Date of Award


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Thesis open access


Although disease, in many ways, helped shape the life of Polish pianist and composer Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849), its social implications have rarely been examined in biographical studies on the composer’s life. In this study, the medical literature on tuberculosis disease (formerly known as consumption) from the 19th century was examined for its significance in influencing public perceptions of the innovative musician during his lifetime. It was found that Chopin’s 19th-century profile as a effeminate pianist and composer may have been at least partially established through his embodiment of the 19th-century consumptive ideal.

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