Cool: How sound and music affect our sense of taste

[Restaurants know that the music played for diners has a huge impact the overall experience. This article from Flypaper goes deep into that subject. – AC]

Taste is a story created by your mind, not by your taste buds.

In fact, there are multiple sources of sensory information that play a role, sound being a powerful player as studies have come to show. It certainly isn’t news that music has the power to impact our thoughts, feelings, and physical bodies in interesting ways, and so it wasn’t a surprise when I discovered that it has the power to enhance, deflate, and altogether alter our sense of taste.

I am a musician. My partner is a chef. My being in love with bands like Rammstein, Skinny Puppy, and Nine Inch Nails, I have long been banned from curating dinner party playlists at our house, and for good reason: Music that makes you want to start a riot does not compliment a cheese soufflé… As it turns out (sorry babe).

Groundbreaking discoveries around music’s influence on our experience of flavor have opened up a whole new world of exciting challenges for musicians. Let’s look at how sound and music affects our sense of taste, and in the process, explore how we might go about using these findings in creating ambient music for the most delicious dining experience.

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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