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A research project on the mind of mozart and his contribution to music

The major third by 81: And so on and so forth, every interval being described by an unchanging ratio. The Pythagoreans believed that number was the core to the universe and that because numbers do not change they were of divine origin. Since musical intervals were an expression of number, they too were divine. At least according to Aristides Quintilianus, an early Pythagorean, listening to actual music just got in the way.

Best just to stick to thinking about the ratios. Orpheus charms Hades by his singing. Terpender of Methymna is credited with calming a revolt by his music. The mighty Alexander the Great is driven to murder — and remorse — by the playing of a servant. But no one makes music more central to his thought than does Plato. In the Timeaus creation myth, he makes music the essential stuff of the cosmos.

Since an ideal state cannot be made up of un-ideal people, a good deal of his discussion concerns how to educate boys into the kind of men who would lead such a society.

Briefly put, he thinks that this could best be accomplished by stressing two things in elementary education: The ways in which gymnastics would train the body are pretty clear; similarly, music was supposed to mold the spirit. And not only the performer — so too would the listeners. Plato believed that music encodes ethical qualities already found in human conduct and that music feeds those qualities back into the soul of the performer and his listeners.

Thus certain sorts of music would educate boys into living highly ethical lives while other sorts could educate them into baseness. Boys should be allowed to hear music only in the Dorian and Phrygian modes. French Protestants and Catholics did not lay down their arms and embrace each other upon hearing the strain of fifes playing music in the Dorian mode. Do we really believe that training in ballet which is really the union of gymnastics and music that A research project on the mind of mozart and his contribution to music is talking about is the best preparation for politics?

Should Winston Churchill have spent more time in a tutu? The idea that requiring boys to listen to music in a particular mode will make them act with courage is perhaps the stupidest notion a great mind has ever come up with. Play whatever music you like for them — boys will be boys.

The Mozart Effect

And Pythagoras was wrong. The perfect fifth is not the temporal manifestation of supra-cosmic divinity sent to illuminate the land with transcendence. Moses did not come down the mountain with a tuning fork nor, for that matter, did Muhammad or Jesus or Joseph Smith.

They were unsuccessful, and concluded that listening to Mozart had no effect upon short-term IQ. Although Rauscher has replicated her original findings in a subsequent project, the conflicts between the studies have yet to be resolved.

In any case, the parameters of the study weaken under scrutiny. Did the students really listen to the Mozart, or were they just in the room while the music was going on? Did the students who listened with care — in other words, listened to the music as it is supposed to be listened to following the change of themes, the modulations, noting the surprise deceptive cadence near the close — perform differently than those who just sat back and let the music wash over them?

The researchers seemed surprisingly unaware of the music itself.

  • That is what the Mozart effect is supposed to be;
  • And the choice of work is regrettable, since the second movement is probably one of the silliest things Mozart ever wrote.

And the choice of work is regrettable, since the second movement is probably one of the silliest things Mozart ever wrote. The very best thing that could be said of their experiment — were it completely uncontested — would be that listening to bad Mozart enhances short-term IQ. Rauscher has since joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, where she is now studying the effects of music upon rodents.

Don Campbell knows no similar inhibitions.

The claims that Campbell makes for music are of an almost rococo flamboyance. And like the rococo, just about as substantive. The ailments that head this article are part of a list of nearly fifty problems Campbell suggests that music corrects. His evidence is usually anecdotal, and even this he misinterprets. Some things he gets completely wrong. But in her autism, music, and indeed almost all sound, was a source of tremendous pain to little Georgie, not comfort.

Her therapy was successful because it desensitized her to sound. And the whole structure of his argument collapses under simple common sense. The principal oboe and flute of one of our major orchestras so detested each other that no one remembered a time when they spoke. And far from being healthy, orchestral musicians are beset by ailments. Music academics are no better. The annual meeting of the American Musicological Society is full of displays of one-upmanship, conceit, and subtle and not-so-subtle public back-stabbing and professional murder.

And our greatest musicians, the star virtuosi, are more than infrequently notorious for their cruelty, faithlessness, arrogance, selfishness, and stupidity. His work is so technically demanding and his textures so lean that little less than a perfect performance will do.

Almost any musician would prefer the gymnastics of Rachmaninoff to the delicacy of Mozart since with Mozart you always perform without a net. In short, musicians — the ones who know Mozart best — are cantankerous, egotistical, selfish, stupid, cowardly, generous, even-tempered, compassionate, intelligent, humble, and kind in about the same proportion as Teamsters — who, for the most part, hardly know any Mozart at all. Music can do many things.

A work song can coordinate physical labor. A march can keep an army in step. A bugle call can signal retreat and a melodic phrase can assist in the memorization of Torah. And art music, or that music which is intended to be primarily listened to for its aesthetic content, can be a powerful means for emotional self-reflection, self-illumination, and expression.

But the one thing that music most certainly cannot do is overcome the will. Music is not a drug that incapacitates the listener and produces a predictable result. A whole lifetime spent listening to Bach will not automatically make a woman love God. And — despite the warning of two generations of moralists — a lifetime listening to the Rolling Stones will not make a man fornicate.

Particular kinds of music may express things that appeal to the listener, and the listener may select a particular kind of music because he finds that it resonates with his own pre-musical emotional condition, but the music itself can never cause the listener to act. Action is a function always of the will, and while music may prod, and it may suggest, it cannot force.

We must indeed pay the piper, but we always choose the tune and decide whether or not to dance. Where is he in all of this? That is what the Mozart effect is supposed to be. Linton holds a B. M from Wheaton College Illan M. With his wife Janet, he served as a church musician in Baptist, Congregational, and Episcopal churches in Kentucky, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Tennessee.