If you're a musician, prepare to be intimidated. If you're a listener, prepare to be AMAZED. This week's installment of the Periodic Table features none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the premier Geek Musician of all time, and the inaugural member of the "Noble Geek" group.
I know, I know... you're thinking "Huh? Some stuffy classical composer?" Not on your LIFE, people! This man's work literally defines Classical music. He is also quite possibly the biggest selling composer of all time... any time, any era, anywhere. Let's back that up with some facts...
In his 35-year lifetime, Mozart composed over SIX HUNDRED pieces of music of various genres and styles, from concerts to bawdy rounds. If you put all of his work together (and it has been done!), you wind up with ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTY full-length CDs. Let that number sink in. Now consider that since 2005 this boxed set sold over 100,000 copies in France alone. That's more than 18 million CDs sold in one country, recently. Now consider that his music has been selling steadily internationally in the form of digital downloads, CD's, vinyl, sheet music and concert performances for well over two hundred years. Forget The Beatles, forget Elvis, forget Michael Jackson. Mozart is da MAN.
Mozart's geek credentials are unmatched. He was a prodigy, having begun playing the clavier at four years of age. Among his earliest compositions was what we know as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", composed when he was just six years old. Oh, yeah, you've sung Mozart... and liked it. As Tom Lehrer famously observed, "It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year." It is indeed people like that who make you realize how little you've accomplished.
Mozart's music has a quality that is nearly unmatched... you've heard the phrase "Mozart makes babies smarter," popularized in the movie The Incredibles. That's not just a joke. It's called "the Mozart Effect", and is the subject of serious scientific study. A 1993 study indicated that listening to Mozart's music could result in temporary enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning. This is beyond geek... it's mad-scientist insanely geek.
Here's a little night music, performed in France and uploaded to YouTube by Fasculin:
Even in his day, the multi-lingual Mozart was an international phenomenon, Now you might think that, having been deceased for 220 years, Mozart wouldn't have much of an Internet presence. You'd be -- to pardon the expression -- dead wrong. Proto-geek Mozart is represented everywhere:
- He's featured in The Mutopia Project. Get your free sheet music here.
- He has his own digital research library. (How many geeks can say that?)
- He has a FaceBook page that, as of this writing, is liked by 799,524 people.
- He's on MySpace!
- And, of course, you can read about him in numerous Wikipedia articles.
Is this music still relevant? Well, consider that it's still performed, remixed, and re-interpreted to this day, and if you put a beat behind it (as many have done), it genuinely rocks. Here's YouTuber "Pianowork" giving his interpretation of Rondo alla Turca:
Would Mozart have supported RiteCare? Without a doubt! Brother Wolfgang was a member of the Viennese lodge called "Zur Wohltätigkeit" and composed a fair number of pieces of Masonic music. He would certainly have embraced the charity wholeheartedly. So to celebrate Mozart, proto-geek and uber-geek without peer, the first of our Noble Geeks, we offer the following:
Other people get mugs. Mozart gets a stein.
Because he's MOZART, that's why.
There's also this cool 'Amadeus!' T-shirt!
Mozart was multilingual, and adapted his name to several languages. Mozart's middle name was variously expressed as 'Amadeus', 'Theophilus', and 'Gottlieb', all of which mean, "Lover of God".
This shirt gives you an opportunity to honor a geek, make a statement, and support a charity, all at the same time!
If you're rockin' with Mozart, you're probably totin' some sheet music. That's why we're also offering this stylish 'Amadeus!' messenger bag!
Finally, Mozart makes babies smarter. We all know that. So why not let the world know as well? Our exclusive toddler T-shirts and infant bodysuits proudly proclaim, "Mozart Made Me Smarter!"(TM)
Oh, all right... let's not leave off Mom and Dad...