Oliver Sacks at the Psychiatric Institute, talking about his new book, Musicophilia:
The border between the ear and mind.
The guy can talk. Gotta love that he went at least an hour over his allotted time. Mostly anecdotal clinical stuff about auditory hallucination- usually from patients with some degree of deafness. You think there's a radio playing but it suddenly occurs to you that the same twenty Irish folk songs are repeating- all of which you remember from your childhood. Inter-cranial iPod. One patient heard a splendid version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm followed by thunderous applause. The Hallucinations can also be triggered by cochlear-toxic substances - too much aspirin or quinine for instance. The music is not always to one's taste, and it's impossible to turn it off. Sometimes frightening, especially at onset. One "atonal" (serial?) composer patient heard only "corny melodies." Some people hear repeating fragments over and over … like minimalism?
After a concussion a patient who had previously been an avid listener, concert attendee and collector lost all interest in music, which then produced total indifference in him.
Amusia: inability to hear chords as one thing - the tones sound like "separate laser beams."