Send to

Choose Destination
Psychoanal Q. 2006 Jul;75(3):859-78.

The meanings and functions of tunes that come into one's head.

Author information



This paper is devoted to the study of internally generated auditory imagery, specifically tunes that appear spontaneously in one's consciousness exclusive of external musical input. Melodies that appear in the periphery of one's awareness during directed activity can protect the ego from the interference of internal desires or demands. Music present in consciousness irrespective of any specific melody may be experienced as a protective, omnipotent parental companion and thus guard against danger and the painful loneliness of separation and loss. The frequent or continuous spontaneous appearance of music in one's consciousness is considered to be a characterological mode of thinking--thinking in music.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center