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Mozart Makes You Smarter!

By Music Professor Jonathan Irving

How do you answer the feelings of isolation that COVID has imposed on us all? Let’s just say…welcome back live music! The Music Department at Southern is thrilled to team up with our community partner, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, to present a concert of music that is beautiful, that enlightens us, and engages us in its ability to express so many different emotions. That, friends, is the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart!

We will celebrate Mozart’s 265th birthday on January 27th, and his music sounds as fresh and engaging today as when it was premiered back in the 18th century.

Students often comment that they like listening to Mozart’s music when working or studying. Perhaps it is the combination of Mozart’s clear and beautiful melodies, his command of harmonies and chords that always sound just right – even when we are surprised, and music that is always in proportion with itself. Mozart’s music leaves us feeling more balanced, better organized, and yet the music expresses something that rings true to our emotions and feelings. This is the gift that is music, and Mozart’s music is universally liked by everyone. It is subtle, and it sounds simple but not simplistic. It can be deeply moving, or a cartoon character, or music that expresses all that is humanity, like in his “Jupiter” Symphony – number forty-one, music that belongs in the Pantheon of the Gods.

In 1993, a study was conducted using adolescent students, and it was found that listening to Mozart’s “Sonata for 2-Pianos” increased the students’ ability to predict spatial relationship patterns posed to them by using various shapes. So began a craze to play Mozart’s music to babies yet unborn, so they might be brilliant little prodigies when they entered life on Earth. While the study showed that Mozart’s music did increase the intellectual capacity of the students, if only slightly…and only temporarily, our concert on October 20th simply showcases great music by a composer who was one of the great geniuses of the musical world. We hope you will join us!

Department of Music presents “Mozart Makes You Smarter!”
Wednesday, October 20, 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Engleman Hall – Room C112
Livestream: https://youtu.be/Z-E0JLNnWtQ

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