Orchestras: Psychic Symphony

Does the musician shape the instrument or the instrument the musician?

A psychiatrist would say that certain personality types choose certain instruments. A conductor would say it makes no difference, since all musicians are the same — outpatients.

Pop psych has long been essential in the volatile world of music. In this month's High Fidelity Magazine, for example, Pianist Claudio Arrau tells how analysis helped his playing by "clearing my personal psychic jungle," and contends that no musician is ready to stand on his own until he has first stretched out on the...

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