Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Musician's Guide to Having an MRI

Jennifer Paull appreciates the benefits of musical synaesthesia while having an MRI:

A white-clad person may offer bromide earphones oozing recordings of the above. One may even have been informed that bringing one's own CD is acceptable. On the other hand, depending upon the country/health service or amiability of all concerned, there may be no soft option. Good! None is required by the musician.

Here, for a change, we have a most decided advantage. I must admit that having synaesthesia I, perhaps, have a tad more luck on my side. However, I promise you that sans the latter blessing, the musician is well prepared for the mini Channel tunnel and what could be a claustrophobic hour or two.

The magnetic resonance imagery settings come in series (ranging from two to seven minutes), each having a different sound, pitch(es) and rhythm depending upon the particular machine and the specific examination. An American impressionist tone poem is not the same thing as an architecturally correct German fugue after all. Neither are these multi-million, cylindrical, wide-bored, electronic instrumental treasures from their respective countries. In fact, only a quartet of makers/countries is represented in this advancement in diagnostic technology. (The other two being Japanese and, originally, Dutch, drawing musical parallels would render me even more obtuse than usual.)
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