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James Kennaway's Bad Vibrations. The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause PDF

By James Kennaway

ISBN-10: 1409426424

ISBN-13: 9781409426424

Tune has been used as a healing for disorder considering that way back to King David's lyre, however the idea that it would be a significant reason behind psychological and actual affliction was once infrequent until eventually the past due eighteenth century. at the moment, physicians began to argue that over the top tune, or the incorrect type of song, may well over-stimulate a weak frightened method, resulting in affliction, immorality or even demise. due to the fact then there were successive waves of ethical panics approximately meant epidemics of musical anxiousness, attributable to every little thing from Wagner to jazz and rock 'n' roll. It used to be this clinical and demanding debate that supplied the psychiatric rhetoric of "degenerate song" that was once the explanation for the persecution of musicians in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. via the Nineteen Fifties, the point of interest of scientific nervousness approximately track shifted to the concept that "musical brainwashing" and "subliminal messages" may perhaps pressure the nerves and bring about brain keep an eye on, psychological affliction and suicide. extra lately, the superiority of sonic guns and using track in torture within the so-called struggle on Terror have either made the topic of track 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 till the current day, offering an unique contribution to the background of medication, 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

Sample text

The advent of Idealist musical aesthetics after Kant changed all that by asserting that serious music was a question of the disinterested appreciation of form by a transcendental, quasi-disembodied listening subject. 5 This division would eventually lead to the suggestion certain genres and styles were especially pathological. To analyse how these factors influenced the emergence of a discourse of pathological music, this chapter will first consider the relationship between music and nerves in the context of the culture of sensibility.

Guthmann from 1806 used overtly Brunonian words, and took the argument, found in Cheyne’s The English Malady, that luxury is bad for the nerves, and applied it to the musical luxury that had long been subject to moral criticism: When I look at the current state of the sciences and the arts, I cannot help thinking that our current era is suffering from weakness due to over-stimulation in intellectual and aesthetic terms, just as doctors say it is in physical terms (from direct asthenia). I want to say a few words about this evil relating to music.

341. For a Brunonian view of music in Italy, see Guglielmo Schlesinger, Dell’ influenz fisica e morale della music sull’ uomo (Pavia, 1842). 54 Richard Müller, Joseph Frank und die Brownsche Lehre (Zurich, 1970), p. 10. Salieri is also mentioned in this context by Reil: Johann Christian Reil, Entwurf zu einer allgemeinen Therapie (Halle, 1816), pp. 404–5. 55 Frank, Erläuterungen der Erregungstheorie, pp. 343–4. 56 ‘Ein Iatromusiker, welcher die Brown’sche Skala kennt’; Peter Lichtenthal, Der musikalische Arzt, oder: Abhandlung von dem Einflusse der Musik auf den Körper, und von ihrer Anwendung in gewissen Krankheiten.

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Bad Vibrations. The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease by James Kennaway


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