Cognitive Daily

Happy Birthday, Mozart!

i-fdd3fa0f5c71aae1417d22aed11f9ee0-Mozart.jpgJanuary 27 is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 250th birthday. In honor of the event, Greta Munger is giving a talk entitled “In the Mood: The Real Mozart Effect” discussing how scientific research addresses the claim that listening to the music of Mozart actually makes you more intelligent.

If you’re in the area of Davidson, NC (about 20 miles north of Charlotte), stop by and see her talk, along with several others presented on this special day, including “Mozart in Hollywood” by Neil Lerner and “Grief, Denial, and a Piano Sonata” by Mauro Bothello. The talks are free, and start at 2:30 in Tyler-Talman Hall on the Davidson College campus. I know I’ll be there!

As long as you’re here, you may want to catch one of the many concerts presented that day, capped off by a sing-along Mozart Requiem. Here’s the full list of events.

If you can’t make it to the talk, you might want to check out some Cognitive Daily articles on the Mozart effect, here, here, and here.


  1. #1 afarensis
    January 24, 2006

    I wrote a post on Mozart a while back that you might want to take a look at…

  2. #2 tristero
    January 24, 2006

    I was asked to participate once in a panel discussion in which the question posed was “Can Listening To Mozart Make You Smarter?” I answered immediately, “Absolutely! Listening to Mozart has made ME immeasurably smarter. As a professional composer, Mozart’s ideas and approach to composition is a continuing source of inspiration and challenge. I’ve learned so much from his music.”

    But whether Mozart could make a nonmusician smarter seems pretty dubious. Smarter about what? Picking good stocks? Hitting a baseball? Doing construction work? Sequencing the genome? I can’t imagine how.

    As for enhancing mental acuity before an exam, once again, if you’re being tested on Mozart’s music, listening to his music coulod definitely help you score higher. But if you’re being tested on Stravinsky, it probably won’t help much, and if you’re being tested on ancient Chinese history, I can’t see how listening to Mozart could make any difference at all.

    Besides, the reason to listen to Mozart is not to make you smarter or a better citizen. The reason is because Mozart’s music is stunningly beautiful. Period.

  3. #3 Dave Munger
    January 24, 2006

    Well said, Tristero.

    Mozart is actually one of the few composers who I can listen to while writing.

  4. #4 coturnix
    January 25, 2006

    Hey, I did not know you were in my state! Are you listed/aggregated on

  5. #5 Dave Munger
    January 25, 2006


    No, we’re not. I had submitted a URL to something like that site once before, but nothing ever came of it. This looks like it’s much more actively maintained, so maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  6. #6 Mr Funny Pants
    February 4, 2006

    What about iMusic?It is this new type of music that if you listen to t over a long peiod of time you get smarter. go to for more information. And it does semm to work, kind of like the mozart effect.

  7. #7 Dave Munger
    February 5, 2006

    That looks to me to be something completely different from the Mozart effect. The basis of it, biofeedback, does have some support from research. Giving the site a 15-minute look, I’m less impressed with the logic that connects biofeedback with listening to their music.

    Biofeedback involves training your brain to function in a certain way based on feedback about brain activity. Since you can’t get feedback while just listening to music, I’m not sure how iMusic is supposed to work. The research claiming a “23 point IQ increase” was performed on mentally impaired children who used biofeedback to help treat the impairment, not on healthy people who just want to get smarter.

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