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Motor neuron diseases  


Motor neuron diseases are a group of progressive disorders involving the nerve cells responsible for carrying impulses that instruct the muscles in the upper and lower body to move. Motor neuron diseases are varied and destructive in their effect. They commonly have distinctive differences in their origin and causation, but a similar result in their outcome for the patient: severe muscle weakness. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), spinal muscular atrophy, poliomyelitis, and primary lateral sclerosis are all examples of motor neuron diseases.


A motor neuron is one of the largest cells in the body. It has a large cell body with many extensions reaching out in 360° from the cell body (soma). These extensions are called dendrites and are chemically able to receive instructions from adjacent neurons. These instructions are received in the form of an impulse stimulation of a particular protein channel on the dendrite by a neurotransmitter termed acetycholine (ACh). Extending from the soma of the motor neuron is a long portion of the cell called the axon. When conditions are favorable, an electrical signal passes down the axon to a region of the cell identified as the axon terminals. These terminals also branch in many directions and have, at their tips, a region called the synaptic end bulb. This region releases ACh that crosses a small gap until it reaches a protein on another dendrite.

When motor neurons line up in a tract, they allow an electrical signal to spread from the brain to the intended muscle. There are a tremendous number of nerve tracts that extend to all the muscles of the body that are responsible for contraction and relaxation of all types of muscles, including smooth and cardiac, as well as skeletal muscle. When the motor neuron is affected or damaged and it cannot perform at peak performance, the muscles of the body are affected. Often, a disorder of the motor neurons results in progressive muscle atrophy (shrinking and wasting) of some, if not all, the muscles of the body. Muscle twitching (fasciculation) is common among these disorders. Motor neuron diseases are difficult to treat, debilitating to movement and, in some cases, fatal.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disorder that generally involves either the lower or upper motor systems of the body. In advanced stages, both regions of the body are affected. This disease is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease after the famous baseball player who died from the condition. It is caused by sclerosis (a hardening of the surrounding fibrous tissues) in the corticospinal tracts. Associated with the sclerosis is a loss of the tissue of the anterior horns (gray matter) in the spinal cord, including the brainstem. Lou Gehrig's disease is characterized by a wasting of the muscles that, in turn, produces weakness. The bulbar, or facial/mouth muscles can initially become involved, which may lead to slurring of speech and drooling. The significance of this involvement is that, with rapid progression, the patient may not be able to swallow properly. This may lead to the risk of choking and other difficulties with obtaining nutrition and proper respiration. Death from complications of ALS is common within five years.

Spinal muscular atrophies (SMAs) are a wide group of genetic disorders characterized by primary degeneration of the anterior horn cells of the spinal cord, resulting in progressive muscle weakness. Spinal muscular atrophies affect only lower motor neurons. In babies and children, many SMAs are rapidly progressive with paralysis of the legs, trunk, and eventually, the respiratory muscles. In teenagers and adults, SMAs are usually slowly progressive. Kennedy's disease, an X-linked (carried by women and passed on to male offspring) SMA, features similar wasting of facial muscles as seen in ALS, with characteristic difficulty speaking and swallowing.

Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS) is a rare motor neuron disease that resembles ALS. Primary lateral sclerosis often begins after age 50, and results in slowly progressive weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles, clumsiness, and difficulty maintaining balance. Symptoms worsen over a period of years. Muscle spasms in the legs may also occur, but in PLS, there is no evidence of the degeneration of spinal motor neurons or muscle wasting (amyotrophy) that occurs in ALS.

Unlike most motor neuron diseases, poliomyelitis results from infection with a virus. Contamination occurs through fecal or oral exposure. Once inside the body, the virus uses the cells of the gastrointestinal tract to enter the bloodstream and move throughout the body. Eventually, the poliovirus invades the nerve cells of the spinal cord and kills the motor neurons. When the motor neurons are destroyed, the muscles they connect to become damaged and weaken. The result is varying degrees of paralysis, including difficulty swallowing, walking, breathing, and control of speech.


Motor neuron diseases are uncommon, as about one person in 50,000 is diagnosed with a motor neuron disease in the United States each year. In total, about 5,500 people in the United States each year receive a diagnosis of a motor neuron disease.

About 20,000 Americans are living with ALS and nearly 4,500 new cases are reported annually. The peak age for onset is around 55 years of age, but younger patients have been observed. Spinal muscular atrophies and primary lateral sclerosis are rare diseases.

The occurrence of poliomyelitis is seen in records of epidemics that were intricately documented in the last 100 years. A description of an epidemic in recent times in the United States discussed a low of 4,197 cases in the early 1940s to a high of 42,033 in 1949. By 1952, the number of case had reached over 58,000. In 1955, a vaccine was developed that used weakened forms of the virus. This vaccine and the subsequent Sabin vaccine nearly wiped out polio in the world. The Americas were declared free of polio in the 1990s. In 2002, there were less than 500 cases worldwide, and in 2003, that number decreased to less than 100 cases. It is expected that by the end of the year 2005, the disease will be eradicated. Although new cases have begun to appear in regions of Africa and India, the World Health Organization (WHO) is keeping track of the outbreaks, and scientists are hopeful that poliomyelitis will soon disappear from the list of motor neuron diseases.

Causes and symptoms

Causes of many motor neuron diseases are unknown, and others have varying causes according to the specific motor neuron disease. Most cases of ALS occur sporadically for an unknown reason, however, up to 10% of ALS cases are inherited. Most spinal muscular atrophies are inherited. A virus causes poliomyelitis. Additionally, environmental factors and toxins are under study as causes or triggers for motor neuron diseases.

Muscle weakness is the symptom common to all motor neuron diseases. Muscles of the legs are most often affected, leading to clumsiness, unstable gait, or lower limb paralysis. Muscle cramps and fasciculations (twitching) occur with most motor neuron diseases. Facial muscles may also be affected, leading to difficulty with speech (dysarthria). Later in the course of some motor neuron diseases, the muscles involved with swallowing and breathing may be impaired (dysphagia).


Diagnosis of motor neuron disease is often based upon symptoms and exclusion of other neurological diseases. Nerve conduction studies can help distinguish some forms of peripheral neuropathy from motor neuron disease. Electromyelogram (EMG), a test measuring the electrical activity in muscles, can support the diagnosis of ALS and some other motor neuron diseases. Although computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are often normal in persons with motor neuron disease, they may help exclude spinal malformations or tumors that could be responsible for similar symptoms. A muscle biopsy can exclude myopathies. Diagnosis of primary lateral sclerosis is especially difficult and often delayed, as it is frequently misdiagnosed as ALS. Polio may be diagnosed by recovering the virus from a stool or throat culture, examining antibodies in the blood or, rarely, by spinal fluid analysis. Finally, molecular genetic studies can aid in the diagnosis of spinal muscular trophies and the small percentage of inherited ALS cases.

Treatment team

Caring for a person with a motor neuron disease requires a network of health professionals, community resources, and friends or family members. A neurologist usually makes the diagnosis, and the neurologist and primary physician coordinate ongoing treatment and symptom relief. Physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists provide specialized care, as do nurses. Social service and mental health consultants organize support services.


There are few specific treatments for motor neuron diseases, and efforts focus on reducing the symptoms of muscle spasm and pain while maintaining the highest practical level of overall health. Riluzole, the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ALS, has extended the life of ALS patients by several months and also extended the time a person with ALS can effectively use his or her own muscles to breathe.

Other medications used to treat persons with motor neuron disease are designed to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life for patients. These include medicines to help with depression, excess saliva production, sleep disturbances, and constipation.

Recovery and rehabilitation

Recovery from motor neuron diseases depends on the type of disease and the amount of muscle degeneration present. In diseases such as ALS, the emphasis is placed upon maintaining mobility and function for as long as possible, rather than recovery. With all motor neuron diseases, physical therapy can teach exercises to help with range of motion and prevent contractures (stiff muscles at the joints). Occupational therapy provides assistive devices for mobility such as wheelchairs, positioning devices, braces, and other orthotics for performing daily activities such as reaching and dressing. Respiratory therapists and speech therapists help prevent pneumonia by maintaining lung function and promoting safe eating strategies. Speech therapists also help with alternate forms of communication if facial muscles are involved.

Recovery from polio may be complete or only partial, depending on the degree of lower motor neuron damage. Years or decades after recovering from polio, persons may again experience muscle weakness and pain. This is known as postpolio syndrome. Vigorous exercise has been shown to cause additional weakness in postpolio syndrome, and physicians recommend energy conservation and lifestyle changes for these patients.

Clinical trials

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has more than 20 clinical trials scheduled for 2004–05 for the study of motor neuron diseases, including one trial designed to evaluate a new drug, Minocycline, in the treatment of ALS. Details and up-to-date information about patient recruiting can be found at the NIH Website for clinical trails at .


The prognosis of persons with motor neuron diseases depends on the type of the disease and the amount and progression of muscle degeneration. Most persons with ALS die from complications of respiratory failure within five years of developing symptoms. About one out of 10 persons with ALS live a decade or longer with the disease. The prognosis for a person with spinal muscular atrophy varies greatly, according to the severity of the disease. Some forms result in immobility and death within a few years, while others impede movement, but do not affect a normal lifespan.

Special concerns

It is important to remember that even in the most severe motor neuron diseases, a person's personality, intelligence, reasoning ability, or memory are not impaired. The person with motor neuron disease also retains the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and in the unaffected areas, touch.



Kunci, Ralph W. Motor Neuron Disease. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 2002.

Oliver, David. Motor Neuron Disease: A Family Affair. London: Sheldon Press, 1995.

Silver, Julie. Postpolio Syndrome. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, 2003.

Wade, Mary Dodson. ALS—Lou Gehrig's Disease. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2001.


"NINDS Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page." National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. May 15, 2004 (June 1, 2004). http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/disorders/motor_neuron_diseases.htm.


ALS Association (ALSA). 27001 Agoura Road, Suite 150, Calabasas Hills, CA 91301-5104. (818) 880-9007 or (800) 782-4747; Fax: (818) 880-9006. info@alsanational.org. http://www.alsa.org.

Families of SMA. PO Box 196, Libertyville, IL 60048-0196. (800) 886-1762; Fax: (847) 367-7623. sma@fsma.org. http://www.fsma.org.

Primary Lateral Sclerosis Newsletter. 101 Pinta Court, Los Gatos, CA 95032. (408) 356-8227; Fax: (408) 356-8227. 73112.611@compuserve.com.

Brook Ellen Hall, PhD

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Musicology is the study of the subject of music. The earliest definitions defined three sub-disciplines: systematic musicology, historical musicology, and comparative musicology. In contemporary scholarship, one is more likely to encounter a division of the discipline into music theory, music history, and ethnomusicology. Research in musicology has often been enriched by cross-disciplinary work, for example in the field of psychoacoustics. The study of music of non-western cultures, and the cultural study of music, is called ethnomusicology.

Graduates of undergraduate music programs can go on to further study in music graduate programs. Graduate degrees include the Master of Music, the Master of
Arts, the PhD (e.g., in musicology or music theory), and more recently, the Doctor of Musical Arts, or DMA. The Master of Music degree, which takes one to two years to complete, is typically awarded to students studying the performance of an instrument, education, voice or composition. The Master of Arts degree, which takes one to two years to complete and often requires a thesis, is typically awarded to students studying musicology, music history, or music theory. Undergraduate university degrees in music, including the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Music Education, and the Bachelor of Arts (with a major in music) typically take three to five years to complete. These degrees provide students with a grounding in music theory and music history, and many students also study an instrument or learn singing technique as part of their program.

The PhD, which is required for students who want to work as university professors in musicology, music history, or music theory, takes three to five years of study after the Master's degree, during which time the student will complete advanced courses and undertake research for a dissertation. The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a relatively new degree that was created to provide a credential for professional performers or composers that want to work as university professors in musical performance or composition. The DMA takes three to five years after a Master's degree, and includes advanced courses, projects, and performances. In Medieval times, the study of music was one of the Quadrivium of the seven Liberal Arts and considered vital to higher learning. Within the quantitative Quadrivium, music, or more accurately harmonics, was the study of rational proportions.

Zoomusicology is the study of the music of non-human animals, or the musical aspects of sounds produced by non-human animals. As George Herzog (1941) asked, "do animals have music?" François-Bernard Mâche's Musique, mythe, nature, ou les Dauphins d'Arion (1983), a study of "ornitho-musicology" using a technique of Ruwet's Language, musique, poésie (1972) paradigmatic segmentation analysis, shows that bird songs are organised according to a repetition-transformation principle. Jean-Jacques Nattiez (1990), argues that "in the last analysis, it is a human being who decides what is and is not musical, even when the sound is not of human origin. If we acknowledge that sound is not organised and conceptualised (that is, made to form music) merely by its producer, but by the mind that perceives it, then music is uniquely human."

Music theory is the study of music, generally in a highly technical manner outside of other disciplines. More broadly it refers to any study of music, usually related in some form with compositional concerns, and may include mathematics, physics, and anthropology. What is most commonly taught in beginning music theory classes are guidelines to write in the style of the common practice period, or tonal music. Theory, even that which studies music of the common practice period, may take many other forms. Musical set theory is the application of mathematical set theory to music, first applied to atonal music. Speculative music theory, contrasted with analytic music theory, is devoted to the analysis and synthesis of music materials, for example tuning systems, generally as preparation for composition.


Main article: Ethnomusicology

In the West, much of the history of music that is taught deals with the Western civilization's art music. The history of music in other cultures ("world music" or the field of "ethnomusicology") is also taught in Western universities. This includes the documented classical traditions of Asian countries outside the influence of Western Europe, as well as the folk or indigenous music of various other cultures.

Popular styles of music varied widely from culture to culture, and from period to period. Different cultures emphasised different instruments, or techniques, or uses for music. Music has been used not only for entertainment, for ceremonies, and for practical and artistic communication, but also for propaganda in totalitarian countries.

There is a host of music classifications, many of which are caught up in the argument over the definition of music. Among the largest of these is the division between classical music (or "art" music), and popular music (or commercial music - including rock and roll, country music, and pop music). Some genres don't fit neatly into one of these "big two" classifications, (such as folk music, world music, or jazz music).

As world cultures have come into greater contact, their indigenous musical styles have often merged into new styles. For example, the United States bluegrass style contains elements from Anglo-Irish, Scottish, Irish, German and African instrumental and vocal traditions, which were able to fuse in the United States' multi-ethnic society. Genres of music are determined as much by tradition and presentation as by the actual music. While most classical music is acoustic and meant to be performed by individuals or groups, many works described as "classical" include samples or tape, or are mechanical.[original research?] Some works, like Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, are claimed by both jazz and classical music. Many current music festivals celebrate a particular musical genre.

Indian music, for example, is one of the oldest and longest living types of music, and is still widely heard and performed in South Asia, as well as internationally (especially since the 1960s). Indian music has mainly 3 forms of Classical music, Hindustani, Carnatic, and Dhrupad styles. It has also a large repertoire of styles, which involve only Percussion music such as the Tala-vadya performances famous in South India.

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Often we class "composition" as the creation and recording of music via a medium by which others can interpret it (i.e. paper or sound). Many cultures use at least part of the concept of preconceiving musical material, or composition, as held in western classical music. Even when music is notated precisely, there are still many decisions that a performer has to make. The process of a performer deciding how to perform music that has been previously composed and notated is termed interpretation.

Different performers' interpretations of the same music can vary widely. Composers and song writers who present their own music are interpreting, just as much as those who perform the music of others or folk music. The standard body of choices and techniques present at a given time and a given place is referred to as performance practice, where as interpretation is generally used to mean either individual choices of a performer, or an aspect of music which is not clear, and therefore has a "standard" interpretation.

In some musical genres, such as jazz and blues, even more freedom is given to the performer to engage in improvisation on a basic melodic, harmonic, or rhythmic framework. The greatest latitude is given to the performer in a style of performing called free improvisation, which is material that is spontaneously "thought of" (imagined) while being performed, not preconceived. According to the analysis of Georgiana Costescu, improvised music usually follows stylistic or genre conventions and even "fully composed" includes some freely chosen material (see precompositional). Composition does not always mean the use of notation, or the known sole authorship of one individual.

Music can also be determined by describing a "process" which may create musical sounds, examples of this range from wind chimes, through computer programs which select sounds. Music which contains elements selected by chance is called Aleatoric music, and is associated with such composers as John Cage, Morton Feldman, and Witold Lutosławski.

Musical composition is a term that describes the composition of a piece of music. Methods of composition vary widely from one composer to another, however in analysing music all forms -- spontaneous, trained, or untrained -- are built from elements comprising a musical piece. Music can be composed for repeated performance or it can be improvised; composed on the spot. The music can be performed entirely from memory, from a written system of musical notation, or some combination of both. Study of composition has traditionally been dominated by examination of methods and practice of Western classical music, but the definition of composition is broad enough to include spontaneously improvised works like those of free jazz performers and African drummers.

What is important in understanding the composition of a piece is singling out its elements. An understanding of music's formal elements can be helpful in deciphering exactly how a piece is constructed. A universal element of music is how sounds occur in time, which is referred to as the rhythm of a piece of music.

When a piece appears to have a changing time-feel, it is considered to be in rubato time, an Italian expression that indicates that the tempo of the piece changes to suit the expressive intent of the performer. Even random placement of random sounds, which occurs in musical montage, occurs within some kind of time, and thus employs time as a musical element.

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Albino dondo (Spanish), blafard (French), and Kakerlak (a derisive Dutch word that also means ‘cockroach’) are all terms used for human beings who have a total or partial lack of the pigment melanin in the skin, hair, and eyes as well as in some internal sites. It is an incurable congenital condition, due in its total form to absence of the enzyme tyrosinase, which is required for melanin to be synthesized in specialized cells — the melanocytes. Failure of transfer of pigment from melanocytes to its normal destinations accounts for less severe albinism.

The skin of such individuals is usually pale pink or milky white. The hair (including body hair, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes) is extremely fine and silky, and yellowish-white, substantially different from the snow-white associated with old age. The eyes have a dull, despondent look; the irises are pale grey or pink; the pupils appear bright red, because light falls on the blood vessels of the retina (normally concealed by pigment) in the depth of the eyes. Since a lack of pigment leaves albinos defenseless against both ultraviolet rays and light, they are subject to severe photophobia and heliophobia (fear of light and the sun) from birth on. Like ‘spears’ the sun would ‘fling his flaring beams’, the poet John Milton — who some have suggested suffered from albinism — declared, and cried in torment: ‘How I hate thy beams!’ And indeed bright daylight hurts the eyes of an albino, for without pigment the iris is translucent so that light penetrates it as well as entering the pupil, flooding the retina with unbearable brightness. Albinos regularly turn their heads to the side and roll their eyes in a circular motion in an attempt to find a favourable axis of sight; they suffer from rapid nystagmus (an oscillatory motion of the eyeball), and blink constantly. Light becomes tolerable only with the onset of twilight, when smaller quantities penetrate the iris, so that vision is more or less normalized. Albinos feel especially good — or so it would appear — and can see best on starlit nights and by the light of the moon, which is probably the reason why the native peoples in Central America called them ‘moon eyes’ or ‘children of the moon’. These problems are associated with defective binocular vision and a comparable difficulty in locating sounds, due to abnormally-arranged nerve pathways from the eyes and inner ears to the brain. Whilst the lack of pigment protection for the eyes is the greatest discomfort, it is the unprotected skin which is the greatest hazard, because of the high risk of skin cancer as well as of minor irritation. The claim occasionally advanced that albinism is linked with a lack of intelligence cannot be proved, whereas psychological problems resulting from difficulties of living with a lack of melanin may very well be common.

Despite a few early references, for example by the Roman naturalist Pliny (23-79 ce), until the end of the seventeenth century albinos in Europe were generally regarded as belonging to no special category, but were taken simply as extremely blond and pale people who were strangely shy of light. Only in connection with the fierce debate about the nature and origin of human skin colour, which arose against the background of European colonization and the transatlantic slave trade, were ‘albinos’ (a word taken from the Portuguese) ‘discovered’, so to speak, and for the next 150 years they were the object of an attention that went far beyond any medical interest. An albino displayed in Paris in 1744 at an exhibition célèbre cast such a spell over the public that even Voltaire wrote an extensive description of the case. In England two ‘piebald niggers’ (Nègres mouchetés, Elsterneger) — black men who suffered from ‘partial albinism’ (vitiligo or leukoderma) — became a great sensation: George Alexander Gratton, a little boy exhibited at the Bartholomew Fair in London, ‘was covered with a diversity of [white] spots’; the other, John Richardson Primrose Bobey, born in Jamaica in 1744, was presented as a ‘white-spotted Negro’. The reason for such extraordinary interest lay in the fact that albinos could be brought forward as an excellent piece of evidence for both proving and disproving the most important theories about the origin and nature of skin colour.

Abbé Demanet (died c.1786), a scholar who had travelled in Africa, and the natural scientist Comte de Buffon (1707-88), declared that albinos were most common among ‘coloured’ peoples in Earth's humid and hot equatorial zones: on various islands in the Pacific, among the Papuans of New Guinea, on Ambon, on Nias west of Sumatra, and in Biafra and Luanda, as well as among American aborigines on the isthmus of Panama. They concluded therefore that the skin colour of all human beings must originally have been ‘white’, but that under extreme conditions some individuals then experienced an ‘accidental’ (and later inheritable) ‘degenerative colouration’. To be sure, they could not explain why, for example, the sun which had burned one person black did not do so with others who lived in the same environment. The surgeon Claude-Nicolas Le Cat (1700-68) from Rouen therefore considered albinos as a previously unrecognized and unique ‘species’ of human being, whose existence ‘was due neither to the climate, nor the sun, nor a mixture [of other races]’, as he wrote in his Treatise on the Color of the Human Skin in General, and on that of Negroes in Particular, and of the Metamorphosis of the one Color into the Other, Whether by Birth or by Accident. Voltaire even considered whether the albino might not be the missing link between man and beast so eagerly sought by the natural philosophers of the period; and working from that premise the author of the article Nègres in Diderot's Encyclopédie posed the question of whether ‘white Negroes’ (Leucaethiopes) might not be the progeny of white women and orangutans. It is no wonder, then, that in his Systema naturae Carl von Linné (1707-78) ultimately saw the albino, whom he called Homo nocturnus, as closely related to the Troglodytes, the Forest Man (Homo sylvestris), and the Orangutan.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Mendelian genetics, at least for the most part, put a halt to such learned racial discrimination by defining albinism as a genetic defect that results in a mutation: the permanent, inheritable, and pathological alteration of a healthy organism. Thereafter only the National Socialists and their scientific henchmen (race theoreticians like Erwin Baur, Eugen Fischer, and Fritz Lenz) kept alive the traditional view of albinos as ‘half-animal’ and ‘subhuman’. Nazi ideology welcomed the fact that as far back as the age of Milton albinos were maligned as ‘effeminate’ (in much the same way as homosexuals) on the basis of their weak constitutions and the colour of their skin — and that even the poet himself had been mocked by his fellow students at Cambridge as ‘The Lady of Christ's College’. It may be thanks solely to the Allied victory over Germany that albinos did not ulti-mately fall victim to the Nazi programmes of euthanasia.

— Peter Martin


  • Pearson, K., Nettleship, E. and Usher, C. H. (1911-13). A monograph of Albinism in Man, (3 vols). Draper's Company Research Memoirs, London.
  • Sarasin, F. (1936). Die Anschauungen der Völker über den Albinismus. Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde, 34, 198-233

See also eyes; pigmentation; skin colour.

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Yogyakarta , Jogjakarta , or Djokjakarta , city (1990 pop. 412,059), S Java, Indonesia, at the foot of volcanic Mt. Merapi, capital of the special region of Yogyakarta (1990 pop. 2,912,611), a former sultanate. It is the cultural center of Java, known for its artistic life, particularly its drama and dance festivals and handicraft industries. It is also the trade hub of a major rice-producing region, and there is some manufacturing. Tourism is important; the magnificent borobudur temple is in the area. The vast walled palace (18th cent.) of the sultan of Yogyakarta was the provisional capital (1949–50) of the republic of Indonesia; part of it now houses Gadjah Mada Univ. Also in the city are the Islamic Univ. of Indonesia and several colleges. The town was founded (1749) by a sultan in an area which had been the center of previous cultures. It was the focus of the revolt against the Dutch (1825–30) and was the stronghold of the Indonesian independence movement from 1946 to 1950.

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