Monday, August 08, 2005

The joy and the majesty.

Last weekend the PP and I went to visit a friend who has just had a baby, mostly so I could see the little tyke while he still is. He is, and is also cute, until he starts screaming because we woke him up from the nice nap he was having in his little rocking contraption while listening to Baby Bach.

Our friend explained to us that Baby Bach, which was really quite relaxing, is all the rage, and that they also have Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven. Here is what the web will tell you about Baby Bach:
BABY BACH™ is a captivating experience that exposes babies and toddlers to the joy and majesty of classical music while mesmerizing them with stimulating, colorful images. Both you and your little one will love these award-winning versions of classic compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach.

My friend was not playing the colorful images, but her wee one did look mesmerized, though not captivated. Or I suppose he was captivated the way that I so frequently was during my freshman-year-in-college astronomy planetarium lab: just lean your head back and listen to the nice lady tell you about star formation in the dark.

Listening to the music was peaceful. What struck me about these versions is that they keep the classical pieces from being too stimulating, such that Baby would wake from his nice nap and start screaming on his own.

Now I understand that the going thought is that listening to classical music as a tot will make a kid smarter, and I am very much in favor of this. But I wonder why a kid could not benefit from listening to the real deal? I mean, if you want a smart kid, give him the 2- and 3-Part Inventions, for goodness sake! Or perhaps treat the little tyke to the full 6-CD box set of Keith Jarrett's Blue Note sessions, and let Junior appreciate what it takes to improvise around a standard theme. Of course you do run the risk that he will be a hummer.

But where is Baby Bartok? And the PP was imagining the Baby Tchaikovsky, complete with the pipe organs and canons. Now that would mesmerize and captivate.

1 comment:

Tim said...

There's a joke, based on the "Mozart Effect" concept, about the effect of playing other classical music to infants. It's lengthy and the only one I remember is the "Mahler Effect," which causes your darling dimpled one to scream at great length and at the top of his lungs that he is dying.

And of course the Philip Glass effect, which causes the baby to repeat things over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.