Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical Connections and Perspectives

Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical Connections and Perspectives

1st Edition - February 11, 2015

Write a review

  • Editors: Eckart Altenmüller, Stanley Finger, François Boller
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444634108
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444633996

Purchase options

Purchase options
DRM-free (Mobi, EPub, PDF)
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out

Institutional Subscription

Free Global Shipping
No minimum order


Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical Connections and Perspectives provides a broad and comprehensive discussion of history and new discoveries regarding music and the brain, presenting a multidisciplinary overview on music processing, its effects on brain plasticity, and the healing power of music in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In this context, the disorders that plagued famous musicians and how they affected both performance and composition are critically discussed, as is music as medicine and its potential health hazard. Additional topics, including the way music fits into early conceptions of localization of function in the brain, its cultural roots in evolution, and its important roles in societies and educational systems are also explored.

Key Features

  • Examines music and the brain both historically and in the light of the latest research findings
  • The largest and most comprehensive volume on "music and neurology" ever written
  • Written by a unique group of real world experts representing a variety of fields, ranging from history of science and medicine, to neurology and musicology
  • Includes a discussion of the way music has cultural roots in evolution and its important role in societies


Neuroscientists, psychologists, neurologists

Table of Contents

    • Preface
      • Chapter 1: Franz Joseph Gall and music: the faculty and the bump
        • Abstract
        • 1 A Brief Summary of Gall's Life
        • 2 Abstract and Newer Faculties
        • 3 Methodology and Cortical Localization
        • 4 The “Faculty of Perceiving the Relations of Tones, Talent for Music”
        • 5 Before and After
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 2: Music, neurology, and psychology in the nineteenth century
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Brain Processing of Music
        • 3 Music as an Expression of Emotion
        • 4 Richard Wallaschek—Synthesis of Music, Neurology and Psychology
        • 5 Summary
      • Chapter 3: Singing by speechless (aphasic) children: Victorian medical observations
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Historical Context
        • 3 Cases of Singing in Speechless Patients
        • 4 Later Observations
        • 5 Discussion and Conclusions
      • Chapter 4: Some early cases of aphasia and the capacity to sing
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Eighteenth-century Observations of Singing in Aphasia
        • 3 Nineteenth-century Observations of Singing in Aphasia
        • 4 Summary
      • Chapter 5: Benjamin Franklin and his glass armonica: from music as therapeutic to pathological
        • Abstract
        • 1 Benjamin Franklin
        • 2 Glass as a Musical Instrument
        • 3 Franklin's Path to the Armonica
        • 4 Manipulating Passions with Musical Glasses
        • 5 Franklin on the Armonica and Manipulating the Passions
        • 6 Treating Melancholy and Hysteria in London
        • 7 On Music's Utility
        • 8 Applause and an “Emotional” Digression
        • 9 Fears and Accusations
        • 10 Franklin on Armonica-caused Health Concerns
        • 11 Epilogue
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 6: Historical perspectives on music as a cause of disease
        • Abstract
        • 1 From the Harmony of the Spheres to Nervous Stimulation
        • 2 Music and Overstimulated Nerves (1790–1850)
        • 3 Pathological Music (1850–1914)
        • 4 Twentieth-Century Blues: pathological Music (1900–1945)
        • 5 Pathological Music (1945–Present)
      • Chapter 7: Stroke, music, and creative output: Alfred Schnittke and other composers
        • Abstract
        • 1 Alfred Schnittke, His Music and Life
        • 2 Music and Stroke: Britten, Langalais, Shebalin, Stravinsky, and Thompson
        • 3 The Effect of Stroke on Schnittke
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 8: Hector Berlioz and his Vesuvius: an analysis of historical evidence from an epileptological perspective
        • Abstract
        • 1 Biographical Background
        • 2 A Mystery
        • 3 Le Mal Inexprimable: The Ineffable Malady
        • 4 The Diagnosis
        • 5 Encore: la Symphonie Fantastico-Épileptique
        • 6 Conclusion
        • Acknowledgment
      • Chapter 9: Alexander Scriabin: his chronic right-hand pain and Its impact on his piano compositions
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Scriabin's Injury in 1891
        • 3 A Musical-Medical Assessment
        • 4 Coda
        • Acknowledgment
      • Chapter 10: Frederick Delius: controversies regarding his neurological disorder and its impact on his compositional output
        • Abstract
        • 1 His Life
        • 2 His Illness
        • 3 Brief Review of Neurosyphilis
        • 4 His Music
        • 5 Conclusions
      • Chapter 11: Robert Schumann in the psychiatric hospital at Endenich
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Medical History
        • 3 Discussion
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 12: Mozart at play: the limitations of attributing the etiology of genius to tourette syndrome and mental illness
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Tourette Syndrome
        • 3 Mental Illness Scatology
        • 4 Mozart's Playing
        • 5 Daines Barrington's Interview with Mozart: play Is the Thing
        • 6 Mozart's Personality
        • 7 Mozart's Playful Attitude
        • 8 Conclusion
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 13: Paul Wittgenstein's right arm and his phantom: the saga of a famous concert pianist and his amputation
        • Abstract
        • 1 Paul Wittgenstein
        • 2 Later Events
        • 3 The Phantom Limb Phenomena
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 14: Georg Friedrich Händel: a case of large vessel disease with complications in the eighteenth century
        • Abstract
        • 1 Biography and Character
        • 2 Händel's Neurological Disease
        • 3 Händel's Visual Impairment
        • 4 Which are the Most Plausible Diagnoses and Which Medical Evidence Is There to Support Them?
        • 5 Treatments for Stroke in the Eighteenth Century
      • Chapter 15: Joseph Haydn's encephalopathy: new aspects
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 What Neurological Disorders Did Haydn Suffer from? (Table 2)
      • Chapter 16: Organists and organ music composers
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 Classical and Church Organists and Organ Music Composers
        • 3 Neurological Findings
      • Chapter 17: Frédéric Chopin and his neuropsychiatric problems
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 “His Health Declined Slowly”: an Overview of Chopin's Medical History
        • 3 “Chopin's Suffering”: On the Endless Pitfalls of Retrospective Diagnosis
        • 4 “I Feel Like a Violin String on a Contrabass”: toward an Uninvestigable Relationship Between Illness and Work
      • Chapter 18: Somnambulism in Verdi's Macbeth and Bellini's La Sonnambula: opera, sleepwalking, and medicine
        • Abstract
        • 1 Somnambulism in opera
        • 2 Somnambulism and the Arts
        • 3 Shakespeare's Macbeth
        • 4 Verdi's Macbeth
        • 5 Bellini's La Sonnambula
        • 6 The Music Accompanying the Somnambulism Scenes
        • 7 Discussion and Conclusions
        • Acknowledgments
      • Chapter 19: Opera and neuroscience
        • Abstract
        • 1 Introduction
        • 2 The Origins of Madness in Opera
        • 3 Mozart and Mesmerism
        • 4 Nineteenth-century Pathological Madness
        • 5 Operatic Development of Neurological and Psychiatric Characters
        • 6 Conclusions
        • Acknowledgments
    • Index
    • Volume in Series

Product details

  • No. of pages: 440
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier 2015
  • Published: February 11, 2015
  • Imprint: Elsevier
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444634108
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780444633996

About the Serial Editors

Eckart Altenmüller

Affiliations and Expertise

Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien, Hannover, Germany

Stanley Finger

Affiliations and Expertise

Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA

François Boller

François Boller

François Boller, M.D., Ph.D. has been co-Series Editor of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology since 2002. a board-certified neurologist currently Professor of Neurology at the George Washington University Medical School (GW) in Washington, DC. He was born in Switzerland and educated in Italy where he obtained a Medical Degree at the University of Pisa. After specializing in Neurology at the University of Milan, Dr. Boller spent several years at the Boston VA and Boston University Medical School, including a fellowship under the direction of Dr. Norman Geschwind. He obtained a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio where he was in charge of Neuroscience teaching at the Medical School and was nominated Teacher of the Year. In 1983, Dr. Boller became Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh where he founded and directed one of the first NIH funded Alzheimer Disease Research Centers in the country. In 1989, he was put in charge of a Paris-based INSERM Unit dedicated to the neuropsychology and neurobiology of cerebral aging. He returned to the United States and joined the NIH in 2005, before coming to GW in July 2014.

Dr. Boller’s initial area of interest was aphasia and related disorders; he later became primarily interested in cognitive disorders and dementia with emphasis on the correlates of cognitive disorders with pathology, neurophysiology and imaging. He was one of the first to study the relation between Parkinson and Alzheimer disease, two processes that were thought to be unrelated. His current area of interest is Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders with emphasis on the early and late stages of the disease. He is also interested in the history of Neurosciences and is Past President of the International Society for the History of Neurosciences. He was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Neurology, the official Journal of the European Federation of Neurological Societies (now European Academy of Neurology). He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the American Neurological Association. In addition, he has chaired Committees within the International Neuropsychological Society, the International Neuropsychology Symposium, and the World Federation of Neurology (WFN). He has authored over 200 papers and books including the Handbook of Neuropsychology (Elsevier).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor of Neurology, George Washington University Medical School, Washington, DC, USA

Ratings and Reviews

Write a review

Latest reviews

(Total rating for all reviews)

  • Jan P. Mon Jan 29 2018

    Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical Connections and Perspectives

    When R.A.Henson wrote in 1977: "The neurological literature on music is commonly dull and lacking in interest to the general reader.", the present volume, edited by E.Altenmüller, St.Finger and F.Boller, can show the opposite. This is a very interesting book of history of neurology as well as of music, beginning with Gall's description of the sense of tone relations or music as one of his basic faculties and an overview about neurological and psychological research about music in the 19th century up to a lot of case presentations of neurological disorders of great musicians and the topic of musical expression of mental states in opera at different times in the light of the state of science at that time. From a historical point of view the book also deals with the very interesting topic of the relationship between aphasia and singing, primarily in the work of J.H.Jackson, and with the big theme of treatment of mental illness by music on the one hand and the more problematic topic of music as a possible cause of disease on the other hand. The book is very readable and informative. It can be warmly recommended to all historically interested physicians, psychologists, musicians and musicologists.