When Leonardo Dа Vinci pаinted he аlwаys sought musicаl аccompаniment to stimulаte his senses. He believed thаt when аll his senses were аwаke, the mind could be better nourished аnd more productive. So, does this mean that listening to classical music and practicing it, makes us smarter?
Let’s go back in time all the way down to the early 19th century, when Joseph Carl Rosenbaum and Johann Nepomuk Peter stole the skull of the late composer Haydn right out of his grave. Why did they need it for? They wanted to do a research. But not any research – they were searching for a specific part of the skull’s anatomy that would make a person more prone to great music skill. And they found it, but that matter is too subjective. The point is, that people for years to come have believed that music develops a part of the brain that is otherwise not used in day to day activities. Music helps us concentrate and broadens our views. And what better genre to pick for relaxing than classical music.
Listening to music, sounds, and even silence, has always been second on Da Vinci’s list of senses. Also, he wrote a lot about the importance of developing all the senses in harmony to achieve the highest levels of consciousness. Nevertheless, for him, the greatest level of your mind’s capacity could only be reached by listening to classical music.
Recent Researches & Scientific Facts
But let’s talk facts. Recent researches have shown that highly intelligent people are more likely to be atheists or political liberals. A bit controversial statement, but it is backed up by serious facts. The same team that conducted those two researches took up the job to figure out whether listening to classical music can actually improve your skills. Using theories of evolutionary psychology, the team states that smart people populate concert halls and jazz clubs because they’re more likely to respond to purely instrumental works.
In contrast, pretty much everyone enjoys vocal music. This comes from the Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, which states that “intelligent people are more apt than their less-brainy peers to adopt evolutionary novel preferences and values.” Pretty much everyone is driven by the basic behavior patterns, developed in our early years. However, more intelligent people have proven that they are able and happy to comprehend novel stimuli.
Classical Music Younger than its elder Vocal Music
I can already hear you saying that classical music is way older than simple vocal music, so it should not be called “novelty” and my theory doesn’t live up. This is theoretically wrong. Vocal music has been around for many more centuries before classical music appeared, simply because it is easier to remember words in a melody than to remember a bare melody by itself. And remember, in the middle ages not all people could afford to write notes and music, but songs were still carried around by troubadours. Kind of like the pop idols of the Middle Ages. It was later on that people started writing down compositions, multiplying and playing them. So, in evolutionary terms, classical music is younger, and thus novel, than pop music.
As another evidence, scientists point out the fact that it is very much easier to comprehend a vocal music piece, than a piece with only instrumental. This suggests, that people with less brain capacity would pick the easier type of music. This is because it’s simple to understand. However, highly intelligent people would enjoy listening to a more sophisticated piece. For example, something that gives them more cognitive challenge, something that their mind can refract through their own prism and find deeper meanings, than the obvious and shallow style of the vocal music, which basically has one straight-forward message.
Furthermore, classical music is not confined to simple general alphabets. It has its own language of strange symbols. Musicians have to learn that language and learn to read it. Also, write it and play it for the different instruments they decide to choose. This develops a part of their brain that is not in progress for the rest of the people. It requires years of practice, so it wouldn’t be easily comprehensible by the simple mind.
Moreover, listening and learning to play an instrument also improves the motor skills, coordination and memory. How else would a piano player be able to remember sheet after sheet of notes for a single piece? Scans of professional musicians’ brains have shown that there has been greater development in areas involving sound processing, movement and coordination compared to non-musicians. The hours of practice has paid off by boosting certain areas of the professional musicians’ brains.
Will classical music make you instant geniuses? Probably not, but it will develop your brain in ways you have never imagined. Also, it will literally rewire your mind and make you see the world in different colors. Have a personal experience you want to share? Add to the research now!