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Madly Musical
2017 New York Festivals:International Radio Program Awards:Information/ Documentary: Culture & The Arts:Bronze Radio Winner
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The programme Madly Musical (非常音樂家) is an innovative effort in introducing common mental health problems to the general audience in Hong Kong. The programme, recorded in Chinese Cantonese, does so through examining the lives of select Western classical music composers. It therefore also explores the multifaceted relations between creativity and mental illnesses, a theme that has captured many a public imagination in the past two centuries. Though the programme takes a popular approach, it draws from robust medical and musicological scholarship; particular effort is made to clarity oft-misunderstood mental phenomena. The fact that the programme is presented by a cognitive psychologist, a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist, who have either written extensively on classical music or performed publicly, adds to its allure; and the fact that the programme is broadcast by RTHK Radio 4 – a music station rather than a general station – both communicates to the dedicated Radio 4 audience the point that many musical themes have a much wider generality than is commonly considered, and emphasizes to the general public that there is much to learn from the seemingly ‘minority interest’ – at least in Hong Kong – that is Western classical music.

The themes of each of the eight hourly episodes are as follows:

Episode 1: Introduction. Types of mental disorder and diagnostic methods. Depression, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff

Episode 2: Bipolar Disorder: Schumann

Episode 3: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Mozart and Gershwin

Episode 4: Early Adversities and Psychological Development: Beethoven

Episode 5: Anxiety Disorders and Psychosomatic Medicine: Mahler

Episode 6: Autism: Bruckner and Bartok

Episode 7: Substance Use Disorders: Berlioz, Mussorgsky, and Chopin

Episode 8: Mental Disorders and Performers. Historical Trends of Mental Disorders. Conclusions