Updated: May 11, 2020
What kind of music is suitable for a newborn baby or fetus and helps them get smarter?
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is a known classical composer for his brilliant compositions and also for the fact that his music makes babies smarter. But why does his music do that? And is he the only one?
While listening to music our brain starts to analyze it in different layers, whether we are aware of it or not. Every aspect of the music makes a different part of our brain work. That is basically the reason that classical music is considered more sophisticated and useful for us. Because classical music generally has more complexity than other genres, it makes our brains work harder to analyze it, and also it makes more parts of our brain involved in the process. Therefore listening to this kind of music is like an exercise for our brains.
The same goes for the babies, yet there is a catch to it. The same way that we don’t teach language to babies by reading them complex literal works, we should not involve their brains in listening to complex rhythmic and harmonic layers of classical composers like Gustav Mahler or Igor Stravinsky. The complexity in this kind of music will not do any good for a brain that is just beginning to figure out the simplest facts of life.
On the other hand, normal pop music does not have enough color and complexity to help the brain of a baby to grow better. But there are a lot of other pieces of music that have a simple enough harmonic and rhythmic texture to gain a baby’s mind's attention and at the same time have a complex texture and color to help the brain grow.
Honestly, this kind of music is not limited to W.A Mozart’s compositions, they are not even limited to the classical music genre. The type of music that is suitable for a baby or a fetus should have these qualities:
Preferably instrumental, or vocal with the clear and right enunciation of the words.
Not a very complex rhythm, more catchy rhythms are better.
Clear, bold, and interesting melody line.
Not a very complex harmonic progression is more suitable, though it’s not a must.
Variety of color and texture, meaning more instruments with different sounds. an orchestra with more than a hundred instruments has a better color than an EDM track with four different sounds from one type of synthesizer.
Harmony of the piece can be complex but it should not be dark with a lot of consonants.
W.A Mozart's music reaches all of these qualities, therefore they are very suitable for babies to listen to. But keep in mind that not all of his compositions are suitable for babies. For example, Mozart’s requiem has a very complex and in some points dark harmony. This piece is not recommended for babies. There are a lot of other composers, especially from the baroque era, that their music is indeed suitable for babies and fetuses. Among them we can name:
George Frideric Handel
Johann Sebastian Bach
Benedetto Giacomo Marcello
Carl Maria von Weber
The list can go on and on. But keep in mind that no there is not a single composer that all of their compositions are suitable for babies. You must find the best music for this matter, not the best composer.