The purpose of this article is to explore how the basic conception of‘emergence’ informs the study of creativity as a socio-material practice. Initially,the article explicates how creative processes, products and performancesinvolve not only tangible, but also intangible and social elements. Secondly,the theoretical conception of creativity as socio-material and the general philosophicalnotion of emergence are introduced. Inspired by the idea that a‘whole’ is other than the sum of its ‘parts’ and by examples primarily fromthe world of music, the article argues that the relationship between subject andobject – the main analytical focus of studies on creativity as a socio-materialpractice – is fundamentally embedded in an emergent process. The articleconcludes by highlighting how emergence theory acknowledges the performanceor product as an intangible material for creative processes of musicians, andthat studies of the socio-materiality of creative practices clearly involvingtangible, intangible and social elements must refer to the emergent processthrough which the creative product or performance evolves meaning. Thetheoretical framework suggested is relevant for researchers interested in exploringhow materials, social settings and physical environments are involved increative processes.