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BMJ Case Reports 2009; doi:10.1136/bcr.06.2008.0023
  • Unusual association of diseases/symptoms

Musical hallucinations in normal children and adult non-psychiatric population

  1. Victor Aziz
  1. Cwm Taff NHS Trust, Mental Health, St Tydfil’s Hospital, Merthyr Tydfill, CF47 0SJ, UK
  1. victoraziz{at}doctors.org.uk
  • Published 2 February 2009

Summary

A descriptive account of musical hallucinations of a series of 19 people is presented. Five people reported the onset of hallucination before adulthood. In this paper we demonstrate that musical hallucinations are not necessarily pathological and can occur as a normal experience in people (children and adults) who have no contact with mental health services and no concurrent mental disorder. This is also the first paper to recognise that children can experience musical hallucinations. Also, we show that musical hallucinations are more common than previously thought, but people do not report their occurrence. It seems plausible that in musical hallucinations there is an insult to the ear or brain that produces a change in quality of these images, converting them to a psychotic experience. Musical hallucinations should be regarded as a continuum with normal experiences and clinical syndromes.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Patient consent: Patient/guardian consent was obtained for publication

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