The Rambler :: blog

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Classical music makes you dumber 

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Two very thought-provoking points made by Greg Sandow recently:
As I read this crap [a festival press release full of the usual empty hype] I started to wonder whether there just might be a reverse Mozart effect. Maybe classical music makes us dumber. Meanwhile, if we believe Stephen Johnson's new book, pop culture gets smarter and smarter.
The media, as time goes on, covers classical music less and less. A lot of people in our field complain about that. Sometimes they blame the media, as if all these editors and writers and producers — many in their thirties and forties, precisely the people we know we’re not reaching — had some obligation to cover us, which they shamefully neglect.

But in fact, as some smart classical music publicists explained to me many years ago, the problem is the opposite of this: People in the media are getting smarter, in part because there's more art for them to think about, more theater companies, dance companies, museums (not to mention everything in popular culture).
A reverse Mozart effect? Well, since the 'true' Mozart effect was thoroughly refuted as a load of old bunkum, it's just possible...

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