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Nass, M.L. (1971). Some Considerations of a Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Music. Psychoanal Q., 40:303-316.

(1971). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 40:303-316

Some Considerations of a Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Music

Martin L. Nass, Ph.D.


This paper attempts to outline some of the salient issues relating to an extension of the psychoanalysis of music and musical-auditory experience to the sphere of ego psychology. In so doing it relates the meaning of the musical experience to early hearing experiences and to the adaptive use of the exposure to sound. The musical experience is presented as facilitating the emergence of less structured, ambiguous cognitive states and their concomitant drive organization. These phenomena are presented as early modes of ego organization whose presence does not necessitate the postulation of a regressive process and which bears a strong resemblance to the listening and hearing experiences in psychoanalysis.

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