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October 2021

On hearing and inspiration in the composition of music

Journal/Book: Psychoanalytic Quarterly. 1975; 44: 431-449.

Abstract: Notes that abundant biographic and autobiographic data from the lives of classical and modern composers lead to certain psychoanalytic inferences regarding hearing and inspiration in musical creativity. The composer (and gifted performer) has an increased auditory acuity, a hypersensitivity to sound and rhythm that appears to originate in the infant-mother sensorimotor relationship. The preference for sound during childhood establishes hearing as the chief sensory modality in organizing the composer's cognitive functions, his object relations, and his perception of the world. Some of the many determinants of the composer's auditory style and hypercathexis of hearing are discussed. Other aspects of the composer as a creative artist are considered psychoanalytically. (52 ref)

Note: psychoanalytic inferences regarding hearing & inspiration in musical creativity; data from lives of classical & modern composers

Keyword(s): Psychoanalytic personality factors; creativity ; musical ability; psychoanalytic interpretation


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