Thursday, July 14, 2005

Musical Hallucinations

Seven years ago Reginald King was lying in a hospital bed recovering from bypass surgery when he first heard the music.

It began with a pop tune, and others followed. Mr. King heard everything from cabaret songs to Christmas carols. "I asked the nurses if they could hear the music, and they said no," said Mr. King, a retired sales manager in Cardiff, Wales.

"I got so frustrated," he said. "They didn't know what I was talking about and said it must be something wrong with my head. And it's been like that ever since."

Each day, the music returns. "They're all songs I've heard during my lifetime," said Mr. King, 83. "One would come on, and then it would run into another one, and that's how it goes on in my head. It's driving me bonkers, to be quite honest."

Last year, Mr. King was referred to Dr. Victor Aziz, a psychiatrist at St. Cadoc's Hospital in Wales. Dr. Aziz explained to him that there was a name for his experience: musical hallucinations.

Dr. Aziz belongs to a small circle of psychiatrists and neurologists who are investigating this condition. They suspect that the hallucinations experienced by Mr. King and others are a result of malfunctioning brain networks that normally allow us to perceive music.

Extracted from

Chanced upon this article when I was reading Scott Spielberg's blog here. Now, that's when you get too much music. It's scary listening to the same tunes on repeat mode perpetually, and worse when you don't have a huge range of music to listen to in the first place. That's the illness that struck Robert Schumann in his dying years and he was often bonkers as written in the history books. I'm thinking whether if I declare that I have this illness, will the Singapore Armed Forces from their service early...

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