N.46 - Music, Group and the Unconscious

Unheard melodies: the “psychoanalytic function” of music listening in music therapy work

Abstract

The paper focuses on the musical experience of the listening and, more specifically, the music listening in the music therapy setting. Starting from a psychoanalytic perspective on sound-music and from a psychoanalytically informed therapeutic approach, the idea of a “psychoanalytic function” of music is first proposed. This function implies that music allows the listener to establish a relationshipwith himself and his own inner world, to do conscious and unconscious psychological work with the evoked emotional experiences and to generate a personal symbolic meaning. Later, through the presentation of a receptive music therapy experience carried out during the Covid-19 emergency, the way the psychoanalytic function of music promotes processes of transformation and psychic elaboration of traumatic experiences is illustrated.

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