Films, Books & Music11/10/2019
Classical music and the "Mozart Effect"
The great geniuses of the 18th and 20th centuries, such as Wagner; Tchaikovsky; Chopin; Vivaldi; Beethoven; Brahms; Haydn and many others, left us an important legacy within the musical panorama: classical music. Works of art captured between scores, tempos and musical notes, where they came to life through the instruments.
The compositions of this type of music benefit us in many aspects of our lives, not only for the simple fact of giving us a moment of peace and calmness while we listen to it but also, thanks to it, we connect with our deepest emotions. This is why music, and especially classical music, has been used as a therapeutic method for many mental illnesses, for cognitive development and much more.
At the end of the 20th century, a theory known as the "Mozart Effect" became popular. This theory was initiated by the French researcher and otolaryngologist, Alfred A. Tomatis, who published the book, Pourquoi Mozart? In that book, he explained that listening to Mozart's music had beneficial effects on the brain. However, Campbell was the one who most profoundly reinforced this theory, through the book The Mozart Effect. Campbell, based on the Tomatis method and the study of several researchers, attributed to Mozart music very beneficial characteristics to strengthen and heal the body and mind, in addition to developing creativity.
But, first of all, who was Mozart?
Known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or simply Mozart, he was an Austrian composer and pianist who was born in the small town of Salzburg in 1756 and died in Vienna at the end of 1791. This composer is considered one of the great geniuses of classical music. Following in the footsteps of his father as a composer, at the age of four, this little genius already composed his works and played the harpsichord. By the age of six, he was playing the violin almost to perfection.
Amadeus Mozart was a child prodigy with a remarkable memory and retention capacity, as well as his tireless ability to improvise musical phrases and to read music at first sight without difficulty. A miracle that his proud father wanted to make known to the courts of European high society.
Each of his works is a work of art to the ears, but his most famous symphonies and operas were written in his last years of life, as The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787), The Magic Flute (1791) and Requiem leaving it unfinished.
Why Mozart and what are the important benefits of his works?
According to the research based on this author, his works are considered clean, fresh and innocent. In addition to the high frequencies of the instruments, harmonic sounds, timbre and melodies stimulate the brain. Although, it is concluded that all of the composer's works are capable of generating the "Mozart Effect", the compositions on which they were based are focused on two: the Sonata for two pianos in D major, K. 448, and the Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488.
The first is said to improve spatial reasoning and the second can significantly reduce the cognitive processes caused by epilepsy, depression, dementia and schizophrenia. The theory or hypothesis also proposes that listening to Mozart's music increases intelligence, cognitive development, as well as improving mood and helps reduce stress.
Therefore, although in some ways the Mozart Effect is real, it would not be specific to this author and not only to classical music. Our evolution is due to many influences other than music. Sport and reading are also two good examples of how our body and mind can develop positively and healthily.
Did you know this theory? What kind of music do you like and what kind of music does it bring you most in your life? What other benefits does music have, be it classical or another style?