We conducted an informal experiment to test the hypothesis that music has an effect upon taste. At a recent choral concert the audience members were given a frozen grape to eat while I talked to them. Later in the programme they were given another and told to eat it when some music began (Mozart’s “Ave Verum”). Later still in the programme the experiment was repeated whilst Vivaldi’s “Gloria” was sung.
The results clearly showed that people enjoyed the grapes more while music was playing. (The number of people scoring a 4 for sweetness rose by 33% from grape 1 to grape 2) The number of people prepared to score a 5 for sweetness rose by 200% from grape 1 to grape 2 (and increased further for grape 3). Furthermore the number of people who rated sharpness as 1 fell by 14% for grape 2 and a further 10% for grape 3. One of the score cards had a comment written on it “It is so maddening. I know that all the grapes are the same but they genuinely do taste sweeter with music playing!”