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The Spanish Composer Manuel de Falla and His Eyes: The Musical Brain

Onderzoeksgroep Swaab
Publicatiejaar 2021
Gepubliceerd in Neuroscience Insights
Auteur(s) A. Garcia-Falgueras, D.F. Swaab

Manuel de Falla was a Spanish musician of the XIXth and XXth centuries who had international recognition likely due to his musical fusion talent. His knowledge about Spanish musical traditions gave to his early compositions a new and fresh intellectual interpretation for the typical Spanish folk music. However, in the middle of his musical career, he suffered a strange disease of his eyes named recurrent acute iridocyclitis. This eye flushing is caused by an inflammation of 2 structures of the anterior pole of the ocular globe, the iris, and the ciliary body. It is usually a symptom of another disease and it causes many psychological impairments and disabilities (severe eye pain in bright light, blurry vision, headache, stress for organization (orderliness), and depression in some cases). This soreness of his eyes had an effect over Falla’s compositions and marked an inflection point in his line of musical creations. Eyes in music have been so relevant in another composers and musicians throughout history.

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