Die Zauberflote and the “Mozart Effect”…a mystery?M4B*

There was a point in time, not so long ago, when it seemed that just about everyone was enamored with the concept of the “Mozart Effect”. Why, it helps children to be smarter! It’s great to listen to during childbirth! It’s good for stress! You name it, there seemed to be some lovely quality or another at work whenever one listened to a piece of Wolfgang Mozart’s music. And this is as it should be, as it is my position that his music is a gift of God, and generates shalom.

So, it would be only natural to expect that die zauberflote — which also has the “Mozart Effect” would be welcomed with enthusiasm. Why would it not? one might ask…

But no — people, upon hearing me play die zauberflote, tend to fall into two camps — either they weep tears of joy or they become silent and may also grit their teeth. Someone even recently suggested that I ask to have a study done on the effects of people listening to die zauberflote, as the responses seem to be so profound. In fact, I have a request in at the UofM, which, ironically, is where I did my flute performance major some time ago. Ironically, the response there was — you guessed it — completely bizarre.

It puzzles me that I can go into a worldly place, such as a school, and have someone call out, “Glory be, the great lady is here!” and I can go into a congregation, or onto the darkened stage at Orchestra Hall and find silence so deep you could hear a pin drop. And then, slowly, people may start to crawl out of the woodwork, so to speak, and behave very strangely indeed.

Just one of the mysteries of die zauberflote, I guess. I should know by now…

*M4B=Mozart For Believers


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