This joke was current a few months ago—it was even in the chorus newsletter immediately prior to the BSO’s Mahler performance—but it bears repeating:
You’ve heard of the Mozart Effect, i.e., listening to Mozart increases one’s spatial IQ. BUT, have you heard of the …
LISZT EFFECT: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important.
BRUCKNER EFFECT: Child speaks very slowly and repeats himself frequently. Gains reputation for profundity.
WAGNER EFFECT: Child becomes a megalomaniac. May eventually marry his sister.
MAHLER EFFECT: Child continually screams — at great length and volume — that he’s dying.
SCHOENBERG EFFECT: Child never repeats a word until he’s used all the other words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.
BABBITT EFFECT: Child gibbers nonsense all the time. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child doesn’t care because all his playmates think he’s cool.
IVES EFFECT: the child develops a remarkable ability to carry on several separate conversations at once.
GLASS EFFECT: the child tends to repeat himself 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 again.
STRAVINSKY EFFECT: the child is prone to savage, guttural and profane outbursts that often lead to fighting and pandemonium in the preschool.
BRAHMS EFFECT: the child is able to speak beautifully as long as his sentences contain a multiple of three words (3, 6, 9, 12, etc). However, his sentences containing 4 or 8 words are strangely uninspired.
And then, of course, the Cage Effect — child says nothing for 4 minutes, 33 seconds. Preferred by 9 out of 10 classroom teachers.
A few extras from Mangan’s Miscellany:
Schumann Effect: Child develops bipolar disorder.
Lutoslawski Effect: Child becomes expert craps player.
Berwald Effect: Child develops a huge passion, works at it his whole life, then falls into complete obscurity.
And a few more from The Llama Butchers:
Hovhaness Effect: Child grows to be very spiritual, attracted to Eastern religions. Also has pyromaniac tendencies.
Gluck Effect: Child will be brilliant but inconsistent. Probably will be a fortune-hunting party reptile.
Rossini Effect: Child will be lazy as hell but a lot of fun.
Bach Effect: Child will overawe you with the the depth of his self-expression and do a bang-up job balancing your checkbook. Stand by for a lot of grandchildren.
Lully Effect: Please keep child away from sharp objects.
And, finally, from The Muse at Sunset:
Meyerbeer effect: Child says wildly popular things which no one can remember later.
Chopin effect: Child coughs constantly.
Schumann effect: Child speaks in poetry, then tries to drown himself
Gesualdo effect: Child speaks cryptically, dresses in black, carries a bloody axe
Gershwin effect: Child tries to speak Ebonics, is never quite convincing
Hugo Wolff effect: Child speaks about the meaninglessness of life and the futility of love, then goes mad
Prokofiev Effect: Child speaks wildly and brilliantly, with a huge vocabulary. But… was he being serious?
Berlioz effect: Child takes opium and speaks REALLY LOUDLY
Debussy effect: Child can’t talk, but loves pictures
Faure effect: Child’s speech is too refined and elegant to be heard by coarse and insensitive persons
Henry Cowell effect: child speaks in clusters of words.
Harry Partch effect: child makes up all his own words.
Fred Himebaugh effect: All the child’s vowels have umlauts.