Forget the Mozart Effect. Science Says It’s the Blur Effect!

Chances are you’ve heard about the Mozart Effect, the contention (now mostly discredited) that playing classical music–Mozart, specifically–to babies still in utero will help them grow into creative human beings.

Well, before your throw the baby out with the “Eine kleine nachtmusik,” hang on.  Maybe we just need to refine our musical selections to, say, Krautrock-influenced British rock. Let us look at the Blur Effect.

Greggory points to an article published by the Association for Psychological Science entitled “Music and Cognitive Abilities.” I quote:

For example, Hallam and I (Schellenberg and Hallam, in press) reported a “Blur effect” for 10- and 11-year olds, who performed better on a spatial test after listening to pop music (by Blur and other bands) compared to music composed by Mozart or a scientific discussion. In a test of creativity among younger children (Schellenberg et al., in press), 5-year-olds drew with crayons after listening to Mozart, Albinoni, or familiar children’s songs, or after singing familiar songs. Drawing times were longer, and the drawings were judged to be more creative, for the children exposed to familiar songs (a “children’s play song effect”). The effects did not differ between the listening and singing groups.

Bottom line?  Blur trumps Mozart. Woo-hoo!

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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