Penning his first compositions at the unbelievably young age of 4, hardly did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart realize that in a few centuries his works would step far out of the classical music context. Composers might be dreaming of their endeavors being played at the royal gigs, in concert halls and opera houses, at the balls and official events, or even as national anthems. But it’s quite unlikely that any of them imagines the results of his or her talents presented to … eggs, for example?
We already wrote about an interesting and successful experiment where Mozart signature pieces, along with music of other genres, were played to cheese. But it turns out that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Below are a few of the weirdest yet most wonderful examples of people putting to use the masterpieces by this outstanding composer.
You must have heard about the widely-discussed so-called ‘Mozart Effect’ that implies evident impact on the development of our brain. It was first suggested and studied by Doctor Alfred Tomatis in 1991. Later on, Tel Aviv scientists also suggested that listening to the repetitive melodies in Mozart music (unlike Beethoven’s or Bach’s, for example) helps premature babies calm down and gain weight faster. Since then, YouTube offers, among others, numerous playlists of ‘Mozart music for the babies’ to make their brain form faster and bodies grow healthier.
While it’s pretty clear with the brain phenomenon (well, classical music does make us better, after all), the marketing specialists, scientists and researchers have gone much further. Why not experiment with some basic products and see if it yields any of the surprising results too, they thought. Two of the great composer’s frontmost works – “Little Night Music” and “The Magic Flute” – were most often picked as the experimental tool.
Thus in 2005, Italian wine-maker Carlo Cignozzi played The Magic Flute on speakers to his vineyards and discovered that it helped the grapes ripen faster (14 days compared to the normal 20). Moreover, the wine became more alcoholic in the end. The experiment gave birth to the first wine completely raised by Mozart – “Flauto Magico”.
Milk seems to enjoy Mozart too. In 2007, a Spanish dairy farmer in Villanueva del Pardillo managed to make his animals calmer and evidently happier. His herd of 700 cows that were herded completely in tune with the harmonies of Mozart’s “Concerto for Flute and Harp” gave 6 liters of milk per animal more than before. This music work relaxed the cows well enough while still keeping them active to the rhythmic melody, which was the key combination for success.
Fish, too, can’t resist some Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. The “Romanza” was played to the seabream at the Agricultural University of Athens for 89 days, and this Mozart serenade made them grow rapidly and develop better. Well, not sure if that’s as great for the fish itself considering the fact that it brings closer the moment it goes to the dining table.
So what about the eggs we mentioned as example at the very beginning? Does Mozart make them ‘eggier’? Looks like he does. Watching the musical achievements of other dairy farmers, the organizers of Mannheim Mozart Festival decided to play Mozart to 3000 hens 14 days in a row and ask the concert-goers if they saw any difference in the product. Be it self-hypnosis or not, the participants insisted that eggs tasted better.
It is scientifically proven that water can respond well to the external stimuli, and sound is something that makes these responses the most tangible. The structure of the water enhanced by Mozart differs greatly from the one influenced by heavy rock music, for comparison. As doctor Masaru Emoto explains in his book “The Message from Water”, Mozart played to water makes its crystals clearer and more structured, which makes its quality close to the one in the mountain springs.
Probably the most experimented-on type of animals – the rats – took part in Mozart studies as well. While already known for being very smart and fast-learning, they showed even more impressive results after listening to “Sonata in D Major for Two Pianos” in 1998. A Wisconsin University psychologist Frances Rauscher discovered that Mozart helped them pass the labyrinth much faster due to stimulating the neuron connections responding for the abstract thinking.
In a similar way, Mozart makes people faster too. It was proved on the athletes of the Greek Olympic team in 2004. Their cardiologist Dr Thanassis Dritsas included 15 minutes of classical works by Mozart into the sportsmen’ daily workout in order to help blood smoothly get to the muscles. As a result, a few months later the team got 6 golden medals which was their biggest Olympic achievement since 1896.
Another interesting effect can be traced in people’s behavioral patterns. For instance, Pittsburgh University tried to fight students’ excessive craving for alcohol by playing that same Little Night Music for 2 hours on campus through the loudspeakers. At the same time Tyne and Wear Metro used Mozart (and Vivaldi) to scare off the louts, which worked surprisingly well for some reason. By the way, the disciplinary effect was also proved on the dogs of West Hatch kennels where Mozart and Bach helped quiet the disobedient canine pupils. Woof.
And finally (though definitely not lastly, it seems), Mozart aids decomposing. Yes, a very universal tool he is. According to Anton Stucki who works at the sewage center near Berlin, playing “The Magic Flute” at the plant helped the center save over a thousand euros per month due to the faster tempo of biomasses breakdown. The experts believe that the secret hides in the penetrating vibrations that create resonance for the microbes to function better. They argue that only Mozart music can work effectively for this purpose as it sounds at the necessary frequencies.
How many more discoveries concerning Mozart music are yet to come? This undisputable music genius probably had little idea about the extensive powers of his heritage stretching for many generations ahead. Today we are the lucky ones – we have the possibility to enjoy, play and preserve his music for the future.