Music Box | Hektoen International

Visualizing Mozart

Vincent de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States (Spring 2018)     Figure 1. Portrait of Mozart by his brother-in-law, Joseph Lange (©Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum) The music, life, and legacy of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart (Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, 1756-1791) continue to fascinate and enthrall.1,10,15,19, Footnote 1 Mozart has been the subject of more books, […]

The symbolic portrait of Mozart’s patron Dr. Ferdinand Dejean

Stephen Martin Durham, United Kingdom (Spring 2018)   Figure 1. Dr Ferdinand Dejean. Oil on canvas. Unsigned. Probably by Jacobus Buys. 47 x 55 cm Dr. Ferdinand Dejean (1731-1797) grew up in the Bonn Court alongside Beethoven’s father and trained as a surgeon.1,2 For ten years he worked on Dutch East India Company ships from […]

In Consultation: Rachmaninoff, his physician, and the genesis of a masterpiece

Vincent P. de Luise New Haven, Connecticut, United States (Winter 2018)   “You need color to make music come alive. Without color, music is dead.” — Sergei Rachmaninoff Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) There are piano concertos and then there are Piano Concertos. While favorites include the Tchaikovsky First, Mozart’s Twenty-first, the Beethoven Fifth (“Emperor”), and the first […]

Song as a unit for physical activity: A-minor Proposal

Cillin Condon Dublin, Ireland (Winter 2018) Step to the beat. Created by Cillin Condon and photographed by Anthony Edwards,  St James’ Hospital, Dublin   “Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.” — Virgil Physical inactivity is recognized as a significant risk factor for diseases such as stroke, diabetes, […]

Mozart’s “Effect” on Us: A review of an aspect of music and cognition

Vincent P. de Luise New Haven, Connecticut (Spring 2017)   Portrait of Wolfgang Mozart For decades, neuroscientists have explored whether there exists a causal relationship between listening to music and enhancement of cognitive ability. Does music make one smarter? Can listening to music lead to more memory and greater intellect? Does listening specifically to the […]

Music and the brain

Rayda Aaishah Joomun Mauritius (Winter 2017)   “The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colours in your mind” – Maria Cristina Mena Music  brings a smile to our faces. Yet this abstract entity has no conventional defining criteria. Proust acknowledged this: “Music helped me to descend into myself, to discover […]

Was the Mozart Effect evident before the birth of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?

Harishnath Ramachandran England, United Kingdom (Winter 2017)   “Rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul.” – Plato   Statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91) taken by Mrs. Sanju Ramachandran (Vienna 2009) The word music is derived from the Greek word “mousike”, meaning art of the muses. It is considered a […]

Medicine musica: the eighteenth-century rationalization of music and medicine

Daisy Fancourt London, United Kingdom (Summer 2013)   Instruments de musique, 1770 Anne Vallayer-Coster Musée du Louvre, Paris Legends of music’s healing powers on both the mind and the body are estimated to go as far back as Paleolithic times, when music was believed to be a magic that could drive away the angry spirits […]

Madness at the Opera

  Joan Sutherland in Lucia di Lammermoor It is ironic and tragic that Gaetano Donizetti, author of the most famous mad scenes in the history of opera, should himself have died in a state of utter madness from what has been described “as the most terrible of all brain diseases”.1 In two of his operas, […]

Schubert, Schumann, and the Spirochete

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)  Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856) Their names sound Germanic and are somewhat similar, as are their portraits. They wrote beautiful music and rank high among the great composers of the romantic era. To confuse their names would constitute an unforgivable crime, especially in the eye of music lovers. Yet in […]