Many people have experienced the mood lifting (or mood killing) effects of certain pieces of music. Then there was the highly disputed “Mozart Effect,” the idea that classical music can make you smarter. But now, U.K. scientists are pointing to research that indicates listening to the Spring movement of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons can boost electrical activity in the brain. Subjects were found to respond faster and with better accuracy when the Spring concerto was playing than when the other three concertos were playing, and also faster than when the tests were conducted in silence. According to EEGs conducted on the subjects, listening to the music made a difference in two cognitive processes in the brain. The subjects also reported feeling more alert while listening to Spring.
Another recent study showed that listeners’ moods improved while listening to Aaron Copland’s Rodeo.