Stage Fright in Music Performance and Its Relationship to the Unconscious
The study of classical music, voice, and their performance have been the subject of many books and magazine articles. Many of these writings discuss the rules of etiquette, protocol, and musical style with regard to performance of musical works in the orchestral and vocal field. However, very few have touched on the role of the unconscious in music performance. On the stage, few books have ever touched on the role of the unconscious in acting.
There are both positive and negative aspects of the role of the unconscious in the performance of music, drama, dance, courtroom work, athletics or any other field. The positive aspects result in a joyous, memorable performance, and the negative aspects result in a disastrous, uncomfortable experience for both the audience, and even more so, for the performer. When performers cannot display their talent to their highest level of ability in front of an audience, it is most likely that they are suffering from performance anxiety, more commonly known as stage fright.
There are underlying psychological reasons for the condition of stage fright and its potentially devastating effects. These reasons can also be described in physiological and biochemical terms. We will discuss present medical and other solutions to this problem.
All of the case histories found in this book are composites derived from many performers in the field of music including those in the operatic and vocal field. Any resemblance to any one particular living or deceased individual is unintended and is purely coincidental.
The book also gives examples of great performers from the orchestral world, who had no stage fright at all, particularly the legendary members of the Chicago Symphony Brass Section, led by Adolph Herseth and including Arnold Jacobs, as well as William Scarlett. The fact that these great performers had no stage fright whatsoever is analyzed and examined.
Included in this work are color photos, other illustrations, an index, a glossary of helpful terms, and an extensive bibliography of all the sources used to research this text.
Although this book uses examples from the field of classical music, the concepts presented within are useful to anyone who has suffered from, or is interested in, the phenomenon of stage fright.