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
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss