Bad Vibrations

The History of the Idea of Music as a Cause of Disease
Kennaway, James
Date published: 
July 2012

Music has been used as a cure for disease, but the notion that it might be a serious cause of mental and physical illness was rare until the late eighteenth-century. More recently, the prevalence of sonic weapons and the use of music in torture in the so-called War on Terror have both made the subject of music that is bad for the health worryingly topical. This book outlines and explains the development of this idea of pathological music from the Enlightenment until the present day, providing an original contribution to the history of medicine, music and the body.