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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

When theories of the psyche approach music, the question of the embodiment of music becomes a means of understanding the nature of both music and the psyche. Within psychoanalysis there are three quite different levels of analysis that play a role: the first is therapeutic and asks, “how can we cure aspects of the psyche that have come to make life difficult?” The second looks at the base line of normal human development through an evolutionary model. The third level examines the development of the social structures in which human beings interact as a reflex of their inner lives. It thus examines what Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) labeled “civilization,” a term he made quite fraught in all of its manifestations. Music (and its corollary, listening) functions at all three levels in complex and often contradictory ways in the history of psychoanalysis.

Keywords: absolute music, creativity, psychoanalysis, interiority, Freud, Darwin

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