Monday, November 29, 2010

Do Bananas Enjoy Mozart?

By Daniel Krieger / Source: The Japan Times

Although the claim that listening to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's complicated scores can boost your IQ has been debunked, its effect on bananas has yet to be disputed. So in July, the Hyogo Prefecture-based fruit company Toyoka Chuo Seika shipped out its first batch of "Mozart Bananas" to supermarkets in the area.

Arriving as ordinary unripe bananas from the Philippines, "Mozart Bananas" meet an odd fate. "String Quartet 17" and "Piano Concerto 5 in D major," among other works, play continuously for one week in their ripening chamber, which has speakers installed specifically for this purpose.

Strange as this process may sound, these aren't the first bananas in Japan to take in the strains of the great 18th- century Austrian composer. A fruit wholesaler in Miyazaki Prefecture started doing it three years ago. In fact, over the past few decades, a wide variety of foods and beverages have been exposed to classical vibrations — soy sauce in Kyoto, udon noodles in Tokyo, miso in Yamagata Prefecture, maitake mushrooms in Ishikawa Prefecture and "Beethoven Bread" in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, to name a few.

It's enough to make the skeptic wonder: Are such producers really serious about the benefits of classical music?

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