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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Music, in its capacity to represent motion and in the supposed capacity of those motions to affect a listener’s character, has frequently assumed a recuperative function in the remediation of disability. This tradition may be sourced to ancient and medieval doctrines, in which proportions of the human body possess an innate musicality, tuning to and sympathetically vibrating with surrounding sounds. These principles have provided the basis for many extraordinary tales of musical cures, which invoke an abstractly idealized musical body as an antidote to physical impairment. Further, within these tales, disability often allegorizes some other theme or subject, functioning as a “narrative prosthetic” that defines by counterexample a desirable state.

Keywords: disability studies, embodiment, music therapy, tarantism, mesmerism, romanticism

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