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Speaking for OurselvesConversations on Life, Music, and Autism$
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Michael B. Bakan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190855833

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190855833.001.0001

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Graeme Gibson

Graeme Gibson

(p.121) Chapter 7 Graeme Gibson
Speaking for Ourselves

Michael B. Bakan

Oxford University Press

Graeme Gibson is a man of many talents. He curates an online museum of more than four hundred world music instruments, plays many of those instruments himself, designs and builds others, and conducts copious research on music traditions worldwide. Because “world music involves numerous traditions [up] to contemporary musics,” Graeme says, “I prefer to think of it as a spectrum that includes numerous genres.” He sees parallels between the spectrum of world music and the autism spectrum, where he states that he “also found that everyone is different from their case, to my case and so on. I do agree with the term ‘spectrum,’ ” he adds, “but we still have lots to learn.” Living with “classic autism” all his life, Graeme has faced formidable challenges. Yet he would not rid himself of his condition even given the chance: “Some symptoms I would like to have gone, like stress triggers and so on, but I fear in the end my music may be lost too.”

Keywords:   classic autism, Greek music, bouzouki, Indian classical music, raga, Peruvian music, musical instruments, world music as a spectrum, autism spectrum

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