Bernard Lechevalier

Mozart’s Brain Publication date : June 8, 2006

On 11 April 1770, the young Wolfgang Mozart heard Allegri’s “Miserere”. The musical score of t his piece was a well-guarded secret, but when he returned home Mozart successfully transcribed the entire “Miserere” from memory.
How is it possible to accomplish such a feat of memory? What happens in the mind of the person who writes, who listens? Can Mozart’s genius be explained? What is the state of knowledge about child prodigies?
The author uses a number of characteristic incidents from Mozart’s life as a springboard to explore the mechanisms of musical perception.

Bernard Lechevalier, a neurologist specialising in neuropsychology, is a professor of neurology and medicine in teaching hospitals (Inserm).