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Oliver Sacks - Musical prodigy

Identifier

001681

Type of spiritual experience

Background

Let me hypothesise that one function which is stored in the spiritual world is the ability to play the piano.  This time therefore, rather than images being received as a vision, we have functional input – a remarkable ability – a gift of function.  The ‘vision’ therefore is like having received a download of a program which can then be executed.

A description of the experience

The Man who mistook his wife for a hat – Oliver Sacks

After this book was first published, I received a fascinating article by L K Miller of Chicago entitled…

Sensitivity to tonal structure in a developmentally disabled musical savant’

It was presented at the Psychonomics Society, Boston, November 1985 and was …

“A meticulous study of a five year old prodigy, with severe mental and other handicaps due to maternal rubella, who showed not just rote memory of a mechanical sort, but ….impressive sensitivity to the rules governing composition, particularly the role of different notes in determining diatonic key structure… implying implicit knowledge of structural rules in a generative sense; that is rules not limited to the specific examples provided by one’s own experience”

The source of the experience

Sacks, Oliver

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Activities