In 1980, a musical clock was installed in the upper story of
the Rathaus in
Hann that honors the legendary doctor. At a few minutes past noon, an automatic
carillon plays the tune of the drinking song Ich
bin der Doktor Eisenbarth. Automata depict the doctor extracting a
huge, bloody tooth from the mouth of a terrified, gesticulating patient.
This according to “Dr Eisenbarth’s automated musical clock in
Hann. Münden” by Mark Singleton and Sven Heinmann (The music box: An
international journal of mechanical music XXVIII/5 [spring 2018] pp. 185–87).
In 1964, while preparing for a tour of the USSR, Leon Fleisher experienced the first signs of a problem. Two of the fingers of his right hand began to curl uncontrollably; within 10 months they were clenched in a fist. He was not in pain, and medical experts were baffled.
“I guess my fantasy was that with the same mystery with which it had appeared, it would disappear,” he said in a 2007 interview. His attempts to regain control of his fingers ran the gamut from A to Z, he said, “from aromatherapy to Zen Buddhism.” Meanwhile, he redirected his musical energies to performing the left-hand repertory, teaching, and conducting.
Finally, some 30 years later, a diagnosis of focal dystonia, a neurological disorder linked to repetitive tasks, led to an experimental treatment involving Botox injections.
His comeback catapulted him as a symbol of the human spirit and an inspiration to a broader public. Egon Petri’s transcription of Bach’s Schafe können sicher weiden(Sheep may safely graze) has become something of a signature piece, a staple of Fleisher’s solo programs. It is to his mind “the antiterror piece of our time.”
In 1997 Harrison was diagnosed with throat cancer; it did not appear to be a large tumor, and it seemed harmless. Chemotherapy and radiation showed effective results.
But in 2000, while he was working on a reissue of All things must pass, he underwent treatment for another cancerous growth in the lung, which had migrated from his primary lesion of the throat. Later he was found to have an inoperable brain tumor as well.
Harrison underwent a new type of cancer treatment in a Swiss clinic, but he finally succumbed to his disease on November 29, 2001. If the original cancer had been screened and diagnosed in time, we might be celebrating his 70th birthday today.
Although it was championed by the likes of Mozart and Benjamin Franklin, in its heyday the glass harmonica was also the object of considerable trepidation.
In the 18th century music was regarded by some as a form of nervous stimulation that could cause a range of maladies, and the glass harmonica was considered especially dangerous.
The glass harmonica player and composer Karl Leopold Röllig stated that the instrument could “make women faint, send a dog into convulsions, make a sleeping girl wake screaming through a chord of the diminished seventh, and even cause the death of one very young”, and physicians warned of possible ill effects including muscle tremors, prolonged shaking of the nerves, fainting, cramps, swelling, paralysis, and seeing ghosts.
A 28-year-old woman urgently needed a tooth extraction, and local anesthesia was not an option.
The patient was offered all of the other anesthetizing options, but she chose music instead. A recording of a Rām dhun (Hindu devotional song for the deity Rāma) was played. The patient did not show any signs of pain or any pain behavior during the extraction procedure, indicating that analgesia was induced through music.
This according to “Extraction of a grossly decayed tooth without local anesthesia but with audio analgesia: A case report” by Manish Bhagania and Anirudha Agnihotry (Music and medicine: An interdisciplinary journal III/4 [October 2011] n.p.). Below, Morari Bapu sings the Rām dhun Hare Rām.
The bibliography provides citations from the medical, musical, and popular literature, with emphasis on clinical problems and relevant basic science in performing arts medicine. It can be searched by author, title, publication, or keyword, and searches can be limited to music, acting, or dance.
Launched in 2009, Music and medicine (ISSN 1943‑8621) is a peer-reviewed journal published by the International Association for Music and Medicine (IAMM). The journal is intended for medical professionals, aiming to be “an integrative forum for clinical practice and research initiatives related to music interventions and applications of clinical music strategies in medicine.” While it naturally includes research in music therapy, the journal also invites work on “cultural implications of music in medicine in research and practice” as well as opinion papers on controversial topics.
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