Between Couch and Piano : Psychoanalysis, Music, Art and Neuroscience book cover
1st Edition

Between Couch and Piano
Psychoanalysis, Music, Art and Neuroscience

ISBN 9781583919736
Published May 17, 2004 by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

Why and how do music and abstract art pack such universal appeal? Why do they often have 'therapeutic' efficacy?

Between Couch and Piano links well-established psychoanalytic ideas with historical and neurological theory to help us begin to understand some of the reasons behind music's ubiquity and power.

Drawing on new psychoanalytic understanding as well as advances in neuroscience, this book sheds light on the role of the arts as stimulus, and as a key to creative awareness. Subjects covered include:

* music in relation to the trauma of loss
* music in connection with wholeness and the sense of identity
* the ability of music to jump-start normal feelings, motion and identity where these have been seemingly destroyed by neurological disease
* the theory of therapeutic efficacy of music and art.

Between Couch and Piano is a comprehensive overview that will be of interest to all those intrigued by the interrelation of psychoanalysis and the creative arts.

Table of Contents

Kramer, Foreword: A Musician Listens to a Psychoanalyst Listening to Music. Preface. Between Words and Music. On the Shores of Self: Beckett's Molloy (1973). Whence the Feelings From Art: Communication or Concordance? The Music of Time in Faulkner's Light in August (1980). Music as Temporal Prosthesis. In Pursuit of Slow Time: Modern Music and a Clinical Vignette (1987). The Birth of Music in the Context of Loss: Music and Affect Regulation. The Power of Implicit Motion: It Goes Straight Through. A Psychoanalyst Listens to a Musician Listening to Himself Composing. Bibliography.

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Gilbert J. Rose is in private practice of psychiatry and psychoanalysis and is a member of the Muriel Gardiner Program in Psychoanalysis and Humanities at Yale.


Between Couch and Piano is an enjoyable read, both for its insights correlating psychoanalysis and art - especially music, which the author thinks is inherant to all art - and because of its jargon-free clarity. The book is at once a meditation on the power of music and the summary of a life's work in psychoanalysis. - Donald Kuspit, Professor of Art History and Philosophy, State University of New York at Stony Brook

The developmental scope of his inquiry is no less that cradle-to-grave Dr Rose again reveals himself as both humanist and master clinician. - Stuart Feder, The New York Psychoanalytic Institute and Juilliard, New York