Rollo May believes that artists "create the conscience of the race." May writes that "by communicating their new ideas, artists can move their cultures in new directions." A creative musician can have a strong impact on her audience, because when she creates new ideas, she can use music to communicate those ideas to her audience.
Every authentic artist is engaged in this creating of the conscience of the race, even though he or she may be unaware of the fact. The artist is not a moralist by conscious intention, but is concerned only within his or her own being. But out of the symbols the artist sees and creates--as Giotto created the forms for the Renaissance--there is later hewn the ethical structure of the society (May 26).
Lionel Salter, a harpsichordist, describes the attitude necessary to create while performing:
You may be feeling more--I don't know--you may be feeling more worked up on this occasion--you feel something brighter is needed. You go into the music in a kind of--unbuttoned way, and if you play something which doesn't fit absolutely perfectly, well, it doesn't matter too much. You've really got to be on your toes, to be alert to do something which occurs to you which may seem a good idea, and be prepared also to find that it doesn't absolutely work. But it wouldn't matter because then the thing is alive, it's got some vitality in it (Bailey 41).When a musician's creativity reaches a peak, the musician might experience a state of ecstasy. "Absorption, being caught up in, wholly involved, and so on, are used commonly to describe the state of the artist or scientist when creating or even the child at play. By whatever name one calls it, genuine creativity is characterized by an intensity of awareness, a heightened consciousness" (May 45).