While conducting the hymnal Te Deum for French King Louis XIV in 1687, Jean-Baptiste Lully was so focused in keeping the rhythm by banging a staff against the floor (this was the method before conductorâ€™s baton came into use), that he struck his toe hard but refused to stop.
The toe developed an abscess, which later turned gangrenous, but Lully refused to have it amputated. The gangrene spread and killed the stubborn musician.
Ironically, the hymn he was conducting was in celebration of the recovery of Louis XIV from an illness.
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