Mozart's music reduces the frequency of epilepsy attacks

Can Mozart improve the treatment of epilepsy?

According to a recent study, Mozart's pieces seem to reduce the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy. This could be a natural way to help epilepsy sufferers and improve their quality of life.

A clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Toronto Western Hospital's Krembil Brain Institute found that listening to Mozart compositions may reduce the frequency of epilepsy attacks. The results of the study entitled "The Rhyme and Rhythm of Music in Epilepsy" were published in the English-language journal "Epilepsia Open".

How common is epilepsy?

According to the researchers, epilepsy affects around 50 million people worldwide. Many of these people suffer from debilitating seizures. The typical treatment often consists of one or more anti-epileptics. However, in 30 percent of those affected, these drugs are not effective when it comes to controlling their seizures. This is one of the reasons why researchers are looking for alternative treatments.

What was examined?

The research group examined the effects of the Mozart melody Sonata for two pianos in D major, KV 448 on epilepsy sufferers and their frequency of seizures. Comparisons were also made with modified versions of the original Mozart composition with similar mathematical features.

How did the study work?

The research group recruited 13 people for their one-year clinical study. After a base period of three months, half of the participants listened to the original Mozart Sonata once a day for three months and then switched to the modified version of the same piece of music for three months. The other group started the intervention by listening to the modified version for three months, then the participants switched to listening to Mozart's original piece on a daily basis.

Do other pieces of music reduce seizures in epilepsy?

"In the past 15 to 20 years we have learned a lot about how listening to a Mozart composition seems to show a reduction in the frequency of seizures in people with epilepsy," says study author Dr. Marjan Rafiee of the Krembil Brain Institute in a press release. However, there was still the question of whether individuals would experience a similar reduction in the frequency of attacks by listening to another piece of music as is the case with Mozart's music.

How was the frequency of seizures monitored?

During the investigation period, all participants kept diaries of their seizures. This is how their seizure frequency should be documented during the intervention. Drug use remained unchanged throughout the study.

Mozart as a complementary therapeutic option for epilepsy

The results of the study show that listening to the first sentence of Mozart K.448 daily did indeed reduce the frequency of seizures in adults with epilepsy. This suggests that listening to Mozart daily can be considered as a complementary therapeutic option to reduce seizures in people with epilepsy.

More research is needed

While the results appear to be extremely promising, the next step is to conduct larger studies with more participants over a longer period of time. In addition, it is not yet known why Mozart's music seems to have this effect. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Marjan Rafiee, Kramay Patel, David M. Groppe, Danielle M. Andrade, Eduard Bercovici et al .: Daily listening to Mozart reduces seizures in individuals with epilepsy: A randomized control study, in Epilepsia Open (published May 8, 2020), Epilepsia Open
  • Mozart can reduce seizure frequency in people with epilepsy, University Health Network (published May 28, 2020), UHN

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