Listening to the Unconscious: Adventures in Popular Music and Psychoanalysis - Kenneth Smith and Stephen Overy


What happens in our unconscious minds when we listen to, produce or perform popular music? The Unconscious– a much misunderstood concept from philosophy and psychology – works through human subjects as we produce music and can be traced through the music we engage with.

Through a new collaboration between music theorist and philosopher, Smith and Overy present the long history of the unconscious and its related concepts, working systematically through philosophers such as Schopenhauer, psychoanalysts such as Freud or Lacan, to theorists such as Deleuze and modern Post-humanists.

The theories offered are vital to follow the psychological complexity of popular music, demonstrated through close readings of individual songs, albums, artists, genres, and popular music practices. Among countless artists, Listening to the Unconscious draws from Prince to Sufjan Stevens, from Robyn to Xiu Xiu, from Joanna Newsom to Arcade Fire, from Joy Division to LCD Sound System, each of whom offer exciting inroads into the fascinating worlds of our unconscious musical minds. And in return, theories of the unconscious can perhaps takes us deeper into the heart of popular music.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

Published: December 2022

Format: Paperback

Pages: 256

Dimensions: 15.24 x 2.16 x 22.73 cm

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