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Estudos de Psicanálise

Print version ISSN 0100-3437


LOPES, Anchyses Jobim. From joyful baby screams to fort-da song: (psychoanalysis and music 2). Estud. psicanal. [online]. 2013, n.39, pp.15-28. ISSN 0100-3437.

The polemic over which came first: words or music. This inquiry is retaken through observing a three and a half months old baby, and the change of her baby screams into pleasurable cries, used to exercise a cadence of vowels and accents joined with body movements. Transformation inferred as the course from mere sound to a human voice, not anymore as a mere expression of physical necessity but of desire and its surplus begotten by the instinct (trieb). Freud’s narrative about the one and a half year boy and his Fort-da game, this expression not merely being uttered but sang and an illustration how this vocal cadence is slashed through a rough consonantal sound. This slash interpreted as an expression of the compulsion to repeat and of the death instinct. The game and song as an example of sublimation anchored in sadism and polymorph perversion. Baby cries and Fort-da game invocative of a symbolical anchored through a musical significant, that later unfolds into poetical and prosodic faces. That founds a symbolical established upon an assertion (behajung) which occurs at a prime instant just before the advent of the divided subject, before verbal negative and repression. That phenomenon causes music as melody to be condensed, and to have a ‘hundred times more energy than word itself (Rousseau)’. Harmony is interpreted as an outcome of repression. Rhythm seen as the taming of Thanatos through Eros, making all music a benign source of compulsion to repeat. Music is a phenomenon that unifies mind and body.

Keywords : Psychoanalysis and music; Maternal absence; Compulsion to repeat; Death instinct; Barred subject; Sublimation.

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