Involuntary Reaction

I read this story with both amazement and sympathy:

Kira Laconetti, 19, a self-taught musician, began experiencing difficulty when singing or listening to music, having two-minute ‘glitches’ and stuttering her words.
An MRI scan on the performer from Lynden, Washington, revealed a marble-sized mass in the right temporal lobe of her brain. The benign tumour was confirmed to be triggering a rare disorder called musicogenic epilepsy.
The condition, which is estimated to affect one in ten million people, according to Epilepsy Society, triggers seizures caused by certain types of music or frequencies of pitch for which the person’s brain has a low tolerance for. It is unclear what specific notes or music prompted Miss Laconetti’s seizures.

I should disclose at this point that I too suffer from musicogenic epilepsy.  In my case, it’s brought on not by any individual notes but by certain types of music, notably rap music, bebop jazz and the voice of Taylor Swift.

And I don’t suffer seizures either, just spasms of Tourette’s Syndrome.

Fortunately, I don’t need surgery because the remedy is simple:  a little Harry Nilsson, Peter Skellern or even something by the Beatles, and I’m right as rain.

Feel free to share the types of music which trigger your episodes of musicogenic epilepsy, in Comments.


  1. I’m with Bruce Willis’ character, Joe, in “The Last Boy Scout”

    Milo: You think you are so fucking cool, don’t you? You think you are so fucking cool. But just once, I would like to hear you scream in pain…
    Joe Hallenbeck: Play some rap music.

  2. Rap Crap, Whiney Women & Girly Boys singing crap and the last decade or two of Country whiney mumbling stuff leaves me listening to music from the mid-1960’s back and being selective with that. I like classical for traveling in my truck, the real Golden Oldies.

  3. The aural blight that is rap (kindergarten rhymes, braggadocio, inner city angst set to a noxious beat), hip hop, anything by REM. I’m sure there is (much) more, but the day awaits my participation.

  4. Springsteen – yelling his three note range with a big dose of sweat. Whoop-de-doo.
    All house, hip-hop and rap.
    95% of top 40 done in past 30 years – a big dose of whisper girl or androgynous boy voices over-miked, “singing” a melody consisting of the same unimaginative phrase repeated 3-4 times in succession, same for lyrics. I call it Spam can music.

  5. the worst part is when you’re forced to listen to what passes for music when you’re on-hold
    when did this happen – about the time we allowed Ebonics to take the place of English
    BTW: I just discovered Kate Wolf for some easy listening

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