Saturday, August 24, 2013

Musicologist says Mozart skull study is hogwash

What is it about sunny Saturdays that makes me want to sit and contemplate Mozart's skull? I did that a few Saturdays ago and here I am again.

Remember the study by two French researchers on Mozart's skull, which is said to be in the Mozarteum?

Fellow Mozart fans might want to check the comments on that post. I had the high honor of hearing from the eminent Viennese musicologist Michael Lorenz that it is hogwash! It is most welcome to have my growing suspicions confirmed. Someone had commented wondering how Mozart fell and subsequently I had admitted that in all my reading on Mozart, I had never heard any fall mentioned. And the Frenchmen made allusions to "many falls."

What many falls? I was thinking, I knew Mozart rode a horse, but I had not ever read that he fell from it. Anyway that was one thing that made me wonder.

Dr. Lorenz, having researched the skull at the Mozarteum, has concluded that it has nothing to do with Mozart. Above is a photo of him making that announcement.

His research is a relief! I have to admit, I have never liked the idea of Mozart's skull separated from the rest of his skeleton and on display in a case. For some reason I have no problem with saints' relics but I feel as if Mozart is someone I know, and I think it is better that he is all in one piece.

Michael Lorenz is the author of the world's nerdiest Web log which I was thrilled to discover back in July. 

Coincidentally I was just thinking about him. I had signed up to follow his Web log and the other day I saw he had completed a post on esoterica involving the manuscript of Mozart's Requiem.  This entry is full of photographs of the manuscript and historical detail, probably far beyond the comprehension of most human beings but I am trying to set aside a couple of hours to give it my best shot.

Meanwhile, I trust him completely on the matter of Mozart's skull. It is hogwash.

No bones about it!


  1. For several reasons the skull cannot be Mozart's. The issue has already been settled in 1991.

  2. Mr. Lorenz, an honor to hear from you again! Thanks for the link. p.s. Any guess on whose skull it is that's there at the Mozarteum?