Report on the Mozart Effect

by Wally Oblong, BFD
Director, MusicLab, &
Senior JollyGoodFellow, Center for Peripheral Studies

Hi! I'm Wally Oblong, Director of the MusicLab at the Center for Peripheral Studies, with an update on our latest research.

The Mozart Effect, as I'm sure you've heard, was discovered in 1993, when a group of undergraduates were found to do better on a paper folding and cutting test if they listened to 10 minutes of Mozart first.

Hmmmmmm... music makes you smarter -- well, DUH!!! -- that's the reason the Center for Peripheral Studies has a house band in the first place!

We cooked up a couple dozen strands of musical DNA that we call -- only kidding of course -- viruses, and devised a sequence of experiments to see if we could not only reproduce but -- to borrow a buzz-word from the corporations that support us -- LEVERAGE the Mozart Effect! In other words, listening to Mozart is great if you've got a folding and cutting test coming up, but we figure there's more to life than making origami cranes for geeks in white coats.

In the process, we've discovered a peripheral benefit: our experimental subjects consistently report not only increased smartitude after being exposed to these musical viruses -- they also describe an overall enhancement in their attitude toward their daily lives: less anxiety, more confidence, an overall feeling that they can get through their day without going postal -- I *love* that!

Wha? -- you may ask. Well, here's wha: for years, people have complained and pundits have proclaimed that we live in an age of INFOGLUT -- every day we gotta keep track of name, address, home phone, work phone, cell phone, e-mail, and website of *everybody* we know; gotta fend off the news from places we never heard of PLUS the weather in places we'll never go to; gotta sort through the junk mail, the spam, and people calling at dinnertime to ask us how we're doing today -- just to figure out what we *don't* need to know! [I *hate* that!]

Well, no one's really charted this mental space, and much research remains to be done. But our hypothesis is that the musical virus conteracts INFOPLAQUE, the sclerotic effect of excess information, and functions like brain floss, or the scum-sucking microbes used to clean up oil spills -- and all without risk of poisoning ourselves with dangerous chemicals or undergoing costly and dangerous surgical procedures.

So as a service to the public, we've prepared a brief selection of our most potent musical viruses for you to listen to and benefit from. And here they are!

[Insert virusmedley.mp3]

Naturally, and sadly, we've had to employ a control group in our fight agains infoPlaque -- those hapless experimental subjects from whom we've had to withhold the experience of listening to our musical viruses. Here's what happens:

[Insert scitech.mp3]

presented 1 April 2001
Music You Can't Hear on the Radio
WPRB Princeton 103.3 FM
webcast at

Host & Convener: John Weingart
Institute for Healthier Skepticism
Senior JollyGoodFellow, Center for Peripheral Studies

Moderator & Interlocutor: Bill Neely
Senior JollyGoodFellow, Center for Peripheral Studies
Principal Monger, infomonger