1st Edition

Melodies of the Mind Connections between psychoanalysis and music

By Julie Jaffee Nagel Copyright 2013
    168 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    168 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    What can psychoanalysis learn from music? What can music learn from psychoanalysis? Can the analysis of music itself provide a primary source of psychological data?

    Drawing on Freud's concept of the oral road to the unconscious, Melodies of the Mind invites the reader to take a journey on an aural and oral road that explores both music and emotion, and their links to the unconscious. In this book, Julie Jaffee Nagel discusses how musical and psychoanalytic concepts inform each other, showing the ways that music itself provides an exceptional non-verbal pathway to emotion – a source of 'quasi' psychoanalytical clinical data. The interdisciplinary synthesis of music and psychoanalytic knowledge provides a schema for understanding the complexity of an individual's inner world as that world interacts with social 'reality'.

    There are three main areas explored:

    • The Aural Road
    • Moods and Melodies
    • The Aural/Oral Road Less Travelled

    Melodies of the Mind is an exploration of the power of music to move us when words fall short. It suggests the value of using music and ideas of the mind to better understand and address psychological, social, and educational issues that are relevant in everyday life. It will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychologists, music therapists, musicians, music teachers, music students, social workers, educators, professionals in the humanities and social services as well as music lovers.

    Julie Jaffee Nagel is a graduate of The Juilliard School, The University of Michigan, and The Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. She is on the faculty of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and is in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    Acknowledgments. Foreword. Preface. Part I: The Aural Road. Preamble. Part II: Moods and Melodies. Case-ette 1: Ambiguity – The Tritone in "Gee, Officer Krupke" (West Side Story). Case-ette 2: Self-Esteem – Peter and the Wolf. Case-ette 3: Separation, Loss, Grief, and Growth – Mozart in 1778, Piano Sonata in A Minor, K. 310. Case-ette 4: Jealousy and Murder in Verdi’s Otello. Case-ette 5: Shame and Rage – The Breakdown of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. Case-ette 6: Multiple (Dys)Function – Polyphony in "The Tonight Ensemble" (West Side Story). Part III: The Aural/Oral Road Less Traveled – Beyond the Concert Hall and Consulting Room. Part IV: References.


    Julie Jaffee Nagel is a graduate of the Juilliard School, the University of Michigan, and the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute. She is on the faculty of the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute and is in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

    "In her insightful and scholarly new book, Melodies of the Mind: Connections between psychoanalysis
    and music,
    Julie Jaffee Nagel invites us to look below the surface of the music and composers we know to explore the larger emotional landscape around us and within us. Her terrain is deep and wide, connecting the complex world of music to the dynamic principles of psychoanalysis and the unconscious. I highly recommend that the musicians and practitioners of the Performing Arts Medicine Association read this book."
    - Susan D. Raeburn, PhD

    "Julie Nagel’s "Melodies of the Mind" brings music to the core of psychoanalysis: a revolution in a field where creativity seems to be irremediably lost." -Riccardo Lombardi, M.D., psychoanalyst and author, Rome, Italy

    "Melodies of the Mind" has changed the way I listen to music!" -Cecelia Bistner, Board Certified American Speech-Language Hearing Association; Owner, Accents Matter

    "Speaking from a musician’s viewpoint...I can say it combines scholarship and readability to an extent not often found in a volume dealing with such erudite subject matter." - Joseph Polisi, President of The Juilliard School, New York, USA

    "I am loving the book…as someone who thinks of themselves as musically illiterate, it is completely eye opening." - Carol Seigel, Director of Freud Museum, London, UK

    "Beautiful...unique book...special insightful way of synthesizing musical knowledge and careful listening, with psychoanalytic theory and clinical work." - Dorit Noy-Sharav, M.A., Clinical Psychologist, Jerusalem, Israel, and Pinchas Noy, M.D., Training Analyst and author, Jerusalem, Israel

    "……..Nagel provides clinical vignettes that demonstrate her acute sensitivity to both overt and subtle musical references in her patients’ associations and her own countertransference responses. Clearly, her musical training and experience serve to alert her to such stimuli that might well escape notice by analysts who have lacked this benefit in their own education and who might well profit from the examples she provides. Melodies of the Mind, like the scholarly work of Stuart Feder, Nagel’s late friend (and mine as well), seeks to bridge the intellectual gap between musicians and psychoanalysts and to demonstrate the contribution that music, as well as words, can play in the therapist’s clinical repertoire." - Aaron Esman, review in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

    "Julie Jaffee Nagel has written a slim, provocative volume in which she exams music through a psychoanalytic lens and then uses that lens to examine clonal material.  She engages in a sophisticated and systematic layering of music theory and psychoanalytic theory, weaving lineal examples in between the two, thus creating a tightly knit composition. The musical analyses are thorough and would make any musicologist proud.  Nagel has written a very clear and thoughtful analysis of music’s important yet neglected connection to psychoanalysis." - Shara Sand, PsycCRITIQUES, The American Psychological Association

    "One does not "read" such a book, one studies it, thinks and contemplates it.  And yes, one discusses it.  What a piece of work!  One can feel your mind and soul in it." - Baruch Arnon, Faculty, Piano Literature and Chamber Music, The Juilliard School, New York, USA