The Self-Restorative Power of Music: A Psychological Perspective

Author(s) : Frank M. Lachmann

The Self-Restorative Power of Music: A Psychological Perspective

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : October 2021
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 118
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 96044
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032007847
  • ISBN 10 : 1032007842
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This book explores how we can understand the place of music from a self psychological perspective, by investigating three journeys: the one we take when listening to music, the literal journey of the author from Nazi Germany to the United States, and the subjective round-trip between the past and the present.

Drawing on the work of Heinz Kohut, the author examines how music can provide us with a way to reconnect with a sense of self, and how this can manifest in psychological and physical ways. There is particular reference to the work of Richard Wagner, Cole Porter, and Richard Strauss, and an examination of how their music enabled them, in times of stress and crisis, to restore and maintain a more positive sense of self. Finally, the book looks back at the author's own experiences of music and the place of music in the Jewish world.

With clinical excerpts, personal narrative, and sophisticated psychoanalytic insights, this book will appeal to all psychoanalysts wanting to understand the place of music in shaping the psyche, as well as music scholars wishing to gain a deeper appreciation of the psychology of music.

Reviews and Endorsements

"Frank Lachmann displays extraordinary musical acumen, from his evolutionary analysis of a baby's 1st "Mmm" to his exploration of Beethoven's 9th. As a cabaret singer, I was taken by his insight into how Cole Porter's songwriting affirmed his sense of self despite agonizing pain and depression. In "The Self-Restorative Power of Music" Yo-Yo Ma refers to "goosebump moments". During this time of isolation and shut-down of venues, I now experience those moments playing piano; yet I long to express myself again in halls filled with warm hearts and eager ears. To quote Frank Lachmann : "I sing, therefore I am". " - KT Sullivan, Artistic Director, The Mabel Mercer Foundation.

"This is a magnificent book written by a magnificent man who integrates so much about the human condition as it is encountered in music, in development, in the creation of meaning and in the psychoanalytic Spielraum. We are also treated as a contrapuntal motif to an intriguing inquiry into the complex logarithms that exist between Jewishness and music. This is a must read." - Jim Herzog, Training and Supervisory Analyst and Child and Adolescent Supervisory Analyst, Boston, Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, Harvard Medical School.

About the Author(s)

Frank M. Lachmann, Ph.D., is a founding faculty member of the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, Training and Supervising Analyst, Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, and Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. He has contributed over 100 articles to the journal literature, and is author of Transforming Aggression (Aronson, 2000), and co-author of Self and Motivational Systems (Analytic Press, 1992), The Clinical Exchange (Analytic Press, 1996), and Infant Research and Adult Treatment (Analytic Press, 2002).

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