I was reading today’s CNN post about how a gene for Alzheimer’s has been discovered, and how technology will now allow you to find out whether you have a predisposition for Alzheimer’s. But what caught my eye was the teaser headline: “Gene hunter by day, organist by night.”
It is the story of pioneering scientist Rudy Tanzi, and his life’s work as director of the Genetics and Aging Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Apparently, though, when the pop group Aerosmith was looking for an organist “to play like a drunken church lady” they found Tanzi in a most unlikely situation — on a photo shoot for GQ magazine. You’ll have to read the story to get all the details.
But it does bring up the correlation between music and science. I mentioned in a previous post that in my family, there are many doctors and scientists — both my parents were physicians, in addition to a number of my uncles — and nearly EVERYONE in my family plays music, from uncles, aunts, siblings and cousins, and now even the children of cousins.
I found a fascinating website called Music and Medicine, which is part of Cornell University’s “Music and Medicine Initiative,” which says “Medical students typically excel in science, but many are also gifted in music. The Weill Cornell Medical College family includes musicians with a wide range of experiences, from serious amateurs to conservatory-trained professionals. All share a passionate pursuit of the expression of beauty and perfection through music. Musicians may turn to a career in medicine for a variety of reasons. But once medical students, they often find that their passion for musical exploration seamlessly translates into the pursuit of medical knowledge. These students begin to think of their medical training as another form of art.”
In fact, the organization is having their fall concert next week, and will perform Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 and Duruflé’s Requiem with the Music and Medicine orchestra and chorus.
Wish I could attend!