Planet Earth

Mozart's Glorious Music Wasted on Waste-Eating Microbes

DiscoblogBy Joseph CalamiaJun 3, 2010 1:41 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

An hour southwest of Berlin, in the town of Treuenbrietzen, Mozart has played non-stop for two months. The classical composer's audience? Waste-eating microbes. As Spiegel Onlinereports, the German waste-facility's owners believe the music, coupled with more oxygen, will make their microbes eat biosolids more efficiently, saving money and leaving less residual waste. Their idea comes from the German firm Mundus, headquartered in Wiesenburg, whose founder cites Mozart's "very good effect on people." It's fairly easy to poo-poo this experiment, especially given other wildly-marketed but later refuted claims attributed to the man's music. Many of these Mozart miracles first surfaced after Frances Rauscher at the University of California, Irvine questioned in a 1993 paper (pdf) in Nature if listening to classical music could increase adolescent performance on IQ tests. Though Rauscher found that the music did seem to increase performance, later studies showed no effect. Though the waste-facility spent hundreds on fancy stereo equipment, management hopes the scheme will save them thousands in expenses each year. One only hopes that the music will make their human employees a bit happier at a job that might otherwise stink. Related content: Discoblog: Will Watching Videos of the Great Outdoors Make Cows “Happy and Productive”? Discoblog: Mozart Won’t Make Your Baby Smarter, But the Right Food Might Discoblog: Will Computer Programs Replace Mozart? DISCOVER: No Smarts in Mozart

Image: flickr / gruntzooki

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.