The whole true behind Schumann’s self-injury. A tragedy in the life of a musical genius

  • Nikolaos G. Markeas
  • Athanasios Verdis
Keywords: Robert Schumann, self-injury, extensor tendons, hand


In the field of Music History, Robert Schumann has been established as the epitome of German Romanticism. His works transcend the classical form of his predecessors and reveal his internal mental passions that strive to express themselves. In any case, his life was full of frustrations and upheavals that disturbed his mental health. Attempting to improve his piano technique led him to self-injure his right hand, which obviously affected his compositions and musical choices. The interpretations of Schumann’s psychosocial disorder pertain to a wide range of possible diagnoses, from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder to brain tumor and neurosyphilis. Mercury poisoning seems just as likely.


Author Biographies

Nikolaos G. Markeas

2nd Department of Orthopaedics, General Children’s Hospital “P. & A. Kyriakou”

Athanasios Verdis

Pedagogical Department of Secondary Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece


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