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.