Found Sounds: UNCG Musicology Journal

The Mozart Effect

Sara Horton


The Mozart Effect is largely shrouded in myth, distorted and perpetuated through word-of-mouth, media, and time; the idea that listening to Mozart will instantly and permanently improve one’s cognitive functioning is quite far-fetched. This distortion and oversimplification of experiments and research is not uncommon, but is still detrimental to the fields of research involved and can inhibit further research on the subject as well as related subjects. However, some aspects of the Effect may hold some truth. Years of musical training as well as actively listening to music can improve and change specific cognitive functioning processes in the long term, whereas passive listening may only allow for temporary results. The intent of this essay is to strip away the myth surrounding the research behind the Mozart Effect and bring the true aspects to the forefront. It also aims to bring awareness to new, rapidly growing fields that incorporate music-based intervention techniques that exist, in part, because of research involving the incredible relationship humans, and even non-human animals, have with music.


Mozart; Mozart Effect; neuroscience


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