How does music exert such extraordinary effects on our emotions? To what extent does it depend upon our nature (biological rhythms, instinctive reactions to certain sound patterns) and to what extent experience (e.g. conditioned associations, nostalgia)?
Particular attention is given to the tension-reduction and optimal uncertainty theories of musical enjoyment. Professor Glenn Wilson considers whether there is any truth in the claim that listening to music can increase intelligence in the listener (the so-called 'Mozart Effect').
Dr. Glenn Wilson
As well as being one of Britain's best-known psychologists, Glenn Wilson is the Visiting Gresham Professor of Psychology. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs and has published more than 150 scientific articles and 33 books.
He is an expert on individual differences; social and political attitudes; sexual behavior, deviation and dysfunction; and psychology applied to the performing arts. Not one to shy away from contention, his most recent books include: Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation, The Secret of Lasting Love and Psychology for Performing Artists.He has lectured widely abroad, having been a guest of the Italian Cultural Association, and a visiting professor at California State University, Los Angeles, San Francisco State University, Stanford University, the University of Nevada, Reno and Sierra Nevada College.
Apart from being a professional psychologist, Dr. Wilson trained as an opera singer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and still undertakes professional engagements as an actor, singer and director.
Art concerned with combining vocal or instrumental sounds for beauty of form or emotional expression, usually according to cultural standards of rhythm, melody, and, in most Western music, harmony. Music most often implies sounds with distinct pitches that are arranged into melodies and organized into patterns of rhythm and metre. The melody will usually be in a certain key or mode, and in Western music it will often suggest harmony that may be made explicit as accompanying chords or counterpoint. Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment.
It's unfortunate how often people keep bringing that study up. The study in question has been thoroughly debunked. Its methodology was fatally flawed, and further studies consistently showe that listening to particular kinds of music has no measurable effect on intelligence, and that Mozart, in particular, was as unremarkable in that respect as any other composer.
you can listen to Mozart's k448 here. It's one of the original pieces that was found to improve intelligence (transient increase). We posted this 1.5 years ago.