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September 24, 1927

L'Hérédité musicale.

JAMA. 1927;89(13):1086. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690130074052

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This book, after a brief prelude on heredity, proceeds to a series of summaries on the nature of memory, intelligence, reason, will and conscience. The theme then passes to the "laws of heredity," discussing and quoting many writers, including Galton, Weisman, Lamarck, DeVries, Mendel, Ribot and Fabre. The author agrees with Spencer that acquired musical characteristics can be transmitted. The second chapter begins with a eulogy of music and discusses various topics, such as formalism, intellectual pleasure, passion, musical therapeutics, the musical ear and cerebral localization. Chapter III contains the experimental material; namely, an abridged account of the investigations of Seashore and Davenport. The author agrees with their conclusions that "fundamental musical qualities" are inheritable. Apart from the discussions, the author's contribution evidently consists in presenting brief accounts of the family trees of famous musicians, as well as of a few painters, poets and other types of celebrities, which are

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