Can classical music make you smarter?


Many people believe that listening to classical music makes a person somehow more cultured, learned, or even more intelligent. A while ago, there were claims that listening to classical music could somehow make someone more intelligent by increasing brain power and productivity. Of course, this led to people researching whether or not this was actually the case, and the results are quite surprising.

It all started with Mozart

Most people know about the composer Mozart, and even if they don’t, they would recognize some of the music associated with the name. The claims suggested that listening to Mozart could, in fact, increase brain power and help people to become more intelligent, but does this sound too good to be true? After all, most people would be grappling at the chance to be smarter than the next.

Can classical music make you smarter?

Why specifically classical music?

While most music is a series of notes and instruments put together to create something entertaining or magnificent, people claimed that classical music requires a certain precision and complexity to create the most symbolic symphonies. Classical music developed as a result of the ‘music language’ which consists of a series of notes that represents a sound. It takes a long time for a person to learn to play an instrument to a decent classical standard, which is why the style maintains a very prestigious reputation.

What does that have to do with brain power?

It started with a study called ‘The Mozart Effect’ which was an experiment where a group of people listened to different kinds of music, one group was listening to Mozart. The groups would also undertake tasks to see how the music affected their performance. Once the study had concluded, the group that had listened to Mozart had actually had their performance boosted while they undertook the task.

The problem with what they found

While this sounds like a remarkable discovery, it actually wasn’t as accurate as they first believed. Other experiments were carried out, and scientists discovered that it wasn’t just listening to Mozart that boosted productivity, but other music genres also created this effect too. According to the BBC, one experiment group had their productivity increased from listening to Britpop group Blur and jokingly called it the ‘Blur effect.’

What does this mean

It means that, despite original findings discovering that listening to Mozart increased people’s IQ and productivity during a task, it also showed that it wasn’t exclusive to one music genre. So, while people who listen and play classical music may have had to dedicate a lot of their time and passion to it, they are not necessarily smarter than their neighbor who has never listened to classical music willingly in their life.

Can classical music make you smarter?

Music does benefit the mind in other ways

However, while it may not explicitly make people more intelligent, learning an instrument and analyzing music can actually sharpen listening skills overall. It’s also been said to be able to improve people’s memories. Some studies have even suggested that this kind of brain training can help improve overall mental health and even prevent certain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. There is no solid proof, but it is recommended.

So, it turns out that whether you listen to classical, pop-punk, or metal music, it doesn’t actually make you more intelligent than the next person who listens to an entirely different genre. It has, however, identified an interesting relationship between music and productivity, which is now a wholly different study.