Medical Problems of Performing ArtistsMedical Problems of Performing Artists

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When Musicians Dream: A Contribution to Dream Research and Interpretation in the Treatment of Musicians

Helmut Möller
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 16 Number 1: Page 3 (March 2001)

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Abstract: "I dreamed about an appearance. The concert was to begin with a Mahler symphony. Most of my colleagues had already gone onto the stage. In great haste, I took my violin out of its case. As I went onstage, I noticed I had no trousers on. My lower body was naked."
This is an actual dream from the professional life of a 32-year-old violinist. What does it show? On one hand, this musician wants to put his own abilities to the test; on the other hand, he feels unprotected, even naked, revealed to the view of the audience, and he feels hurried, under pressure, since all the other musicians are on stage already. We can also say that this dream reflects the tensions of musicians' everyday professional existence in concentrated and dramatic form. In this article, I want to concentrate on three questions:

1. What is the historical development of the psychology of dreams, and what neurophysiological information do we have available to us today?
2. What importance do dreams have in the diagnosis and treatment of musicians?
3. What do musicians dream about?

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