oral transmission: motivation and memorization

jacob.baltuch at euronet.be jacob.baltuch at euronet.be
Sat Jun 14 13:52:46 UTC 1997

>Mozart reportedly heard a mass in the Vatican that was treated
>as a "trade secret", so that the notes were not available to the public.
>Mozart went home after hearing the mass and wrote it all down from memory.
>He went back the next day to hear it once more, and discovered to his
>chagrin that he had gotten one note wrong!

Not a mass but Allegri's "Miserere". A few pages of music.

Although this particular feat is considered to be true, much
Mozart folklore is pure myth though, and there's no evidence
that Mozart had a so called "photographic memory". Music is
highly structured material and Mozart's excellent musical memory
seem to have had to do more with his musical capacities of
analysis and his ability to grasp structure than with purely
mechanical feats of memory.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list