Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Odd Pairs

Reading this article about the pairing of food and sound made me think about any pairings that were particularly memorable for me. If the music was exceptional, I would likely not notice the food I was eating at the time and vice-versa. Then there is ambience music that makes sense for the cuisine or not. The harmony makes for a better experience overall. The article cites a study

in which scientists gave people a dessert and played different sounds while they were eating. Depending on which sounds were played, a dessert could taste more bitter or more sweet.

I wonder if that has to do with the mood that the music evoked. Happiness related to sweetness and melancholy related to bitter. I noticed the other day while shopping at Target, the unrelenting brightness and amped up cheeriness of the store made me feel worn out and even a little sad. There was (it seemed) an unstated expectation of being certain level of happy and I was not nearly there. 

There is something to be said for not messing around with people’s minds. One size never fits all and then there are unexpected consequences of well researched actions. So music designed to make customers crave more ice-cream may repel them from it permanently.

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