N.46 - Music, Group and the Unconscious

Music and Psychoanalysis

Abstract

Freud’s attitude towards music was very ambivalent. For him the risk was, with the music of losing rational control that he had set himself as purpose. After a critical reading of his work, psychoanalysts have examined the links between psychoanalysis and music, discovering that there is a specific modality of psychic inscription belonging to the pre-verbal period: music would be the representation of the affect. According to current data on intrauterine and postnatal life, we know that the mother’s vocal sounds, emitted and listened to, are accompanied by many effects, inscribed in the memory of the body. The changing and discontinuous feelings that weave the child’s psychic life can be translated into musical metaphors. From a psychoanalytic point of view, music and opera are considered sublimation activities.

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