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Freud and Schenker: Mind, Music, and the Loss of Play

Corrigan, Sarah Katerina (2013)
Honors Thesis (81 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Gilman, Sander L
Committee Members: Paul, Robert A ; Hoeyng, Peter
Research Fields: Literature, Germanic; Music
Keywords: mind; music; distance-hearing
Program: College Honors Program, Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture
Permanent url: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/d7vvx

Abstract

Sigmund Freud and Heinrich Schenker lived in Vienna during the same time period and achieved considerable success in their respective professions, eventually developing entirely new techniques with which to analyze the mind and music. Both of Jewish origin, they experienced the growth of anti-Semitism and marginalization during the rise of fascism in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, survived World War I, and died shortly before World War II. This Honor's thesis compares the works and lives of these two figures, as well as the analytic tools they developed to explore the most crucial issues of their time. Neither Freud nor Schenker witnessed the dawn of a more promising era following World War II, and this arguably contributed to much of what is called a "pessimism" discernable in both of their works in the 1920s and 1930s. In their ideological transitions following the Great War, Freud and Schenker's works arguably lose their lightheartedness or playfulness, even though "play" is an principal part of both psychoanalysis and music respectively, an essential tool for recovery in the mind or enjoyment in music. By 1921, play becomes part of a more sinister group of instincts for Freud - namely, the death drive, and for Schenker, part of an order to the modern music student, "play from the soul!" (Contribution to Ornamentation). This insistence on playing from the soul almost entirely overlooks the playful aspect of a musician's work.

In the last three decades, Freud and Schenker tend to be mentioned in similar contexts, particularly in the field of music, but their methods are rarely compared directly. In their respective theories, mind and music emerge as unknown, mysterious, and intangible territories to which we have very few keys, and Freud and Schenker succeed in making these regions more accessible to analysts, by recognizing both the overarching unity and the underlying unconscious progression present in the mental apparatus and the musical work.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction.............................1

Chapter 1................................8

Chapter 2................................28

Conclusion...............................49

Bibliography.............................62

Translation...............................66

Files

application/pdf Freud and Schenker: Music, Mind, and the Loss of Play 81 pages (801.4 KB) [Discussion and exploration of the works and lives of Sigmund Freud and Heinrich Schenker. ]
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