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Dear Vishi, daily log on Oct 7, 2023

Tags: diary letters

Dear Vishi, this is my daily log for Oct 7, 2023.


I am continuing reading Musicophilia by Olive Sacks. Below are the few notes I took while reading the book.

Savant Syndrome

It's a rare condition in which individuals with certain mental disabilities, like autism spectrum disorders, display remarkable talents or skills in specific areas such as music, mathematics, or art. Also people who sustain brain injuries may also unexpectedly develop savant-like abilities though this is rare.

The movie Rain Man was inspired by Kim Peek, who had savant syndrome. This movie is on my bucket list.

Is Blindness connected to music?

Thomas "Blind Tom" Wiggins was born into slavery in Georgia in the mid-19th century. Blind from birth, he exhibited prodigious musical talents from a young age. Remarkably, Wiggins could replicate complex musical pieces after hearing them just once, a talent that earned him widespread recognition as a musical savant. Beyond mere replication, he composed his own works and had an ability to improvise at the piano with great skill.

In India, Sūrdās, a 15th and 16th-century figure, was a renowned blind poet and musician. He is known for his writings on Lord Krishna, particularly the "Sur Sagar," which is considered a central work in the Bhakti movement of North India.

Some research suggests that blind individuals, especially those who lose their sight early in life, often develop heightened auditory skills. This is attributed to their reliance on non-visual senses for perception. The brain, with its inherent plasticity, can adapt and reorganize, allowing regions initially devoted to visual processing to aid auditory functions. This compensatory mechanism can lead to an enhanced ability to discern musical tones, rhythms, and intricate structures, possibly providing a foundation for exceptional musical talents.

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