The concept of the “Mozart effect” was defined by French researcher Dr Alfred A. Tomatis in his 1991 publication Pourquoi Mozart? (Why Mozart?).
He practised the music of Mozart in his efforts to “retrain” the ear and believed that monitoring to the music presented at differing frequencies helped the ear and promoted healing and the development of the brain.
The Mozart effect can refer to:
A set of research results showing that listening to Mozart’s music may induce a short-term development on the performance of certain kinds of mental tasks known as “spatial-temporal reasoning”;
Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, and Catherine Ky (1993) investigated the effect of listening to music by Mozart on spatial reasoning, and the results were published in Nature.
They gave research participants one of three standard tests of abstract spatial reasoning after they had experienced each of three listening conditions: the Sonata for Two Pianos in D major, K. 448 by Mozart, verbal relaxation instructions, and silence.
Rauscher et al. reveal that the enhancing effect of the music condition is only temporary: no student had effects extending beyond the 15-minute period in which they were tested.
Popularized versions of the hypothesis, which suggest that “listening to Mozart makes you smarter“, or that early childhood exposure to classical music has a beneficial effect on mental development;
The word was first minted by Alfred A. Tomatis who used Mozart’s music as the listening inducement in his work attempting to cure a variety of disorders.