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Nass, M.L. (1975). On Hearing and Inspiration in the Composition of Music. Psychoanal Q., 44:431-449.

(1975). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 44:431-449

On Hearing and Inspiration in the Composition of Music

Martin L. Nass, Ph.D.


The observation that composers experience inspiration as a source external to the self is considered, using reports of early and modern composers. This is related both to earlier psychoanalytic work on creative inspiration and to modern ego psychology. The postulation that an auditory sensory style in composers has early developmental roots and becomes their primary sensory mode is considered together with some possible determinants in its development.

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