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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MUSIC AND THE MIND

If I were thirty years younger and a lot richer I'd go down to OU and get a degree in Music Therapy and start working with kids who could use music to re direct their brains toward seech, inclusion and acitvity. I may yet do it.
Oliver Sacks's new book 'Musicophilia' is fascinating and it led me to 'Music and he Mind' by Anthony Storr (Ballantine paperback c. 1992.) Storr was a British scientist who died a few years ago. He makes a deatiled study of Schopenhauer, Nietzche, Wagner, Haydn and Stravinsky in disucssing how the creative mind works and how music changes the psyche. Over and over he makes the point of music being the strongest of all the arts, since it proposes neither argument, nor takes nor evokes a position or opinion. Music can be the most accesbile of all the arts.

He quotes Zuckerlandl's Sound and Symbol:

Words divide, tones unite.
The unity of existence that words constantly breaks up
dividing thing from thing, subject from object is
constantly restored in the tone. Music prevents
the wrold from being entirely transformed into language
from becoming nothing but object, and prevents man
from becoming nothing but subject.

Storr's discussion of Freud, who wanted us all reduced to infant like perfection and absence of traume is enlightening and explains Freud's aversion to music. I've noticed this in several Freudians I knew years ago. Music was a distraction, keeping us from the nirvana of mother's breast! God!

I'll leave it there. This is not exactly stairmaster reading.
I fell off twice, destroying the house. But fascinating this book certailny is

MUSIC AND THE MIND-Anthony Storr

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