By James Kennaway
Song has been used as a therapy for illness due to the fact that way back to King David's lyre, however the thought that it'd be a significant reason behind psychological and actual ailment used to be infrequent till the overdue eighteenth century. at the moment, physicians began to argue that over the top track, or the inaccurate type of tune, might over-stimulate a weak anxious procedure, resulting in disease, immorality or even loss of life. because then there were successive waves of ethical panics approximately intended epidemics of musical anxiety, attributable to every thing from Wagner to jazz and rock 'n' roll. It used to be this scientific and demanding debate that supplied the psychiatric rhetoric of "degenerate track" that was once the explanation for the persecution of musicians in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. via the Fifties, the point of interest of scientific anxiousness approximately track shifted to the concept that "musical brainwashing" and "subliminal messages" might pressure the nerves and result in brain regulate, psychological ailment and suicide. extra lately, the superiority of sonic guns and using tune in torture within the so-called battle on Terror have either made the topic of song that's undesirable for the wellbeing and fitness worryingly topical. This publication outlines and explains the improvement of this concept of pathological track from the Enlightenment until eventually the current day, supplying an unique contribution to the historical past of drugs, song and the physique.
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Extra resources for Bad Vibrations. The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease
159. 12 Gouk, ‘Raising Spirits and Restoring Souls’, p. 92. Brocklesby was Dr Johnson’s physician. 13 Despite the increased role ascribed to the nerves in listening, there was no consensus about quite how those nerves functioned. 14 The idea of ‘sympathetic vibration’ between music and literally vibrating nerves was one model of the impact of sound that proved highly influential. 17 Physicians such as the Italian anatomist Antonio Maria Valsalva also accounted for the effect of sounds by the vibrations of the nerves.
11–17. The Brunoniad was a mock epic about John Brown and his contemporaries by William Heald, a Yorkshireman who would graduate from St Catherine’s College, Cambridge in 1790. It describes, amongst other things, a bar brawl at Dunn’s Hotel in New Town; ‘Julius Juniper’, The Brunoniad: An Heroic Poem in Six Cantos (London, 1789), p. 62. ‘ ’Twas hence, great Bruno, thy untutor’d mind / Left the dull load of matter behind;/ Led to inebriate at the rosy spring, / Thy dauntless genius stretch’d its ample wing.
63 Henson, ‘Neurological Aspects of Musical Experience’, p. ), Music, Mind and Brain (New York, 1982); Isabel Peretz and Robert Zartorre (eds), The Cognitive Neuroscience of Music (Oxford, 2003); Aniruddh D. Patel, Music, Language and the Brain (New York, 2006); Anthony Storr, Music and the Mind (New York, 1992); John C. Brust, ‘Music and the Neurologist: An Historical Perspective’, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 930 (2001): 143–52. Introduction 19 Musicology has also provided many of the insights that are the basis of this project.
Bad Vibrations. The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease by James Kennaway