Musical Humour…

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Good Posture Is Essential…

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Not Yet…

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The Conductor’s Interpretation!

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An Old One, I Know; But Here It Is Again…

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Opera Remains The Preserve Of The Rich?! Think again…

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Wrong Note? Don’t Beat Yourself Up.

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Feed Me!

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Eminent Neurologist Oliver Sachs Discusses The Importance Of Music On The Brain…

 SIX QUESTIONS — July 28, 2009, 12:18 pm

Musicophilia: Six Questions for Oliver Sacks

Columbia University Professor Oliver Sacks is probably the country’s best known neurologist. But his greatest talent may be his ability to make the complexities of neurological disorders understandable to laymen while portraying the afflictions of his patients in a compelling and compassionate way. A regular contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, Sacks is best known for Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and An Anthropologist on Mars. His latest book, Musicophilia, has just appeared as a Vintage paperback. I put six questions to Dr. Sacks about his remarkable study of music and the human brain.

1. Your book begins with a “bolt from the blue,” so to speak, with the story of Tony Cicoria, an orthopedic surgeon in upstate New York whose life was transformed when he was struck by lightning in 1994. Tell us something about Dr. Cicoria and why you decided to introduce your book with his case.

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When I first wrote Musicophilia, I thought Tony Cicoria’s story was rather dramatic—and unique. Here was a man, a surgeon who never had much interest in music but occasionally listened to rock and roll. One day he was struck by lightning and survived, apparently without any long-lasting problems. But about three weeks later, he developed an insatiable passion for the piano, and for Chopin in particular. He plays daily and recently debuted his own composition, the Lightning Sonata. What had happened in his brain to create this sudden and overwhelming passion for music?

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The Sound Of Silence!

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