Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To review the glossary of psychoanalytic concepts…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Prior to searching for a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review PEP Consolidated Psychoanalytic Glossary edited by Levinson. You can access it directly by clicking here.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Nass, M.L. (1984). The Development of Creative Imagination in Composers. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 11:481-491.

(1984). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 11:481-491

The Development of Creative Imagination in Composers

Martin L. Nass


Interviews with twenty prominent American composers have resulted in the conclusion that a variety of sensory styles, not necessarily auditory, are operating during the inspirational phase of their work. These include visual, kinaesthetic, and tactile modes. In some composers, their particular style prevails in most of their work; in some, the form of inspiration varies from one work to another.

The paper discusses developmental considerations and suggests that composers organize those experiences which deal with individuation around music, sound, and listening, and have a refined capacity to retain and develop body sensitivity and body experience and to use them in the service of their art. It is the ability to retain and develop early modes of experience which is characteristic of the gifted composer.

It is suggested that the truly gifted composer has the capacity to experience and re-experience early separation trauma in order to formulate and present new ideas and is able to stay open to developmentally early modes of thought.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.