Brahms and Liszt students try the Mozart cure

HIS OWN alcohol-fuelled excesses drove him to an early grave - but Mozart has become a weapon in a campaign to curb student drinking. An American university is to play his works around the campus at peak party times in the hope that they might dissuade students from getting Brahms and Liszt.

While some might believe that only a world alcohol shortage could achieve such a goal, campus police in Pittsburgh hope that Eine Kleine Nachtmusik etc at full blast from 10pm to 2am, Thursday to Saturday, will do the trick.

The theory has scientific backing. Research has shown that classical music has a soothing effect on children, encouraging them to be better behaved and work more effectively. Moreover, the creative output of Wolfgang Amadeus is said to boost your brain power or at least raise your IQ.

The "Mozart effect" may therefore result in campus-wide Damascene conversions as students confront the revelation that there are better ways to spend a Friday night than downing 10 pints before falling down drunk. Such, at any rate, are the hopes of the Pittsburgh campus police who videotaped the area before the experiment began and plan to compare the atmosphere pre- and post- Mozart.

Something radical, they say, has to be done, as binge drinking has presented them with a serious problem. Although no one under the age of 21 can legally buy alcohol, there have been 16 drink-related deaths in US colleges since 1997.

It remains to be seen whether Mozart has the desired effect, but British student spokespersons are less than impressed.

Zoe Abrams of Manchester University students' union said she was angered by such a "draconian" policy, but the worst of her outrage was reserved for the choice of composer. "Mozart is the most conservative and middle brow of the lot," she said. "What gives them the right to inflict such punishment on the students who don't even drink?"

Delia Saunders at Birmingham University's guild of students thought the idea "bizarre".

"I don't think anything is going to stop students drinking and I think it will just annoy them," she said.

"We have various policies here to encourage sensible drinking but I don't think we'll be introducing this at Birmingham."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate