Playing on One String - Day to Day Life With Graves' | oneGRAVESvoice

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Patient Education

Playing on One String – Day to Day Life With Graves’

key information

source: Graves' Disease & Thyroid Foundation

year: N/A

authors: Kimberly Dorris


What do Graves’ patients have in common with violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini? For starters, we’ve all had the experience of living with a chronic illness. Paganini is believed to have lived with Marfan syndrome, a genetic connective tissue disorder. In fact, the long fingers and flexible joints associated with Marfan syndrome might have contributed to Paganini’s unparalleled skill on the violin.

One unconfirmed – but oft-repeated – legend surrounding Paganini was that he was in the middle of a performance when one of the four strings on his violin snapped. The virtuoso continued playing, improvising to ensure the melody continued on his remaining three strings. But then another string broke! Again, Paganini continued unfazed. He made the needed adjustments to continue on his remaining two strings until the third string snapped. Paganini paused for a moment, held up his violin, then proclaimed “And now – Paganini and one string!” Then he finished the piece on one string to a rousing ovation from the audience.