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Did you know Wolfgang Mozart had a sister?
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Wolgang Mozart had a sister who was just as musically talented as him. Here's what that says about siblings. - photo by Herb Scribner
Wolfang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most famous musicians in world history, had something about 80 percent of Americans have, too a sister.

In fact, as The Huffington Post reported this week, Mozarts sister, Maria Anna Nannerl Mozart, is the subject of a new one-woman play called The Other Mozart.

The play, which debuted in a limited release at the Players Theater in New York City, tells the story of the Mozart sister who was actually described as the superior musician, The Huffington Post reported.

The play also shows Nannerls childhood, specifically when the siblings toured venues in Europe until Wolfgang continued to tour with his father, Leopold.

Nannerl, meanwhile, stayed home to find a husband, according to The Huffington Post. Nannerl, many reviews say, actually played better music, The Huffington Post reported.

Two centuries after her brother's death, Nannerl is a mere footnote in Mozart's history, The Huffington Post reported. As a biographical fact of his early years, she is easily forgotten as a sibling he happened to have.

Nannerls decision to stay home was also due to the Mozart familys financial standings, according to the plays producer, Sylvia Milos, who spoke to The Huffington Post. Despite the common perception that the Mozarts were well off since Wolfgangs attire was so fashionable and high class, the family actual had tough financial struggles, which disallowed Nannerl from traveling to play music.

They were in a middle class position, Milos told The Huffington Post. They borrowed a lot to go on those tours. They risked everything trying to promote Mozart, so they could be lifted up by him. The decisions that Leopold made were absolutely logical. They made sense for the survival of the family.

So, to help his family put food on the table, Mozart continued his tours alone leading to the eventual success he garnered as an adult, The Huffington Post reported.

Milos said that many of Wolfgangs compositions may have been Nannerl's, since the two got along well and shared a lot of the same habits when making music, The Huffington Post reported.

For the famous Mozart, having a sister gave him excellent music and a reason to tour the world and make a living for his family. But that relationship is only one example of the benefits of having a sister.

In fact, research has found that having a sister has many benefits. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that sisters make their siblings kinder and more giving, according to ABC News.

Specifically, the study, done by researchers at Brigham Young Universitys School of Family Life, found that youngsters who have a sister are less likely to feel lonely, guilty or fearful, ABC News reported.

"Just having a sister led to less depression," lead researcher Laura Padilla-Walker told ABC News. "Sibling affection from either gender was related to less delinquency and more pro-social behaviors like greater kindness and generosity, volunteering and helping others.

Similarly, in 2009, a study of 571 families by the De Montfort University and the University of Ulster found young people who had grown up with at least one sister tended to be happier and more optimistic, according to The New York Times.

This is mostly because sisters are more likely to talk to their siblings about their issues, the Times reported, as women and girls often do. The researchers noted that boys tend to be silent on their emotional issues, the Times reported.

So the key to why having sisters makes people happier men as well as women may lie not in the kind of talk they exchange but in the fact of talk, according to the Times. If men, like women, talk more often to their sisters than to their brothers, that could explain why sisters make them happier.

Of course sisters arent exactly perfect, either. The Guardians Lucy Mangan wrote that her experiences with her own sister sometimes created a rivalry between them.

Sibling rivalries can hurt children from a young age. In fact, two English sisters, Ursula and Louisa, wrote for the Daily Mail last year that sibling rivalry created intense jealousy and anger, severing their relationship and making it hard for them to connect as adults.

She has her own scars too and, like me, she still struggles with depression and feelings of inadequacy caused by the chasm that opened up when I arrived, and the terrible, pernicious rivalry that was actively encouraged and fueled by our parents, Ursula wrote for the Daily Mail.

In fact, a 2013 study published in Pediatrics found that some sibling rivalries become so intense that children feel victimized or even bullied by their siblings, according to The Star-Ledger. These rivalries can then create mental health issues for children.

"The possible importance of sibling aggression for childrens and adolescents mental health should not be dismissed," the studys authors wrote, according to The Star-Ledger. The mobilization to prevent and stop peer victimization and bullying should expand to encompass sibling aggression as well."

Despite these issues, sisters have proven to not only make siblings healthier and happier, but also to be best friends, as Lexi Herrick wrote for The Huffington Post.

Among the many reasons sisters are great best friends, Herrick wrote sisters often create a strong bond with their siblings and help them through the darkest times.

She's constantly there to guide you, be honest with you, and hold you tightly through all of the ever-changing phases of your lives, Herrick wrote. A best friend is the other half of your heart. That isn't the case with sisters. This is because you are one heart.
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