser, M. S. (2015). The playful frame of mind: An exploration of its influence upon creative flow in a post-war popular music-making context. (Doctoral dissertation). Brisbane, Australia: Griffith University.