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JAMA. 1978 Jan 2;239(1):40-2.

Nicolo Paganini. Musical magician and Marfan mutant?


The thesis is advanced that Nicolo Paganini of Genoa (1782 to 1840), the greatest violin virtuoso of all time, owed his incomparable violin virtuosity to a fortuitous and fortunate coincidence of three factors: a soaring musical genius, a flair for the dramatic and ostentatious, and manual dexterity conferred by being born with the long fingers and hyperextensible joints of Marfan's syndrome. Ordinarily, an inborn connective tissue disorder is a calamity for the patient and a burden for society. In this particular instance, however, Marfan's syndrome bequeathed to posterity a legacy that will ennoble the human spirit for innumerable generations yet to come.

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