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Did Maurice Ravel really have Alzheimer's?

  1. Sep 5, 2007 #1
    Can scientists accurately determine Ravel's condition based on one musical composition? I hope they were relying on more than just that.

    http://hercules.gcsu.edu/~hedmonds/lecture notes/CLASSICAL MUSIC.html

    HOWEVER

    In "M. Ravel discusses his own work: The Boléro explained", The Daily Telegraph, 1931-07-11, he is quoted:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=lF...sic"&as_brr=3&sig=eN3yDGokAkJr_1fU1jghaxq8tQs
    From A Ravel Reader: Correspondence, Articles, Interviews; Compiled and edited by Arbie Orenstein

    I like this author's take on it:

    http://www.mangore.com/bolero_ravel.html
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 5, 2007 #2
    Boléro is a great song.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2007 #3

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    hmmm..that seems like a big leap. I was told in my last neuroscience class that Alzheimer's can only be definitively diagnosed in an autopsy. They need to examine ratios of plaques and tangles in the brain (we all have them) compared with normal brain tissue. Unless they had Ravel's actual brain to examine, it seems unlikely that they could draw a strong conclusion about this.

    The preference for repetitive patterns could indicate various disorders, including schizophrenia, OCD, autism, or of course, the disruptive position of his fatal brain tumor. Or it could be simply due to the fact that he was a gifted musician who enjoyed (and recognized the enjoyment of others in) repetitive patterns in music. If he died at 62, that seems a smidge early to be indicating Alzheimers, but not completely out of the question. I know that the risk of Alzheimers doubles every year after 65, but I don't know what the rate is around the age that Ravel expired.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  5. Sep 6, 2007 #4
    The work is interesting for the first couple of minutes. After that, it's the same thing getting louder and louder for the next ten minutes. :biggrin:
     
  6. Sep 6, 2007 #5
    I listened to a six minute version and it just didn't sound as good.
     
  7. Sep 6, 2007 #6

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    I was never very impressed with Bolero. Kinda boring, IMHO. My favorite piece by Ravel is the "Pavane pour une infante défunte".
     
  8. Sep 6, 2007 #7

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    They have to unravel Ravel? You know he's been decomposing for about 70 years now!

    Bolero is only fun if it comes with Bo.
     
  9. Sep 6, 2007 #8

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    ay yi yi
     
  10. Sep 7, 2007 #9
    Is that the most popular Monty Python Joke? I see it wherever there is a discussion on dead composers.

    :rofl:
     
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