Viennese vibrations: doctors, lungs and opera

Anna McMichael and Anthony J McMichael
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja14.00419
Published online: 15 December 2014

Eighteenth century physician Josef Leopold Auenbrugger, originator of chest percussion, was also part of Vienna's rich musical life

Links between music and medicine typically focus on ailments, known or suspected, of composers — Beethoven's deafness, Chopin's tuberculosis, Schubert's syphilis, Schumann's mental disorder, Mozart's nearly everything, Paganini's suspected Ehlers–Danlos syndrome. But few doctors have actually written an opera libretto. One exception was the Austrian physician Josef Leopold Auenbrugger (1722–1809) (Box 1).

  • Anna McMichael1
  • Anthony J McMichael2

  • 1 Pinchgut Opera, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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