Back in the George H. W. Bush administration nearly all True Knowledge had long since vanished from human society. In those primitive days, men of science still had not discovered that women have minds and imaginations, and can contribute mightily to our understanding of the physical universe.
So it’s easy to see that a man of science, a monsieur Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis in his 1991 book Pourquoi Mozart? working without the help of half the human race could come up with a theory that has since been proved utterly wrong. I speak of the Mozart Effect.
Not having actually read Pourquoi Mozart? (Why Mozart?) I can only assume that Dr. Tomatis’ titular question was directed not at Mozart himself, but at the reader; a question that Dr. Tomatis answered brilliantly, according to some, but also incorrectly.
“The Mozart Effect” refers to Dr. Tomatis’ research which he thought indicated that listening to the music of Mozart would induce short term improvement in certain mental tasks. This was understood by many who don’t pay close attention, to mean that listening to Mozart raises the listener’s IQ. Further research by both men and women of science has revealed what many conservatives have known since at least the Civil War: listening to hifalutin’ music don’t make you no damned smarter.
How then to explain the apparent high IQs among the listeners to Mozart? (First, full disclosure. I am not a man of science. I have done no reputable research on this matter. The opinions presented in this article are based solely on unrealistically high self-esteem.)
Regarding those smart people at the classical music concerts, Dr. Tomatis’ mistake was concluding that if IQ scores go up after listening to music, the music made the IQ go up. No! Science says, no! So what did Dr. Tomatis discover?
Those folks he exposed to Mozart were intelligent when they walked in the door. Intelligent and groggy. Their minds had gone into a “fog of war” following hours of boring, routine daily life, the ambient noise of the modern environment, the stress of driving, or crossing the street, the stultification of air-conditioned or heated, constant-temperature, re-circulated air. They were suffering from an unrecognized mental condition that should be called life-induced-stupidity.
On a normal day, people get dumber by the minute. Good music wakes you up and returns you to your natural intelligence level, such as it is. It cuts through the constant decline of consciousness,and lights the way back to who we really are. It’s art! That’s what it does. That’s what it’s for.
THE MUSIC EFFECT
BY KENNETH KERN