In the 1750s when Joseph Haydn, expelled from school, was still a struggling Viennese street-busker, there lived a hundred and fifty miles away to the west at Salzburg (on the third floor of the house now numbered 9 Getreidegasse) a worthy musician named Leopold Mozart and his wife Anna Maria, nee Pertl. Of their six children only two survived for more than a few months: one was a girl, the other a boy. The girl, born in July 1751 and christened Maria Anna, was a clever child who had already learnt to play the harpsichord by the time her brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart joined the family circle on 27th January 1756.

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Listening to Mozart can give your brainpower a boost, according to a study conducted by Sapienza University of Rome.

In a series of controlled group experiments, listeners of the classical composer's music showed an increase in the construction of alpha waves in the brain, which are conducive in promoting positive learning ability and are linked to memory, understanding and problem solving.

Interesting however, no such performance increases were found when the group listened to classical music by Beethoven, suggesting Mozart's music has a specific effect on our minds.

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