The Mozart Effect Essay

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It has long been believed that music can evoke specific thoughts and feelings from the listener. But can music –specifically the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart- summon hidden intelligences within the human brain? That is the question scientists are trying to answer. In the mid-nineties, scientists, Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw and Katherine Ky, claimed that music could boost the listener’s intelligence up to 9 points (Steele 2). To many, this allegation seemed a bit far-fetched and soon other researchers began recreating the Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky experiment in hopes of discrediting their findings. The conclusions that resulted confirmed that the skeptics were right: the evidence was inconclusive and revealed that music did not make the…show more content…
In the replication, the researchers played disco music that had a repetitive beat instead of Mozart’s music and then measured the IQ of thirty subjects. The results of the experiment were not much different than the results of the Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky experiment. This conclusion was groundbreaking in the science world because it completely discredited the claims that music has the ability to change the way a person thinks and potentially make them smarter. After the original experiment was published, marketers took advantage of the profitability of the claims. They distributed cassettes, books, and CD’s across the globe with guarantees that if parents expose their infants to the right kind of music, it “would speed intellectual development” (Steele 3). Their promises and claims were successful and Baby Mozart CD’s are still being played through headphones around the big bellies of pregnant women. The experiments that later proved that the “Mozart Effect” did not, in fact, make a person smarter, did not have much effect on the sales of these items. After the hype of these experiments died down, Rauscher and Shaw fueled a frenzy by adding that “listening to this sonata could reverse the effects of senile dementia, epileptic seizures, and improve the maze-learning ability of rats” (Steele 3). Unfortunately, this startling claim could not be proven by any other researchers
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